Sometimes it truly is the simplest things that can bring the greatest pleasure in life. Out of all the recipes that Chef Derek and myself worked on, it is this recipe for the Chip Butty that he was the most excited about. He had first eaten the sandwich in England where it is a staple menu item at fish & chip restaurants. In fact, this beloved sandwich even has a song written about it! (You can view the song on YouTube if you google “chip butty song.”) The recipe couldn’t be easier. Fresh cut french fries are heaped on a crusty bun and smothered in HP sauce. Click on the PDF file above to download or print the recipe. You may also be interested in the “Nacho Delight Potato Skins” recipe created in my kitchen with Chef Derek. Bon Appétit!
What are you doing for spring cleaning? Perhaps sorting out closets and cleaning out kitchen cupboards? Hopefully you won’t find as much dirt and muck as we do here when we are preparing our tractors for the farming season! It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it. And judging by the look on his face John seems to be enjoying himself. After he finishes hosing down the tractors he brings them into the shop. Here he works at changing the oil, the oil filter, the fuel filter, the air filter and then he greases the bearings. In other words, he is making sure the tractors are ready to perform at their full capacity when we need them the most. You can learn more about spring farm work by visiting “Mucking About In The Manure.”
I wanted to share some information about my Irish heritage to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. This photo, of the Gibney side of my family, was taken between 1914 and 1918 at 4557 Mount Albert Rd., Holt. From left to right, are Florence, Minnie, James III and Milton. Milton was my great grandfather and James III was my great great grandfather.
In about 1848, James I & Isabella Gibney collected up their entire family which included seven children, their spouses and the first of many grandchildren. They vacated Tyrone County Ireland, and crossed the Atlantic. Their new home was a settlement at Lot 21 Concession 7, East Gwillimbury, just two miles north of my current home.
According to the Canadian Census of 1851, James I and his son James II had 20 acres of crops under cultivation that year. Ten acres of that were wheat which produced a total of 200 bushels. Today, that same 10 acres would produce approximately 900 bushels. James III was one of their first grandchildren to be born in Canada. He was also the first to leave the farm at a very young age to train to become a blacksmith.
In a small town, you are not forgotten, if you have influenced one of your surviving peers. Out of the blue one day in the early 1980's, our neighbour Al Hopkins gave dad and I an old hewing axe. He said "I swiped that from the blacksmith when I was a kid. I was afraid to give it back. Jimmy had a quick Irish temper. He would get mad at Milt and raise his hammer over his head. Milt would start running and Jimmy would throw the hammer...in the opposite direction!"
That's one side of my Irish family history. They spelled it Gibney, but possibly pronounced it Gibbonney. Happy St. Patrick's Day! To learn more about the people who founded our farm you can click on the section in The Common-Tater called “The Faces Of Our Farm.”
What do I do with 3 bored farmers in March? I send them to potato school of course! Last week RJ, John and Curtis attended the 2018 Ontario Potato Conference & Trade Show in Guelph. The conference is an excellent chance to network with many professionals in the industry, learn about cutting edge technology and equipment, and prepare for new challenges that may face us in the upcoming year. The guys came back rejuvenated and full of ideas that we will plan forward to implementing at our farm. I sent them with strict instructions to take pictures for the website. When they returned, I discovered that their idea of pictures for the website was somewhat different than mine would have been. These photos taken by John highlight the drive to Guelph, one picture of the conference and a picture of the CanadaGap App brochure. I have left out the 7 pictures he took of Curtis buttering his bread at lunchtime…geez!! You can visit “Spud Smarts – About Growing Potatoes” to learn more about growing a potato crop.
Thompson Potato Farm
Farming is fascinating!