The perfect pairing

Girl at food bothTwo of my favourite words in the English language are free and food. Put them together and I’m in heaven.

This year, we went to the 150th Royal Winter Agricultural Fair to watch Grace, who was selected by her 4H club show her goat Cloud. She did well, placing tenth out of 19 competitors.

Watching the kids from her 4H club do well and seeing all the animals and agricultural exhibits was great, but the absolute best part of the Royal was the food and free samples.

There are two mottos the Swinton family lives by. One is never turn down a free meal. The other is you can call me anything, just don’t call me late for dinner.

Clare and I scoped out our plan of attack early in the day after grilling two regular Royal grazers at the coffee line-up. The morning run was a choice between homemade cinnamon buns or apple dumplings smothered with caramel sauce and ice cream. Mid-day, it was a toss up between the perogies, back bacon on a bun, poutine or rosti, scrumptious potato and onion pancakes with cheese and sour cream. Our afternoon repast consisted of fresh caramel corn, ice cream and fudge.

And the free samplings, oh the samplings. Smoked sausage and pepperoni. Cheese from the Ontario Cheese producers association. Granola and yogurt. Creamy chocolate fudge.

It was a free food for all.

This week’s #HappyAct is to see what free food you can score. The Gourmet Food and Wine Expo is on at the Metro Convention Centre this weekend. Some restaurants or eateries will offer freebies on your birthday. For instance, the Marble Slab Creamery offers a free ice cream to anyone on their birthday. Panera Bread, Cinnabon and Booster Juice will also give you a free pastry or juice on your birthday if you sign up for their rewards club.

If all else fails, go to Costco!

8 things to do on the May two-four to recharge your batteries

pig roast
Make a day trip to The Day of the Pig in Parham–the hoppin’ place to be on Sunday

The May two-four. The first official long weekend of summer. Since our family rarely goes away in the winter months, I find the Victoria Day weekend a lifesaver. It’s the first real chance after a long winter with no vacation to recharge our batteries. And I don’t know about you, but my batteries were running dangerously low before this weekend.

Whether you’re camping, cottaging or just enjoying time at home, my happy act this weekend is for you to enjoy the weekend to the fullest.

Here are eight things you can do to recharge your batteries on the May two-four

  1. Drink alcohol. Alcohol is known to be a great stress reliever. My favourite bevies of choice on the long weekend are a cooler on the dock, beer—any beer, any time, or a nice glass of red wine before dinner with appetizers on the back deck
  2. Take a cat nap in a lawn chair
  3. Plant some flowers
  4. Sleep in every day. Don’t make any plans before 10 a.m.
  5. Get out on the water—go for a kayak, fish or take a Thousand Islands cruise and enjoy the sun shimmering on the water
  6. The best part about long weekends is they give you a bonus day. Use it to the fullest by planning a special outing. If you’re in the Kingston area, why not head up to Seed to Sausage and The Day of the Pig in Central Frontenac today—an old fashioned pig roast with live music and artisanal cheese and beer makers from across Eastern Ontario to tantalize your taste buds.
  7. Watch some fireworks
  8. Do nothing at all. Sit. Relax. Watch the world go by. Just enjoy being.

This week’s #HappyAct is to enjoy this first glorious long weekend of the summer to the fullest. Have a great long weekend everyone.