MARTY WILL BE ON BREAKFAST TV ON JULY 30TH!!!!!
I like to think of myself as a Muskoka Girl. For the few short weeks that I am here every summer, I start every day with a polar bear dip and try to end each the same. I lie in my hammock,read on the dock, ride in the boat, shop in the small towns, hunt for worms, fish, swat bugs, avoid mice, bears and raccoons, barbecue and roast marshmallows and hot dogs on the fire. I must be a Muskoka Girl.
of Marty’s World Famous Cafe, I was humbled in my Muskokaness. Discovering that Marty and his World Famous Buttertarts, Big Ass Pies and World Famous Bean Salad have been at 5 Manitoba Street for 12 years – his ice cream for 13 -and that I had never been there was a shot of Muskoka humiliation, which I quickly washed down with a Big Ass Brownie and the yummiest cup of Indian Chai I have ever had.
I made the trek from Whiteside Bay to this Muskoka landmark cafe
in order to meet Marty and review his new book ,MARTY’S WORLD FAMOUS COOKBOOK. The book itself is beautiful. Evocative photos of boathouses, Muskoka chairs, sunsets and loons drifting along quiet bays encased in mist interspersed with scrumptious, mouth-wateringly real pictures of Marty’s creations. The recipes are simple, with ingredients that are easy to obtain. I am afraid of pastry. I cannot make it, I cannot roll it, I do not actually like it very much when someone else makes it, I am more of a filling girl! But Marty assures me that his pastry, passed down by the Grey Nuns of Quebec, through his family, is fail safe and his manner is so calm and reassuring that I believe him and have promised to give it a try.
My favourite parts of his cookbook are the burgundy pages. Each of these contains words of wisdom , folk stories, personal essays or advice from Marty, not only on how to cook, but on how to be – "IN THE ZONE
– the place deep inside our soul that harbours our ability to achieve anything we put our mind to."
Marty asked me if I remembered those Sunday dinners my would make and my mind went immediately to how much work I put into a special family dinner. But, he had a different focus; one I’d never really thought of myself and one I will now work towards. Marty remembers how delicious his mom’s Sunday dinners were because of the care and mindfulness she put into preparing them. She had the day to work at it, enjoyed the process and could cook from "the zone." The meals weren’t rushed; it wasn’t a race home from the office, a quick grab and defrost from the freezer with some boil-in-the-bag veggi.es. Sunday meals are delicious because they are a labour of love.
I like to apply Marty’s theory to just about anything we cook at the cottage, especially if it is barbecued or made with bacon. This morning I made BLT’s with fresh cut bacon from the Cottage Butcher in Bala, Ontario grown tomatoes and Cosmo’s handmade 4 year old cheddar from the Bala Farmer’s Market and toasted scones from Don’s Bakery. I’ve made this meal a number of times when I’ve smuggled these same ingredients into Toronto, but somehow, food always tastes better up here. Now I know that it is because when I come to the lake and get away from city pressures, time constraints and endless demands, I am in my Muskoka zone.
Thanks to Marty and his World Famous Cookbook, I will be there a little more often with some magnificent recipes like Buttertart BBQ Rub, Candied BBQ Asparagus, The Ultimate Canadian Back Bacon Sandwich, Big Ass Quiche, Soul for the Chicken Soup and Marty’s World Famous Buttertarts.
CONTEST::::Is your mouth watering? Send in a story about a great food experience you and your family shared: a reunion, a birthday celebration, a holiday feast and win a copy of MARTY’S WORLD FAMOUS COOKBOOK for yourself.