Summer Fair Food with Moira Sanders and Lori Elstone
Sisterly Act (Hello! Canada)
Midway rides and sugar highs – that’s what many of us think of when we recall the summer fairs of childhood. But for sisters Moira Sanders and Lori Elstone, two food-focused professionals from southwestern Ontario, the community fair they attended year after year is a celebration of local food, history and family.
That’s why the two women wanted to capture the essence of the Harrow Fair, held each Labour Day weekend in the small community on Lake Erie’s north shore near Windsor. Boasting some of Canada’s most fertile farmland, Harrow plays host to one of the country’s oldest summer rituals, dating back to 1854 and attracting as many as 70,000 people each year. Attending the harvest festival has been a tradition in Moira and Lori’s family for six generations. Now that they both have children of their own, they’ve decided to capture that history in The Harrow Fair Cookbook.
“I’ve always loved the connection between agriculture and food,” says Lori, 35. She now lives in St. Catharines and is eager to give her own kids, Hugh, 3, and Erica, 1, an appreciation of local farming’s importance. “I know that seems obvious, but a lot of times these days it isn’t. Just going to the supermarket to get food, you kind of forget where it’s coming from.”
Growing up in croprich Harrow, that was a lesson Moira and Lori learned early. Moira, 37, says that she became hooked on cookbooks when she was in elementary school. Still, it took a false start in business marketing before she realized her true calling. “At my job, I would think, ‘You know what? I’d rather be cooking,’” says Moira with a laugh.
Following her heart, Moira headed to the culinary program at St. Clair College and went on to hold high-profile restaurant jobs in Van- couver and Toronto. She also ran the kitchen of a château-turned-cooking-school in the Limou- sin region of France. These days, she works from her home north of Toronto, where she writes a recipe blog and cares for her two kids, Gavin, 7, and Ellen, 5.
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