Happy Holidays from the Craftsman! (this weekend is your last chance to fill up on some Craftsman Yumminess before spring)

Happy October! Wait. What? Oh right, it’s almost December. Golly the time has flown by. We can’t quite believe it, but our season is done.  Our annual winter closing is already here.

Untitled design-2But don’t worry – you still have time to come in and get one more fix of Craftsman Yumminess. Not much time, mind you, but there is still time. We’re open until 8pm tomorrow night, Sunday Nov 30. If you have time to pop by we’d love to see you, feed you, and and have the chance to wish you a wonderful winter!

The year has flown by, because, well, you know what they say – ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’ And we certainly had a fun year. There were so many highlights!

We welcomed some new members to our Craftsman Crew, revamped our dining room, were honoured with an awesome write up in Enroute (the official magazine of Air Canada), tried out some new recipes, made new friends and were reunited with treasured old friends, had a blast sponsoring and enjoying Summer Theatre and Music in the Park,  proudly accepted a designation of one of Hastings County’s Hot Spots, and were awarded a ‘local food hero’ award for our commitment to ‘real food’ and sustainability. Not to mention all the laughs, and hugs, and the yummy yummy love of our crew and guests. As we prepare for winter we feel very blessed.

People often ask us what we do in the winter. It’s not a quick and easy question to answer because we do SO MUCH while we’re closed. After a busy season we always take a bit of a rest and read some good books, but we’re used to being on the move, so we can’t slow down for very long before we start puttering. Jim carefully inspects all the old tools, bottles and nicknacks in his collection, cleans and rearranges them. We catch up on all the little maintenance jobs that we didn’t get to during the busy season. We research and test out new recipes. We get organized, plan and prepare for the next season. We go tobogganing with our grandkids, walk our dogs in the snow, curl up with a mug of hot chocolate. We absolutely love celebrating the holidays in Bancroft. In fact, we started our Christmas shopping yesterday, visiting several of the eclectic shops in Bancroft, and also checked out the Moonlight Madness event in Maynooth (the carolling was awesome!).

We love winter in North Hastings! And we hope you do too. Hopefully we’ll see you around at some of the events around the community this winter. But if you don’t run into us, please drop us a line, or send us a facebook message. Have a fabulous holiday season, and we’ll see you next spring!

Fill up on Summer Theatre in Bancroft’s Most Talented Town!

 

The Village Playhouse in Downtown Bancroft is the place to see awesome live performances.

The Village Playhouse in Downtown Bancroft is the place to see awesome live performances.

It’s that time of year again. The skies are blue, the blackflies are (mostly) gone, the sun is hot, and the days are long. Summer! Finally! And with summer comes awesome live theatre at Bancroft’s historic Village Playhouse. If you haven’t been to the Playhouse before, this is the time to check it out. This season, Bancroft Summer Theatre presents two shows. The first, running now until Saturday (July 19th), is Noises Off, by Michael Frayn, which The Guardian described as “the best kind of farce…It has all the frivolity, but without the vacuousness.”

We’re big theatre fans around here, which is part of the reason why we are proud to be long-time sponsors of summer theatre in Bancroft. In fact, we’ve been season sponsors for 19 years in a row! (You can see our display in the lobby of the theatre.) There’s nothing like getting wrapped up in a story, performed right in front of you, surrounded by the energy and enthusiasm of a live audience.

Stop by the Village Playhouse to see top notch live theatre, and check out our lobby display while you're there!

Stop by the Village Playhouse to see top notch live theatre, and check out our lobby display while you’re there!

We attended the opening performance of Noises Off a couple weeks ago, and laughed until our bellies hurt. If you’re in the mood for a fast paced comedy, we highly recommend it. Here’s what Bancroft Summer Theatre has to say about it:

The show must go on! In this award-winning comedy, a troupe of manic misfits unite to perform “Nothing On”, a classic farce stuffed with slamming doors, mistaken identities and several plates of sardines. When the backstage antics begin to spill over on stage it becomes clear why Noises Off has been called one of the funniest plays ever written. Join us for

We love Bancroft's summer theatre, which is part of the reason we've been sponsors for 19 consecutive years!

We love Bancroft’s summer theatre, which is part of the reason we’ve been sponsors for 19 consecutive years!

a hilarious evening of tangled plots and even more tangled love lives; of forgotten lines and missing props and all that is fun about live theatre; an evening that proves there truly are no people quite like show people!”

There are just 5 more performances of this upbeat comedy, but don’t worry, you can still get tickets for just $22 by stopping by the Playhouse’s box office, or calling 1-877-322-4682.

You can even make a night of it and come by The Craftsman for dinner before the show, which starts at 8pm.

We’re already getting excited to see the next performance on Bancroft Summer Theatre’s roster: Harvest, by Ken Cameron. We haven’t seen this one before, but we’re pretty keen, as the Globe and Mail says it’s “told with humour and imagination…funny and poignant at the same time”

Here’s how Bancroft Summer Theatre describes it:

Don't miss this great line up of live performances presented by Bancroft Summer Theatre!

Don’t miss this great line up of live performances presented by Bancroft Summer Theatre!

The season’s second show will keep the laughs flowing as a whole cast of small town characters are brought to life by two performers in Ken Cameron’s heart-warming comedy. Inspired by the true story of what happened to the playwright’s lovingly quarrelsome parents when they decided to retire, rent out the family farm and move to the city, Harvest is a funny yet poignant story that ultimately brings the couple closer together and takes a sobering look at the state of independent farming in Canada. Will Allan and Charlotte be able to reap a golden retirement? You’re about to find out…”

Harvest runs Tues-Sat nights, July 29 – Aug 2, 5 – 9, 12 – 16 at 8 p.m., with a special matinee on Sat. Aug 9 at 2 p.m. You can keep up with Bancroft Summer Theatre by liking them on Facebook. Click here to visit their Facebook page.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy the beautiful historic Village Playhouse, and the amazing talent that one can only find in Ontario’s Most Talented Town. See you at the Playhouse!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EnRoute to a whole wide world of deliciousness!

enroute cover

We’re featured in this month’s issue of Air Canada’s magazine ‘enRoute!’

Guess what!? We’re feeling pretty darn special this week. We’ve been featured in the July issue of EnRoute, the official magazine of Air Canada! That’s right, the next time you’re thirty-five thousand feet up in the air you can read all about little ol’ us. Talk about exposure; the magazine has a readership of over a million people per month. Yup. You read that right: a million! Wowsa! And writer Dan Rubinstein had so many nice things to say about us that we’re collectively blushing a sweet shade of pink (no, it’s not a sunburn…though we have been immensely enjoying this awesome North Hastings summer).

How could you not have an amazing summer with a location like this. North Hastings is AWESOME!

How could you not have an amazing summer with a location like this. North Hastings is AWESOME!

Dan, accompanied by his wife and kids, came for dinner a couple Wednesdays ago when Kirk Bates was here playing some great music for us all. Dan and his family were tired out and hungry after a long and fun filled day checking out recreational geology in the area. We’re so glad he came by. It was great to meet him, and we’re very touched by his lovely comments. Here’s what he said about us:

“Perched on a hill above the highway, The Craftsman looks like a little yellow house. Inside, with a ppickeral dinnerInterior 2late of lightly breaded Lake Erie perch, a bottle of Ontario’s Church Key pale ale and a guy on a guitar in the corner covering Blue Rodeo and Gordon Lightfoot songs, the Craftsman feels like home. Sit in a bright red booth by the windows or on the enclosed porch where miners used to bring their ladies to dance in the 1950s (back when the diner was called the Little Brown Jug). On the special board, look for burgers made with organic, grass-fed beef from up the road. Order the perfectly grilled Manitoulin Island pickerel, served with creamy coleslaw made from scratch – like everything else on the menu.”

You can read Dan’s whole article here: http://enroute.aircanada.com/en/articles/getaway-to-bancroft

It was really neat to meet Dan, especially because we’re big readers around here and last fall we enjoyed reading his piece ‘the walking cure’ in the Walrus (you can read it here). In addition to en Route and the Walrus, Dan’s articles have appeared in publications such as The Economist, the Globe and Mail, Cottage Life, Canadian Business, explore, and Canadian Geographic. You can find out more about Dan here.

Ellenberger burgerEllenberger boardWe’re so glad that Bancroft has been featured in EnRoute, because come on, let’s face it, this part of the world is awesome, and people everywhere deserve to know it!

We’re also positively tickled that Dan and his family enjoyed their meals and found us worthy of writing about…and sharing with the world! And it just so happens that the ‘organic grass-fed beef burger from up the road’ that Dan mentioned in his article is on special this week. That’s right, our Burger of the Week is the Ellenberger Burger: six delicious ounces of organic grass-fed beef from the Ellenberger Organic Farm (you can read more about the farm here), topped with aged white cheddar, and all your favourite fixings, and served with fries of course. It’s on special all week, so come on by.

Kirk Bates entertaining us all with his groovy tunes!

Kirk Bates entertaining us all with his groovy tunes!

And if you come and get seated next to a table of Turkish diplomats or French foodies, you can thank Dan and Air Canada for endorsing us to the whole wide world!

Mr. Thomson’s Dining Room

 

IMG_6633There’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but has just never quite made it to the top of our to do list. Until now.

So many of you know that we re-opened for the season a little later than usual this year, and some of you even know why: Jim slipped on the ice one sunny winter day, fell, and cracked a couple ribs. Thanks to everyone who called and sent messages and healing vibes. Broken ribs are pretty crumby, and take a while to heal. But the extra time off (specifically time off that Jim had to sit and relax and couldn’t do his usual puttering and tinkering around) allowed for some laid back afternoons daydreaming about long coveted projects that we’d like to get off the ground. Well, the daydreaming turned into some planning. And the planning turned into making some phone calls, setting some meetings, having some brainstorming sessions, and finally, after wanting to do it for so long we found the time to spruce up our dining room!

IMG_6679Mr. Thomson’s dining room has always had a nice relaxing vibe, with views of our gardens. We always thought, though, that it would be lovely to add some nice lamps and curtains, and a bit of new art. So we met up with the immensely creative Dianne Eastman, of ‘Dianne Eastman ReDesign.’

Such fun we had! We told Dianne about all our ideas – many of which had gone through several incarnations through the years – and she listened very carefully, got a feel for our style, made some awesome suggestions, and helped us make our dream a reality. A few meetings later, we had new window treatments and area rugs picked out, along with some new art pieces, lamps, and some comfy furniture around the fireplace.

The results? We couldn’t be happier! Mr. Thomson’s dining room still has the same vibe it always has…just better! It’s still country casual and relaxing, with some very comfortable upgrades. It’s the perfect room for a quiet cup of tea, some live music, a private reunion, or a romantic dinner. We will certainly keep you posted about any events coming up in the new and improved dining room here at Paudash’s Original Country Diner. In the meantime, take a look at the photos of the improvements and let us know what you think.

IMG_6680 IMG_6674 IMG_6667 IMG_6666 IMG_6658 IMG_6647 IMG_6646

 

The Buzz on our new Breakfast Menu

 

Even the bees stop by The Craftsman for a snack!

Even the bees stop by The Craftsman for a snack!

Hi there! We missed you! So, it’s been a few weeks now since we re-opened for the season, and we’ve been busy getting back into our routines at the Craftsman: training a few new crew-members, coming up with new burgers to feature on the ‘burger of the week board,’ moving a few tables and art around… We’ve been busy as bees! Speaking of bees, people keep asking us about our new breakfast menu, and why there’s a photo of a bee on the front of it.

The menu items haven’t really changed much. There are a couple new things (like the breakfast bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onion, and capers…yum!), but the main changes are just visual. We decided to expand our one-page breakfast menu to a two-pager so the text can be a bit bigger and we have a bit more room to describe each item. And of course, we added the image of a sunflower (we love sunflowers), and a bee (we love bees, even more).

Here's our new breakfast menu; you can click on it to see it enlarged.

Here’s our new breakfast menu; you can click on it to see it enlarged.

If you’ve ever taken the time to wander around outside the Craftsman, you’ve surely noticed our gardens. We grow flowers in the front gardens, like lupins, poppies, irises, violets, tall phlox, and lilies. They are all bee-friendly flowers, because we are…well…bee friendly ourselves.

14417626486_0d41e07202_z14437389701_3b4e82967c_z14254143890_b17d0c4b4e_z14254146258_b1978ac190_zYou know how we always say we make real food for real people? Well, that’s thanks in part to the bees. The bees are a small but mighty global workforce that supports all life on the planet by pollinating the fruits and vegetables that we all rely on. Plus, you know, they make honey which is AWESOME! (By the way, honey bees don’t typically sting… hornets and wasps are responsible for that…) We are big on sustainability, which is why we do things like recycle and compost, only feature sustainably resourced fish, bring in as much local inventory as we can, and maintain gardens that feed the bees.

If you’re not aware of the importance of bees, and the struggles they face, spend a few minutes on google getting the scoop. You can also check out an article (written by our daughter; **proud smile**) from last summer’s issue of Country Roads Magazine. Click here to read ‘Bee Fever,’ by our daughter, Michelle.

We are so thankful that the bee populations in North Hastings are strong and plentiful, and we are dedicated to supporting them as much as we can to keep it that way. So yes, our new breakfast menu features a picture of one of our fuzzy little friends, and our gardens (mostly organic and heritage/heirloom) feature all kinds of yummy nectar for our little pollinator buddies. So if you come by the Craftsman and see a little bee, busy as can be, buzzing around the flowers, give him a smile.

Bancroft Summer Theatre’s ‘Too Many Cooks’ is too funny to miss!

Oh my goodness did we ever laugh last night! We laughed until our bellies hurt. We laughed until our eyes watered.

We went to see ‘Too Many Cooks’ at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft, put on by Bancroft Summer Theatre and Blackfly theatre, and had a blast! The show was fab-u-lous! So much so, that we’re thinking of seeing it again. It is running for two more weeks after all (if you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, don’t worry, you’ve got until closing night on July 20).

too many cooks

Photo courtesy of Bancroft Summer Theatre / Blackfly Theatre

The story takes place in 1930’s Niagara Falls, Canada, where the rum-running business is at its peak. In the aftermath of the Crash, Irving Bubbalowe and his daughter, Honey, have risked everything they have to open a new gourmet restaurant. When their star – the renowned singing chef François LaPlouffe – fails to arrive and Chicago gangsters appear on the scene their grand opening is suddenly placed in jeopardy.

The script is hilarious (we won’t say any more about it because we don’t want to spoil it), and the acting and direction are superb as always. The sets, painted by local artist fav Arne Roosman, are great too.

After this morning’s breakfast rush, we enjoyed a hot cup of fair trade coffee, recounted our favourite scenes from the show, and then tried to remember just how long we’ve been sponsors of summer theatre in Bancroft. We couldn’t remember, but it’s been a long long time, and in that time we’ve seen some amazing performances! We’re looking forward to seeing “Stepping Out,” running later this summer, from July 30 to Aug 17, and we look forward to many many more summers of awesome performances at the Village Playhouse in Bancroft!

Check out Bancroft Summer Theatre’s facebook page here  for all the details and updates – you’ll be glad you did!

HAPPY SPRING!

The Craftsman is open, so it must be spring (although that white stuff looks suspiciously like snow...)

The Craftsman is open, so it must be spring (although that white stuff looks suspiciously like snow…)

Spring is here!

Okay, it might not look or feel like spring right this second. Mother nature has been teasing us a little with a stretch of warm days, followed by a big dump of snow. But that’s what spring looks like in Paudash, and it’s those alternating warm and cold temperatures that make the sap run. Mmm…sap… maple syrup…pancakes…sausage…coffee…we’re getting hungry just thinking about it.

So we might not be seeing robins or tulips just yet – but you know what? There is at least one sure sign that spring is here…

Are you ready?

Here it comes.  (drumroll please…)

We’re open!! Yay!

We’ve missed you! We enjoyed our break, caught up on all our yearly winter maintenance jobs, had a blast at events in the community and cherished relaxing nights and home, but now we’re itching to get back in the swing of things and do what we do best – feed you delicious wholesome food!  We love our guests, and we’re excited about the new season ahead.

So drop by – the coffee is hot – and tell us what you did this winter. We can’t wait to see you!