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The Power and Flavour of Local

National Mac and Cheese Day

So it turns out there’s a day celebrating almost every conceivable thing you can imagine. My friend and social media guru Susan pointed out to me that July 14th is National Mac and Cheese Day and that it might be fun to make some mac and cheese and photograph it for Facebook or Instagram. Well, I love to cook, have access to amazing, fresh local ingredients here on Prince Edward Island (PEI) and, of course, I own a pottery studio which just happen to have access to beautiful dishes for plating. Susan lives in Nova Scotia and because of COVID-related travel restrictions we haven’t seen each other in many months. But, as of July 3rd, we are able to travel more freely across Atlantic Canada and we planned for her to come to PEI on National Mac and Cheese Day.

Canada’s Food Island

Prince Edward Island is the smallest province in Canada. The Island has a total land area of 1.4 million acres. Farms represent about 42.5% of total land area (594,324 acres). We are also world famous for our fishing industry, including: lobster, oysters and mussels. We are famous for our genuine people that work together to harvest and innovate premium food products.

PEI created “Canada’s Food Island” as overall brand which acts as an identifying system for people to easily recognize PEI local food products. Canada’s Food Island connects PEI growers, producers, processors, chefs, restaurants, food tourism operators and other culinary industry stakeholders through a single, united voice.

Living on Canada’s Food Island is amazing for people who love to cook and eat. I love to cook and, even more, I love to cook for friends and family. For me, happiness is a table full of people. It makes sense, then, that one of the things I love most about living on PEI is access to amazing food.

Local Ingredients

We are fortunate to have Amalgamated Dairies Ltd., a local co-operative of dairy farmers serving the Island for the last 65 years. ADL processes fresh milk from PEI farms to produce premium dairy products including milk, cheese, cream, butter and ice cream. When we were making mac and cheese, we went for their 3-year aged cheddar and the 3.25% homogenized milk. Simply delicious. They make award-winning cheeses that are definitely worth checking out!

At the ADL Store (safely) buying ingredients for the lobster mac and cheese (and taking advantage of the special on their amazing ice cream).

We purchased the lobster from Arsenault’s Fish Mart here in Summerside. Established in 1993 Arsenault’s sells both retail and wholesale and is known as a provider of top-quality seafood.

For the wine, we selected Tidal Bay by Benjamin Bridge. According to the vintner, Tidal Bay is a “vibrant and refreshing white wine compatible with the coastal terroir along the Bay of Fundy – a vast expanse of seawater that is home to the highest tides in the world.” Tidal Bay is a blend of l’Acadie, Riesling and Ortega varietals. We agree that it pairs beautifully with seafood and it is lovely to drink on its own while you’re making the seafood!

Mac and Cheese Recipe

It made sense that if we were going to use local ingredients we should turn to one of our best known local chefs for a recipe. Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s best-known chefs, is a passionate advocate for simple, sustainable home cooking and an inspiration for families creating their own healthy food lifestyle. He’s the host of Chef Michael’s KitchenChef at Home and Chef Abroad seen on Food Network Canada and in more than 100 other countries. He’s a judge on Chopped Canada and traveled the world for his innovative web series, Lentil Hunter.

You can find the full recipe on the Chef’s website.

The only addition I made to the recipe was to blend the lobster fish roe with the milk. The result was a beautiful, pink lobster milk that added another layer of lobster flavour to the dish.

Artfully presented food really does taste better

The Escoffier School of Culinary Art references an Oxford University study that showed artfully presented food really does taste better. Techniques and ingredients are only half of the story, and how you present them on the plate can often be the difference between a classic dish and one that is just “meh.”

Serving food in a handmade piece of art elevates the most humble of dishes – even mac and cheese. I baked the lobster mac and cheese in a piece of handmade pottery that belonged to my late mother. There are certain dishes she always served in this dish and it makes me feel close to her when I use it. For plating, I didn’t get fancy. I let our handmade stoneware pottery do the work for me! I used my go-to dish for almost every meal – the Island Stoneware Buddha Bowl. Great for soups, stews, chili, buddha bowls, salads and almost everything else, I can’t get enough of these beautiful and functional footed bowls.

The Making of Lobster Mac and Cheese

Happy (Lobster) Mac and Cheese Day everyone. Enjoy!

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Studio Re-opening June 9th

We are excited to be re-opening the studio on Tuesday, June 9th after our temporary closure due to COVID-19.

We have changed the layout of our retail space to better showcase our beautiful, handmade pottery and to facilitate a one-way flow through our retail area. Customers are asked to use hand sanitizer upon entering the studio and observe directional floor signage. Customers are asked to observe social distance guidelines and take advantage of our directional floor signage to help keep everyone safe. We are now using individual doors for entrance and exit.

We are still operating on reduced staff. Our new opening hours are below. Our online store is open 24/7 and we can ship worldwide.

  • Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. – 4 pm.
  • Saturday 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
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The Lobster Claw Standard Coffee mug for lobster season!

It’s lobster season for parts of Prince Edward Island right now. We used a very small but very real lobster to create molds of the claws. Fresh clay gets pressed into a greased mold to create 3-dimensional lobster claws. The claws are removed from the molds and attached to the side of our Standard Coffee Mug. It then needs to dry slowly. The lobster claw coffee mug is glazed in either Iron Red or Beach House (white with blue rim). Of course, all our Island Stoneware pottery is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. Each remarkable piece is a handmade and crafted for everyday use.

You can find them in our online shop.

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Summer Sale

We are excited to bring you our very first exclusively online sale! This time limited sale includes dozens of unique products. All our handmade stoneware pottery is oven, microwave and dishwasher safe. All our pottery is made by hand in our studio in Summerside on beautiful Prince Edward Island. We ship worldwide.

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Pandemic Update

Greetings from our Summerside studio here on beautiful Prince Edward Island! We hope this note finds you healthy and safe.

It is a time of great uncertainty. The retail shop at our studio remains closed until further notice but our online store is still open. We are fulfilling online orders and shipping worldwide. For PEI-based customers we are offering curbside pick-up for online orders. When you enter your shipping address you will be provided with free Local Pick Up option. Once your order is completed, we will follow up by email to arrange a time for you to come to the studio in Summerside to pick up your order. We will bring it out to your car.

Thank you so much for supporting small businesses at this time! As a wholesaler and retailer of handmade pottery crafted for everday use, we are hearing from customers that their Island Stoneware pottery is giving them comfort and reminding them of time spent with friends and family on PEI. We are so pleased to be a small part of bringing a bright spot to your day. Thank you.

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Mirabella by Elizabeth Burry Designs: Retailer Spotlight

Island Stoneware display at Mirabella by Elizabeth Burry Designs

Island Stoneware is a wholesale supplier of handmade pottery and we ship our remarkably handcrafted pottery to retailers from from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and down into the United States.

Today we shine our spotlight on Mirabella in the beautiful historic town of Trinity, Newfoundland & Labrador.

Mirabella means ” to admire beautiful things……”  and it is the name of Elizabeth Burry’s studio, gallery & artisan shop. Elizabeth creates her own beautiful jewelry and “artscape” paintings. She also showcases the work of primarily Atlantic Canadian artisans, including Island Stoneware.

Here is a picture of her recent Island Stoneware display. If you’re in Newfoundland this summer stop by Mirabella, you won’t be disappointed! (And, say hi for us.)

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Introducing Play in Clay, our hands-on, pottery making experience

“I didn’t just make pottery, I made memories. And, I get to take a piece of the Island home with me and be reminded of my wonderful vacation every single day. Thank you!”

– Vanessa, Play in Clay participant

If you’re like a growing number of people, you want to do more than SEE things on vacation, you want DO things. If you’re looking to travel better, on a deeper more emotional and personal level, we invite you to join us for Play in Clay, our new hands-on pottery making sessions at Island Stoneware.

Make your own pottery participants showing off their pottery creations
Make your own pottery participants showing off their pottery creations

If you’re looking to experience Prince Edward Island by connecting to its people and culture, then the opportunity to get hands-on and make your own pottery in the heart of our busy, active pottery studio is the experience for you.

Play in Clay is a 2-hour, hands-on pottery making experience. You will make and decorate your own pottery from what is called slab. To build from slab you will roll the clay out flat and then shape it around forms of your choosing. Building from slab is fun because it is easy to learn the basics in just a few minutes. Play in Clay does not use a potter’s wheel. Finished pieces will be ready approximately two weeks after your session. (Don’t worry, we can ship worldwide if you’re not on the Island that long!)

We offer sessions every day all summer.

If you’re looking for other authentic, PEI experiences, check out this complete listing.

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Hello world!

Welcome to our new and much improved website!

We’ve been listening carefully to customer feedback and are introducing an online store for your shopping convenience. We’ve also added much better search capabilities so finding your ideal product is even easier. You can search by colour, size, style or form. All products now feature prices, names, weights and dimensions. We know that’s hardly a revolution in the world on online stores but it’s not what we had before! One thing to remember about weights and dimensions is that they will vary as all of our work is handmade. Each piece we make is beautifully unique and crafted with passion and purpose.

Island Stoneware product display table
Retail Shop in our Studio

The other new component to the website is a blog. It feels like a bit of pressure at the outset, doesn’t it? I expect the blog will be feature my love affair with pottery as a central theme. It is, after all, one of the reasons we bought a pottery studio. I think, too, it will look at the creative process and how it is that we find our inspirations and transform them into products. We have a whole team of talented craftspeople who work year round to make Island Stoneware and the creative energy abounds.

Please enjoy the new website and have a tour around.