Spice Club – Basil

Spice Club – Basil

Minestrone was popularized in Italy among the poorest farmers, who scraped together hearty beans and vegetables to create this simple soup. In addition to its comforting warmth, one of the biggest benefits of this soup is that it can be altered according to personal preference and to varying seasonal vegetables. 

Basil is native to tropical regions from Central Africa to Southeast Asia – though it is used in cuisines worldwide. It is often added last when cooking, as too long cooking can destroy its flavor. Fresh basil can be kept for a short time in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

Show off what you made this month by sharing photos on the Huron County Library Spice Club Facebook events page or by emailing them to askalibrarian@huroncounty.ca. Photos emailed will be publicly shared by staff to the Facebook page on your behalf.

FUN FACT: Basil is an herb in the mint family! 

Minestrone*

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 200 grams crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green beans
  • 1/2 cup pasta, preferably elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 400 g cooked kidney beans
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat and sauté garlic, celery, and onion for about 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrot and crushed tomatoes to pot. Season with oregano and basil. Pour in vegetable broth and water and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot and cook soup for 10 minutes.

3. Add elbow macaroni, green beans, and chopped zucchini. Stir to combine and boil until noodles are tender.

4. Finish soup with fresh spinach and cooked beans.

5. Garnish with parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Serve hot, garnished with freshly grated parmesan.

*Recipe from Global Road Warrior™️ by World Trade Press. Access this online database for free with a Huron County Library card to get information about holidays, festivals, culture, travel essentials, and other beneficial travel knowledge.

In Your Backyard – the Hidden Gems of Huron West

In Your Backyard – the Hidden Gems of Huron West

The Huron County Library has been highlighting the hidden gems found across Huron County through our In Your Backyard speaker series and for those who were unable to attend, we will share some of those gems right here on our website! Join us as we travel all directions of the County, this time focusing in on Ontario’s west coast – including Goderich and Bayfield!

FOR THE BEACH BUM: Both Goderich and Bayfield have some of the best beaches around – with both towns sporting three a piece! Both communities are also unique that they both have bluffs, which allow you to catch their gorgeous sunsets not once, but twice! Goderich’s entire beachfront has undergone massive changes over the last few years, including a brand new accessible boardwalk, which runs its entire length. While Bayfield’s Pier Beach is much larger than it has been in recent years, due to lower water levels. 

FOR THE TRAIL TREKKERS: Both Goderich and Bayfield have a number of trails throughout their communities – fan favourites include the Goderich Menesetung Bridge Trail, the Goderich Millennium Trail and the Bayfield River Flats Trail. 

FOR THE INSTAGRAM INFLUENCER: Both communities sport some prime selfie locations. Goderich has the famous butterfly mural (located on the Square), the lighthouse (located on Coburg Street), the Gaol Selfie Station (located at the Huron Historic Gaol), and the sand-surrounded beach trees. Bayfield has its wood carving of Captain Harry (who has stood watch over its downtown for decades). 

FOR THE FOODIE: With Goderich alone being home to 35 different restaurants and Bayfield over a dozen, you will be sure to satisfy any craving you may have – whether it be for Indian, sushi, Italian, all-American, or even refreshing ice cream on a hot day! Best of all, countless restaurants across Ontario’s west coast are home to outdoor patios during the warm weather. 

FOR FANS OF FARMERS MARKETS: Get excited! While both communities have been home to a one-day weekend market, this year both will have TWO days of markets! Goderich will host its farmers market on Saturdays and another market on Sundays, which features artisan and antique vendors. Bayfield hosts its farmers market on Friday evenings and a vendor-based market on Sundays!  

FOR THE ART AFFICIANDO: The two communities are home to over half a dozen art galleries between the two of them – from galleries featuring the works of an independent artist, to other featuring the works of a collective. The newest opened gallery between the two communities is The Gallery House, located on Bayfield’s historic Main Street.  

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A GREAT COMMUNITY EVENT: Both Goderich and Bayfield are expecting to bring back some of their well-beloved community events this season! Goderich will once again be home to its Children’s Festival, the Celtic Roots Festival, and the West Coast Bluesfest, while Bayfield will be hosting its Rubber Duck Race, the Beer, Wine and Food Festival and a number of musical performances at its Town Hall.

Spice Club – Coriander

Spice Club – Coriander

Have a fridge full of leftovers? Put them to use in Koua Khau, a Laotian fried rice recipe that features this month’s spice, coriander! Coriander has a wide range, growing all the way from Southern Europe, to Northern Africa and Southwestern Asia. While all parts of the plant is edible, the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used elements.   

Laotian cuisine is simple, fresh, colourful and has a medium spice level. Rice, as incorporated into this meal, is the most commonly consumed food in Laos and is served with almost every meal. Although Laotian cuisine does have French influences, in most places the food is strongly Asian.

Don’t like the look of this recipe? Get creative! We’d love to see what you come up with instead! Be sure to join us for our Zoom session on Wednesday, June 22 where we discuss what you made with coriander! Show off what you make each month by sharing photos on the Huron County Library Spice Club Facebook events page or by emailing them to askalibrarian@huroncounty.ca. Photos emailed will be publicly shared by staff to the Facebook page on your behalf.

FUN FACT: Seventy-five per cent of people find that coriander has a tart lemon/lime taste, while the remaining 25 per cent find that it tastes like dish soap due to a gene that detects some specific aldehydes. 

Koua Khau*

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups cooked jasmine rice
  •  1/2 cup cooked pork or shrimp, chopped 
  •  2 tbsp oil
  •  2 cloves garlic, chopped
  •  2 eggs
  •  1 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Scramble eggs in a small bowl.
  2. Add the oil to a large pan. Warm oil over medium heat and sauté garlic.
  3. Add egg mixture to the garlic in the frying pan and cook.
  4. Add rice, meat, soy sauce, fish sauce, tomatoes, coriander, and cayenne pepper to the pan.
  5. Cook until the rice and meat are warm.
  6. Add the cilantro and green onion. Serve.  

*Recipe from Global Road Warrior™️ by World Trade Press. Access this online database for free with a Huron County Library card to get information about holidays, festivals, culture, travel essentials, and other beneficial travel knowledge.

In Your Backyard – The Hidden Gems of Huron North

In Your Backyard – The Hidden Gems of Huron North

The Huron County Library has been highlighting the hidden gems found across Huron County through our In Your Backyard speaker series and for those who were unable to attend, we will share some of those gems right here on our website! Join us as we travel all directions of the County, this time focusing in on the northern part of Huron County!

FOR THE FAN OF ‘FRESH FROM THE FARM’: North Huron is home to some of the freshest, locally grown products around – from the many offerings at Gorrie Line Produce (perfect for pickling!), to Rodney Weber’s Sheep Farm (where 500 sheep are milked daily, their milk being turned into Saputo cheese products), to Gordon’s Goat Dairy (producing a wide array of goat milk cheeses), to Schefter Poultry Processing (which uses its by-products to make sustainable compost).

FOR THE RECREATION LOVERS: There are half a dozen different arenas in the northern parts of Huron County – the Howick Community Centre, Belmore Community Centre, and the Wingham Arena North Huron Wescast Community Complex, to name a few. These arenas offer a wide range of activities, from hockey, to skating, to curling, to indoor walking, to badminton, racquetball, and pickleball, to indoor soccer, family volleyball and family soccer.

FOR THE CAMPING LOVERS: There are a number of places to camp both seasonally and day/overnight in northern Huron County – from Pine Echo Camp, to Lakelet Point Campground, to Driftwood Beach Park, to Blyth Campground.

FOR THE ART LOVERS: The art community is vibrant in north Huron County, with the small town of Blyth alone boasting multiple galleries and art supply stores – from FACTS, to Stitches With a Twist, to Wild Goose Studio, to the Wonky Frog Studio and beyond! Not to mention, art also takes to the stage in Blyth – thanks to the Blyth Festival and the Blyth Harvest Stage!

FOR THE FANS OF VINTAGE FINDS: Northern Huron county has a number of businesses that have made thrifting for those one-of-a-kind pieces a breeze – from Grandma’s Attic in Gorrie (bursting at the seams with antiques), to The Book Barn on 86 in Wingham (boasting 45,000 used, out of print & antiquarian titles), to Pick a Posie in Blyth (selling second hand vintage clothing and accessories, fun fashion and theatrical costumes).

FOR FANS OF WOODWORK: North Huron has some of the most unique businesses around – all of whom are crafting wood into truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Old Hickory Sheds crafts sheds in all shapes and sizes, Denny’s Wood Shop offers a large selection of live edge timber slabs, Topnotch Furniture builds an assortment of furniture on site, and the Creamery Road Co. is a one-woman show, making custom pieces.

THINGS TO NOTE: You will find happenings, landmarks and activities in Huron County’s northern parts that you won’t find anywhere else – from the Blyth Rutabaga Fest, to the Alice Munro Garden which includes a walking tour, to the Greenway Trail/Butterfly Garden.

 

In Your Backyard – The Hidden Gems of Huron Centre

In Your Backyard – The Hidden Gems of Huron Centre

The Huron County Library has been highlighting the hidden gems found across Huron County through our In Your Backyard speaker series and for those who were unable to attend, we will share some of those gems right here on our website! Join us as we travel all directions of the County, focusing this week on the central part of Huron!

FOR THE HISTORY BUFF: Zurich is home to many distinct historical houses, which are well known for their rich architectural designs, while Clinton is home to the CNR School on Wheels Museum. Vanastra is not to be forgotten, home of the former RAF Station Clinton – North America’s first radar training school.

FOR THE ADRENALINE SEEKER: For those wanting to take adventure to new heights, All-In-Skatepark in Zurich is happy to help – with their massive indoor skatepark, suitable for BMX bikes, skateboards and scooters! For those who like to go all in, Clinton has a few options – including the Clinton Raceway, the Gateway Casinos Clinton and Anger Management Destruction Therapy Clinic.

FOR THE OUTDOOR ENTHUSIAST: The Hullett Provincial Wildlife Area offers countless attractions, from hunting, to horseback riding, to canoeing and kayaking, to hiking and geocaching, to birding – while the Huron Fish & Game Club offers seasonal sporting clays and more!

FOR THE BEVERAGE ENTHUSIAST: Believe it or not, there are over half a dozen breweries, cideries and wineries, producing local beverages in central Huron alone! From Cornerfield Wine Co., to River Road Brewing & Hops, to 2nd Streetlight Estate Winery, to Bad Apple Brewing, to Bayfield Berry Farm, to Hessenland and Schatz Winery, and to Stone House Brewing Company.

FOR THE FOODIES: The heart of Huron County is home to some of the most mouth-watering food around – from delectable donuts from Bartliff’s Bakery & Restaurant, to Willy’s Burger Bar, to White Carnation Banquet Hall, to Masse Fruit & Vegetables, to Zehrs County Market, to Blyth Farm Cheese, to Jerry Rader’s Homestyle Catering & Market.

FOR THOSE WHO LOVE A GREAT COMMUNITY EVENT: REACH Huron, found in Clinton, regularly hosts international events, like dog agility events, the Canadian Barrel Racing Championships and more! Both Clinton and Zurich have annual fairs – Clinton’s taking place in June, and Zurich’s following one month later, in July. Both communities also host large-scale events, Zurich hosting the famous Zurich Bean Fest and Clinton the Clinton Fall Festival.