A weekend in Georgian Bay

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Gobble gobble!

Thanksgiving weekend was a blur of family and friends, meals upon meals. I baked six pies in three days, drank some ungodly amount of wine, and was reminded once more of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such wonderful people.


But what I really wanted to talk to you about was the weekend before last, when Alan and I took a little trip to Georgian Bay and the surrounding region. My family used to own a farm up there; we’d head up when the leaves started to change, taking long strolls through the Beaver Valley. Recently, the heartstrings started tugging, so I decided it was time for a visit to the area.


Only in Meaford could this be the informational booth!

We decided to stay in the town of Meaford — essentially, the capital of apple country — and booked ourselves a couple nights at the wonderful Bella Vista B&B. Our host, Irene, was as lovely as they come, and spoiled us with her wholesome breakfasts  while providing us with tips on what to see (and eat!) in the region. The room even came with a view of Georgian Bay itself! If you’re ever thinking of going up north for a weekend, I highly recommend her place.


View of the bay from Bella Vista

We drove up after dinner on Friday night. Alan was driving and I was in charge of tea/snacks for the road. I programmed our destination into the GPS, and — of course — waited until we’ve been on the highway for fifteen minutes before saying to Alan:

“You know what? This doesn’t seem right to me.”

Alan: “What?”

Me: “My family always took Highway 10 up, I’m sure of it.”

Alan: “But won’t these directions work anyway?”

Me: “I mean, maybe. But I’m pretty sure the 10 would be faster anyhow. Yeah, let’s do that.”

Alan: “Okay, sure, but it’s already dark and getting late. At least tell me this is a real highway and not some road without lights.”

Me: “Er… I don’t remember exactly. But I’m sure we wouldn’t have taken it up all these years if there were anything wrong with it.”

So, I re-programmed the GPS, except it then began giving us directions for highway ramps that were closed. So we drove around Toronto without even being able to get out of the city for another 30 minutes. Still, this was all fine . . . until we got to Highway 10.

So, turns out the 10 is totally one of those single-lane-in-each-direction highways. You know, the kind with no lights whatsoever. And a speed limit of 80km/h. And a thousand zillion animals with a deathwish. And just as I was playing with my hair and trying to avoid eye contact with Alan (his mood quite palpable at this point), a blanket of fog settled over the road.

Alan, quite calmly: “I am going to kill you.”

Me: “Ha! That’s if we make it out alive!”

…Not the best navigation job I’ve ever done.

In any case, we made it there safe and sound — and possibly downed a bottle of wine upon arrival.

Saturday, we went hiking to the Old Baldy (gotta love that regional nomenclature) lookout point on the Bruce Trail. The colours! I’m still swooning, just looking at the photos.



We had a fantastic lunch at Thornbury’s Grill & Greens Eatery, then hit up the brand new Beaver Valley Orchard and Cidery. The owners have retrofitted a century-old barn for their work, and they produce some wonderfully dry cider there — think champagne instead of Strongbow. Alan took the two photos below of the space:



We visited a winery after that, at which point Alan began foisting samples upon me in earnest. We eventually returned to the car, and began looking for someplace to pick up dinner (since we’d eaten lunch late, we figured most restaurants wouldn’t be open when we would eventually want to eat). In my new, slightly wobbly state, I not only managed to spot Grandma Lambe’s pie-focused shop, but I also insisted on posing for a photo-op there:


So. Attractive.

All that hiking had tired us out, so we were early to bed that night! Sunday looked like rain, so instead of going apple-picking, we picked up something like 30lbs of apples from one of the only certified organic growers in the region, Appletop Farm. And what did we use them for? Apple pie, of course, and an applesauce recipe that’s coming soon too!

Just a little side note, today happens to be One Tough Cookie’s first anniversary! This will be my 48th post, which is kind of mind-boggling. For everyone who’s been following these words (or for those who just skim for the photos), I just wanted to say what an honour it’s been to share these stories and recipes with you, and I look forward to the coming years!

Until next time,






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4 Responses to “A weekend in Georgian Bay”

  1. Nanny Joan October 26, 2013 at 9:42 PM #

    How happy I am to kmow you remember so much from our farm days and feel so nostalgic about them. We often had to drive through heavy fog, heavy snow, heavy rain (sometimes all three) to reach our destination but we drove slowly and carefully and there was never much traffic so we’re still here to tell the tale. The colours are spectacular and the varieties of apples are amazing. Thanks for your delicious apple and pumpkin pies which we enjoyed for Thanksgiving. Nanny

  2. Sky Pape October 16, 2013 at 11:31 AM #

    Congratulations! I’d say that anniversary calls for a celebratory cake. May I suggest ginger? Perhaps with a neatly piped, script “TA DA!” in icing across the top? Thanks for sharing these excellent recipes and all the fun along the way. We’re eager for the journey to continue!

  3. Elsa October 15, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

    Congratulations on the first anniversary of your blog! I’m certainly enjoying your thoughts and photos and recipes! Keep the cards and letters coming!

    • Alanna October 15, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

      Thanks Elsa! I love your comments, so please keep them coming too! 🙂