Gatherings may be off the table this Christmas but the turkey doesn't have to be.
A local catering company is offering take-home turkey dinner, and no order is too small.
Jordy and Brita Lacko, the owners of Babs & Castles, a local catering company serving Collingwood and the surrounding area, are offering holiday feasts.
Their idea was for everyone to be able to enjoy a delicious dinner, even if the family gatherings and normal festivities won’t be able to take place this year. The dinner includes a winter greens salad, turkey, and several sides, with the option to add a pie for dessert. Each meal will be prepared and portioned beforehand and available to pick up on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is no minimum number of guests per order.
“I’m going to brine the turkey for 24 hours, so it will be nice and tender even once it’s reheated,” said Jordy.
On the sweet side, Babs & Castles is also offering a selection of fun and sweet sugar cookies with several different holiday designs. They are already almost fully booked up for Christmas baking, but Brita plans to make a few extra batches for any last-minute requests. She has even designed paint-your-own sugar cookie sets and a homemade gingerbread house kit.
“The key to the perfect Christmas cookie is that it has to be festive looking. I love the classic Christmas colours,” said Brita. “The spices too. Something that smells like the holidays.”
The duo first met several years ago working at a restaurant together in Toronto.
Brita moved home to Collingwood and Jordy spent some time in Sault Ste. Marie, but within the year they took a spontaneous trip to Europe. When they got back to Canada they officially decided to call Collingwood home. The couple started working together once again at Tesoro Mercato, but they had bigger dreams on their mind.
“We wanted to buy a house, have gardens, have our own animals, start a family and get married,” said Jordy.
In 2017, combining her pastry skills with his love of cooking, they joined forces to create Babs & Castles, bringing scratch-made local foods to Collingwood and surrounding areas. They got their first catering gig that December, and Jordy still remembers the four-course meal he prepared for the private dinner.
Now, three years and two kids later, they’ve never looked back.
“I am sort of someone that if I get an idea or a hobby I go full force,” laughed Jordy.
The couple currently operates their business out of a full-size, commercial kitchen they built in their basement. They source ingredients from local suppliers as much as possible, often going to Meesters & Sons or Curries Farm Market for fresh produce and Black Angus or Blue Ridge for meats.
Jordy does all of the prep work at home and then arrives at the client’s house about an hour before dinner to finish cooking.
“I like to do as much seasonal shopping as I can so unless they have a special request, I like to just make a menu for them,” said Jordy. “It keeps you creative.”
While they have many ideas still in the works, they want to be able to continue offering private dinners and personalized experiences, but also have a place where people can sit in, enjoy a snack or grab something to go.
“We want a place for people to pop in,” said Jordy.
“Imagine a display case with pastries, cookies and sauces,” added Brita. “Amazing sandwiches — breakfast sandwiches — with homemade English muffins and smoked meats. So it would be open during the day and in the evenings we would do pop up private dinners. That’s what I imagine.”
In the meantime, the duo is determined to continue learning and growing.
“I love being able to talk about where an ingredient is from or who grew it,” said Jordy. “The theory and history is really good to know. People really care about that stuff now.”
The thing they both love best about creating Babs & Castles is the freedom it has given them.
“The freedom to be creative. To be able to make our own schedule and spend time with our kids,” said Jordy.
“After working for so many people, I feel like now it’s my turn to create something for myself,” added Brita. “I love the environment and customers you get in a small bake shop, so being able to do that for myself and combine it with Jordy, it would be amazing.”