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Hit Refresh This Easter With These Locally Sourced Ideas

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Easter is our first breath of spring and this year it feels long overdue. It’s the second time around that annual Easter Egg Hunts have been canceled or held virtually due to COVID-19. No matter, there are lots of creative ways to refresh your traditions and support local businesses.

Create a locally sourced Easter Basket

 Black Moon Curios in Tweed sell vintage ceramics, pottery, and glass. They also sell Easter baskets in vintage containers and other Easter themed items.

Easter baskets on display
Easter packages available for purchase at Black Moon Curios in Tweed, ON (photo via Facebook).

Or you can make your own. Fill your basket or pottery find with Easter eggs and chocolates from Stirling General Mercantile, in Stirling, or Bancroft General Mercantile in Bancroft. Or visit a local bulk food store for candy and other baking items. Oats and Honey in Madoc is the only bulk food store between Belleville and Bancroft. In Bancroft, Alice’s Pantry stocks a wide variety of bulk foods (and they offer in house catering for small groups).

Make it an ‘Easter to Go’ + support local restaurants

Even if you’re celebrating Easter Sunday differently in 2021, you don’t have to give up enjoying a special brunch or dinner. Now that many restaurants are open for limited in-house seating and take-out, why not make Easter a ‘catered’ affair? Serve a festive spread of entrees, sides and desserts without spending all day in the kitchen.

Take-out and curbside pickup from locally owned establishments just make good sense. Check out their menus below and call ahead well in advance to order. Pick up times and availability dates tend to vary, so check if the restaurant is operating on a holiday schedule (many are closed Easter Monday).

Alternatively, if you’re in the mood to eat in a restaurant on Easter Sunday, be sure to make a reservation early given limited in-house seating due to COVID-19 protocols.

A dinner display featuring ham, green beans, buns, cake and mashed potatoes.

Here’s a list of a few Hastings County restaurants that will be open for business this Easter:

Bancroft

For the Halibut isn’t just about halibut. They also offer pickerel, haddock, and cod entrees, as well as chowders – it’s perfect Good Friday fare for the fish lover.  Bancroft Brew Pub offers an eat-in & take-out menu that focuses on traditional pub food. You can also shop their online site for a variety of handcrafted beers.  The Granite is making a Prime Rib special for Easter Sunday –  eat in or it’s available for take-out.  Eagle’s Nest Restaurant focuses on fresh food for the whole family. They’re planning a Roast Turkey dinner, beginning on Easter Friday, which includes pumpkin pie.

Coe Hill

The Barn Chefs isn’t an eat-in restaurant, but they make amazing fresh bread, charcuterie, preserves, pasta, cakes, and chocolates – perfect additions to any meal. The Hideaway Primitive Grill offers catering to go as well with their Chef Services and small Food Catering Events.

Deseronto

Dock Side Tavern focuses on Thursday night wings and will offer a full menu over the long weekend.  The O’Connor House Tea Room is a delightful place to eat in, but they also offer take-home Afternoon Tea & scones, or a variety of soups and sandwiches.

Madoc

Madoc Firehall has an over 5o item menu with options for every taste.  Madoc Dairy Restaurant specializes in burgers and fries – their wedge fries are renowned, and their fried chicken is finger-lickin’ good.  Hidden Goldmine Bakery isn’t just about butter tarts. Their paninis, frittatas, and soups are all available for pick-up.  Check out the menu at Sunny Side Up – they’re not just about eggs. In fact, their wide range of menu items will delight you.

Marmora

The IRON Grille is a great choice for locally sourcing brunch or dinner.  Theresa’s Family Restaurant is planning an Easter Ham & Scalloped Potato dinner, complete with a dinner roll, veggies, and desert for a mere $12.95 – sounds delicious!  Iron Rooster Rotisserie and Grill, located between Madoc and Marmora, isn’t planning any Easter specials, but then again, their food is always special.

Maynooth

Sun Run Cafe and Bakery offer unique soup and sandwich specials, and their desserts are amazing.  Memories Bakery and Tea Room isn’t just about lunch-time cookies and tea – you can order “Pizza by Reservation”.

Tweed

Sharon, one of the owners of The Gateway Restaurant, says they will be sticking with their Prime Rib Sunday special, as well as their regular menu items this long weekend.  Everyone loves Chinese food, making ordering from the  House of Chop Suey an excellent way to shake up your Easter traditions.  Finn’s Pub & Patio (formerly Oakley’s) specializes in Thursday night wings, as well as other entrees such as cabbage rolls. You can eat in or take out.

Stirling

Order dinner for any number of people at Savoury House Chinese Cuisine or mix it up with a variety of entrees and egg rolls.  Check out the menu at The Black Dog Family Restaurant & Lounge for a complete Easter feast.

DIY Easter Dinner

That’s right. Do it yourself. You can locally source many items for your table this Easter. Pre-order turkey, ham, lamb, pork, or chicken from local meat shops or abattoirs. Palmateer’s Meats, near Tweed, and The County Butcher Shop in Foxboro have a wide range of meat and poultry products. Other local meat shops include Hastings Meat Market, Stirling, Red Steer Butcher in L’Amable, York River Meats & Whole Foods in Bancroft, and One Stop Butcher Shop in Madoc. Enright Cattle Co. near Tweed sell beef products.

Try something completely new – water buffalo from Ontario Water Buffalo Co. in Stirling or a goose from Plainfield Heritage Farm will make memories.

Local and artisan cheeses are a great addition to any meal.  Maple Dale Cheese on Highway 37or Ivanhoe Cheese in Ivanhoe have a wide variety of cheeses in various flavours, ages, and types. Or try their chewy curds, also available in flavours such as garlic or dill.

Craving something sweet?  Hidden Goldmine Bakery in Madoc has an impressive selection of baked goods for your Easter feast. Or support Stirling’s Paradise Tarts – the butter tarts are amazing. Pre-ordering is recommended.

Create a splash – visually

Why wait for crocus, daffodils, hyacinth and tulips to pop up in your perennial bed? Refresh your home with fresh cut flowers from local flower shops. They add SO much joy to the table and they are true harbingers of spring. ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’ this Easter and support local florists – call ahead to order.

A vase of pink and purple tulips on top of a wooden floor.
Tulips from Kelly’s Flowers in Madoc, ON (photo via Facebook)

These local village florists have great selections of lilies, hydrangea, tulips and more: in Bancroft, visit Posies and Kelusky’s Local Florist; in Deseronto check out Blossoms Florist & Boutique; in Madoc, see what’s fresh at Kellys’ Flowers & Gifts; in Stirling, visit Blooms of Stirling; and in Tweed, Tweed Florist & Gift Shop has you covered.

Most flower shops also deliver locally. Consider sending a bouquet to a neighbour or friend, or just have some fresh flowers delivered to your home. Pretend surprise. And remember, flowers bring hope and joy. Simple.

Hit refresh and get outside

Now that we’re on the other side of winter, Easter weekend is a great time to take a hike on a local trail, visit a maple sugar bush, or host a socially distanced egg hunt.

An Easter bunny ceramic figurine.
Black Moon Curios in Tweed has a lovely selection of vintage bunnies like the one above (photo via Facebook).

Many gift shops offer Easter themed items. Check out Tinhouse Woodworking and espresso bar in Coe Hill, The Old Tin Shed in Bancroft, Madawaska Art Shop in ‘downtown’ Maynooth, The Unconventional Moose on Highway 7 between Madoc and Actinolite, Mackenzie Mills Emporium in Madoc, The Studio in Stirling, Possibilities Inc. and Boutique Inspiration in Marmora, and The Old Cheese Factory in Tweed, to name a few. These stores are also fantastic places to explore over Easter weekend.

So, get hopping, support local businesses, and make this Easter a splash!

MORE REASONS TO EXPLORE HASTINGS:

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