Yesterday was the first day of Spring (yay!) and International Happiness Day!
I spent the day going on a walk in the sunshine and a food-venture to Borden-Carelton, Prince Edward Island. As it happens, it was the most appropriate thing to do on such a day, because the taste of a hot, handmade handpie is pure happiness.
The Handpie Company opened its doors on March 20th as the reincarnation of Scapes Fresh, Local, TakeAway Restaurant. It’s still in the same cute place (Gateway Village in Borden) and it’s still owned and operated by the ever-cheerful chef Sarah whose enthusiasm for local food and her community is inspiring!
The handpies are huge and stuffed with local goodness and are the perfect, portable take-away. Or there’s a cute ‘n’ tiny barstool seating area if you want to sit-in and picnic tables outside. Three flavours were on offer when I was there: chicken pot pie (my choice), roasted beet with goat cheese, and BBQ pulled pork.
BRILLIANT IDEA ALERT: Handpies are conveniently available to purchase frozen. You really should have some in your freezer at home, because there are days when only this sort of handy happiness will do.
Did I mention? There’s a pot of coffee on and freshly baked (still warm) cookies for dessert. There’s preserves for sale too and a fridge stocked with convenient takeaway tubs of the famous Scapes’ Pei potato salad and more.
The Handpie Co. has honed in on a tasty tradition of pastry stuffed with different fillings. Many cultures have variations of this concept (think empanadas, pierogis, samosas). If you’ve been to any bakery in England you are probably familiar with the Pasty (originating from Cornwall) or when in Scotland you would have come across the Bridie (from Forfar, Angus). Cornish Pasties and Forfar Bridies are baked traditionally with shortcrust pastry. The Bridies I’m familiar with are from MacKenzie’s Bakery in Portree, Isle of Skye and are made with puff pastry. The Handpie Company’s version is a made-from-scratch buttery, golden, soft and flaky pie pastry. Their use of local, organic ingredients: flour, produce and free-range meat has added a distinctly Island flavour to this universally loved treat.
So go! Get yourself some “Portable PEI Pies” pronto!
P.S. I also recommend a post-pie walk down the main road of Borden to the PEI Marine & Rail Museum. There’s a beautiful lighthouse and the most amazing views of the Confederation Bridge. If you’re like me, you will get nostalgic when you see the old parking lot where we all used to wait for the ferry to take us to Cape Tormentine on the mainland. Borden was home to my all-time favourite ferry the Abbey. Its ice-breaking power and beautiful brass finishings are forever fixed in my island heart!
The Handpie Company