Port Dover, Ontario

One of Ontario’s best kept secrets... beautiful lakeside Port Dover.

About an hour’s drive from Hamilton, two from Toronto and 45 minutes from Brantford, Port Dover offers a remarkable array of festivals, beautiful scenery and unique experiences. From surprisingly affordable family fun in the sun to sophisticated dining and acclaimed professional live theatre. Port Dover’s warmth, charm and unique history will excite your imagination... and capture your heart. One of a kind shops and boutiques. Heritage hotels and B&B’s. Sandy beaches and a romantic pier.? Fancy yachts and fishing tugs. Historical sites and world famous perch. You’ll leave brimming with great new memories. And find a dozen reasons to come back.

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Port Dover. Surprising. Delightful. Affordable. And closer than you think.

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Port Dover beach ontario's south coast

The Time I Planted Myself In My Vegetable Garden

As an avid urban gardener, I am happiest when I see that my diligent labour produces an abundance of vegetables which helps to enrich my summer and fall meal planning. Each year I plant a few rows of sweet peas, beets, spinach, sweet peppers, Spanish onions, eggplant and tomatoes in a large raised bed garden below my deck in the backyard. To me nothing tastes better than a tomato picked fresh off the vine or sweet, tender peas eaten right out of their pods.

Rising adjacent to my vegetable garden last year was a giagantic sunflower that was over 6’ in height. Its magnificent yellow bloom was the size of a dinner plate. At this particular time I wanted to photograph it in all its glory before its colour faded or the wind knocked it over. As I stood nearby on the wooden deck and looked through the camera’s lens, I saw that the sunflower’s giant bloom was not quite framed for the shot I wanted. Still looking through the lens, I backed up slowly to get a better snapshot.

This is when the unexpected happened.

Here I was now planted in my vegetable garden. I spent the next few minutes staring at the sky reflecting on how wonderful life really is, and realizing that nature will look after us if we look after it.

Around the Garden Vegetable Soup

Growing up on a vegetable farm, my mother often made this family-favourite soup. After working in the fields all day, she would wander up and down the rows of vegetables and harvest whichever vegetables were ready to use for her homemade soup. It was lke she had her very own produce aisle at the grocery store, but no check-out was needed.

I hope you enjoy the bounty of the season with this tasty dish.
Ingredients

  • 2 peeled and diced potatoes
  • 2 peeled and diced carrots
  • A handful of shelled sweet peas
  • A handful of sliced green beans
  • 6 cauliflower florets
  • 1 chopped leek, white stalk only
  • 1 can corned beef
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Splash of white vinegar
Boil the vegetables in a large pot of water. When they start to get tender, break up and add the corned beef. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. When slightly browned, add this mixture to the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Before serving, add a splash of white vinegar to brighten up the soup’s flavour. Serves 6

Irene Heltner is a gardener, floral designer and traveller. She always tries to see the goodness in life, even during its most difficult moments. She believes that nothing is better than being outdoors and enjoying what nature provides.