Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival

    Oh my goodness what a fantastically fun day my family had Sunday at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival!  I just had surgery to reconstruct my nose (see a few blogs in the future for more details) last Tuesday, and I was not sure how I would feel about going out in public with a bruised face and a cast on my nose.  I also did not know how I would physically feel.  Add to all of that Sunday, was Grace's 11th birthday.  I so desperately wanted to go to this wonderful festival, but there were so many things that might prevent us from going.  I had my fingers crossed that we could go.
    Sunday morning, I felt pretty good.  Grace had invited her best friend for a sleep-over, and they were both agreeable to come.   We loaded the car full, literally full of kids, and set off for the Crystal Palace in Picton, Ontario.  As we left, the clouds looked dark and ominous, and there were little droplets of rain hitting the windshield.  The closer we got to Picton, the nicer the weather became (even Mother Nature was co-operating).
    We were greeted by the lovely lady who invited me to come to the festival, Sennah.  Oh my goodness what a bright ray of sunshine she was.  We entered the gates and were transported to cheese lovers paradise.  Not just cheese lovers, food lovers paradise.  There were festive tents as far as the eye could see.  We decided to begin our journey at the kids section.  My guys LOVED the cow that they could milk.  It was so much fun for them.  When they had finished the people at the booth gave them an "I milked a cow" sticker.  To those of you not in the know, stickers are a child's currency.  These people may as well have handed them a five dollar bill.

    After milking the big cow, the kids set upon the petting area.  We got to pet a "water buffalo".  They look a lot like cows.  I reached my hand over to pet this big friendly beast, and discovered that it's fur was not soft like a cows.  It's fur was wiry.  I was really taken by surprise.  There were also baby water buffalo that the kids were quite taken by.  They patted calfs, sheep, and looked at a goat.  The big girls went and found out what milking cows ate, and what calves were fed.  They really found it interesting.

The BIG Cheese himself, Georgs Kolesnikovs.
He is the president of  "The Great Canadian Cheese Festival".

    I met a celebrity!!!!!!!!  He was really, really nice.  Kris Holden-Reid is one of the stars of "Lost Girl", I personally know him from "The Tudors".  I snapped his picture, and he stood up and asked if I would like a picture with him (part of me wonders if he was being nice, and part of me wonders if he was saving himself from the slightly scary uber fans that were chatting his ear off).  I just can't believe what a nice, nice person he was.  Kris was there making grilled cheese sandwiches and the money raised would go to help a student learn the cheese making arts.  You just don't expect movie stars to be that nice and humble.

    The organizers thought of everything, they even had paramedics 
standing by incase they were needed.

    We really enjoyed going from booth to booth sampling everything in sight.  Both Christopher and I noticed how very nice all of the vendors were.  I have never actually seen anything quite like it before.  No one was trying to push their wares, they loved what they did, and wanted to share with you.  It was a really neat experience.  To me if you are proud of your products then you generally have impeccably high quality products.  While Christopher and I were impatient for the people in front of us to just "shut up and move along",  the vendors were excited to talk to them, answer their questions. 

The girls from Jensen / Wilton Cheese.  They were super friendly and nice.
You may want to go back a few blogs and read about The Wilton Cheese Factory
Robert Henderson from Henderson Farms on Wolfe Island.
Bella Casara Water buffalo cheese

La Moutonniere yummy shortbreads from Warkworth

The Mad Mexican (see tomorrow's blog for more about them)

Casa- Dea Winery were our heros.  They gave the kids juice boxes.

With your admission you received 10 tasting tickets,
a cheese cooler bag and a lovely little wine glass.

Fromagerie Les Folies Bergeres are from Quebec, and make
the most beautiful brie I have ever in my life tasted!

    We will most definitely be back next year.  As we were leaving Rowan declared that "This was one of the best days ever!".  I have to agree with him.  Every person from the volunteers to the vendors was super friendly, super nice (if you read my blog on a regular basis, then you know how important this is to me).  I left feeling like that was time well spent, with a big stupid grin on my face.  There is something to be said for people who hold themselves to a high standard.  The vendors make high quality products, but reasonably priced.  It was a great day.  To you that missed it this year, too bad for you, you should mark it on your calendar for next year... I certainly will.
Sennah and her helpers

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