Blogger and contributor Lasha Laskowsky-Reed headed east to Hampton and found autumnal paradise, plus her latest must-try Durham Region dish:
I love Fall. Like, I really LOVE IT. I love almost everything about it – Thanksgiving dinner, Halloween candy, Spiced Pumpkin coffee creamer and the fact that it’s usually cold enough to wear a coat that covers up the five to ten pounds that I normally gain from eating all of that garbage.
Just east of Oshawa is a glorious autumn wonderland called Knox Pumpkin Farm. They have everything you need to quench your pumpkin-spice-loving thirst. If it’s an actual pumpkin or two that you’re looking for, you can jump on the tractor-pulled wagon that takes you out to the pumpkin patch so you can pick your own.
They have face-painting, a big playground, pony rides, a big barn filled with animals to pet and everywhere you go, these delightful little fluffy chickens are underfoot.
If you’re into corn-mazes, they have one! I am NOT into corn mazes. I’m actually afraid of corn and corn mazes. I grew up in the 80’s and even though National Home Video on Simcoe Street North had lots of VHS movies to choose from, my evil brother insisted on renting Children of the Corn every single weekend. And then when I’d go across the street to visit my friends Lorin and Joel Swartz, they’d usually be watching it, too. All I wanted to do was watch Porky’s 2. That scene when the ghoul got drunk was my favourite. Anyway, I’ve been afraid of corn ever since. I can’t really even eat it, either. I guess there’s ONE thing about Fall that I don’t like. Corn mazes.
But as usual, I digress. As much as I love perusing the pumpkin patch with my family and watching my gorgeous little son frolic on the bales of hay, my favourite thing to do is ditch the kid and his father and make my way up the path to the big barn where they sell the food.
This is where they keep the WORLD’S BEST CHILI. It’s true. I wait for it all year long. I have a whole routine. I leave my husband and son at the playground (I usually say I have to use the bathroom), and then I buy TWO bowls of chili. I’ll eat one really, really fast behind the barn so nobody can see, and then I take the other one back to the playground and share it with my husband. I secretly think he does the same thing with their freshly BBQed sausage on a bun, but I don’t have proof.
But as I eagerly anticipated that first forbidden bowl of solid gold, I was faced with a dilemma. Directly beside the chili at the snack bar was a sign that said, “Pumpkin Curry, $5”.
I thought for maybe a second about changing my mind and ordering the curry, but I couldn’t shake the image of ground beef slow-dancing with celery and onions. I was just about to order my chili, when the friendly young lady behind the counter said, “Would you like to try our Pumpkin Curry?” WOULD I????? Obvi.
She gave me a little plastic spoon and I scooped a little bit into my mouth. Firstly, I have to comment on how it looked. It was gorgeous. The mushy pumpkin popped with beautiful orange colour which contrasted with the redness of the tomatoes and the yellow of the chick peas. It looked like a drive through the Catskills at the peak of Fall. I know this because we spent every single Thanksgiving in Hunter, New York at my old Ukrainian Aunt’s farm which I always pictured the “old country” looking like. It’s where we learned to smoke! And play Euchre.
AND THEN THE TASTE!!! It tasted like everything I love about Fall wrapped into one environmentally unfriendly Styrofoam bowl! It was glorious! The mild spice complimented the pumpkin and chick peas.
I ate two bowls. I’m hooked. I totally forgot about the chili.
Later in the day, my husband got a sausage on a bun (which might or might not be his second of the day), which he let me have two bites of. Super fresh and delicious.
I left Knox’ Farm feeling as though I had a new secret. Then I had to come home and write this review because I have such a big mouth and I can’t keep secrets. YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO BUY THE PUMPKIN CURRY. YOU MUST TRY IT. The only suggestion that I have is that they should sell bigger portions to take out, because I could have eaten it all day.
If you’re looking for Fall fun for the whole family, visit Knox’s Pumpkin Farm in Hampton. It’s open until Halloween!!
Be careful in the corn maze.
About the Author
Lasha Laskowsky-Reed (‘Shwa Girl), was born and raised in Oshawa. She is a former College Professor, Television Producer and Lead Singer of a punk rock band. Lasha is currently working at being a good housewife and mother as well as finishing her first crime novel, Hammered Heart. Find her online at http://shwagirl.blogspot.ca/.