Port Dover dining on Ontario's south coast
Port Dover, one of several towns I visited while researching what's across Lake Erie from here, has a dining experience unlike any other. The Schneider family, who has run the Erie Beach Hotel for more than 60 years, has four restaurants there. None have changed much over the years. Perch and walleye, which the Canadians call pickerel, are the most popular entrees in all the restaurants. But in the Terrace Room, a wheeled salad cart attracts its share of attention. For the back, it looks like an aquarium but when your server wheels it tableside for you to help yourself you'll find food you may not have seen in years - or ever. I'd never seen either pickled pumpkin or horseradish salad and was at first reluctant to try them.
But they were really delicious and I got the recipes.
Read my story about the trip in Sunday Travel and pay your own visit if you can. It's only about 40 miles away and if you have a fast boat you can be there in about 3-1/2 hours. Or find it about 45 minutes drive from Niagara Falls. Make reservations, though, so you aren't disappointed. It's 519 583-2161.
Here are those recipes:
(Makes 5 to 6 pints pickles)
l5 to 6 pounds pumpkin, pared
1 pint white vinegar
3 pounds sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 Tablespoon cinnamon stick, broken
2 pieces crystalized ginger.
Cut pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Bring vinegar and sugar to boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Place cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a square of cheesecloth or bag. Add pumpkin and bring mixture back to a fast rolling boil. Boil over low heat exactly 25 minutes, stirring often. Remove spice bag. Place pumpkin in sterilized jars, pour vinegar syrup on top to completely cover and seal.
Dissolve one package lemon Jello in 1-1/2 cups of boiling water. Cool and when Jello starts to set stir in 1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped stiff, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 4 Tablespoons of drained horseradish (use juice only)
Blend thoroughly and chill.