Sunday, September 10, 2017

Wine tour

Today we decided to go on a local wine tour.
Our friends Rosemarie and Paul joined us.
We had so much fun.

The vineyard we visited was Annapolis Vineyards.

These grapes were ten years old. My grapes developed downy mildew last year. I was afraid that I had lost them. But we've cut them down to the ground and they told us that they should come back next spring. Phew!

Beautiful grapes...wish they were mine.

The happy crew

Then Dave took us on a dirt road and we found this pretty path beside the road. It followed a river. I can imagine that this fall when the leaves have turned it'll be so pretty.

All in all a nice day. Tonight is the kite festival. Can't wait!
Have a blessed Day!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Summertime! Summertime!!

Summertime is almost over. 


It's gone before it even begun.

It's been a pretty good one so far.

We haven't climbed Mount Everest or anything spectacular like that
but we've done lots of things as a family and just as a couple.

Jamie is 16 now. Yup. 

How did that happen.

So he's got a part time job and his motorcycle licence.
And yes I constantly worry. I'm a mother, that's my job.
But because he has his motorcycle licence he's free to roam where he wants as long
as he's off the road before dark.
So that leaves Dave and I with more couple time.
That's the perks and downfalls of having kids.
You hope that they'll grow up healthy,happy and independent and 
when they do, you're like "What the heck!? Where'd you go?"
But I'm happy for him.
As long as he stays safe.
He's already learned that other drivers are crazy.
I wont go into that.

The gardens are growing well. I feared for the tomatoes since only tiny little green things were growing. But after Saturday night's rain, they seem to have gotten bigger. Which is strange since I know that tomatoes are picky when it comes to watering, so I water them regularly.
They must prefer the rainwater.

It's been a strange spring and summer. It was a cold spring and a hot summer for a few weeks and now it's a cold summer. Some mornings it's only 8 degrees Celcius. Brrrrr

I've had to plant my yellow beans THREE TIMES!!!! Finally they're growing okay.

Rain has not been plentiful, but it's better than last year.

The garlic is doing well. As you can see. I picked some more tonight. It's a smaller, different kind.

Sadly both of Dave's parents passed away this spring. So we had some family business to attend to in Ontario. We also turned it into a family vacation. We stayed with his cousin and did a few touristy things. But mostly it was to relax after the stress of everything that had gone on.

The day before we left to come home we spent it in Toronto. I've always wanted to go to Kensington Market. It's a real hip, funky place. And they had a car on the side of the street planted with trees, grass and flowers. How cool is that!

We also went to the Warsaw Caves in Peterborough. We didn't go to the caves, but took a nice walk in a cedar forest that had kettles and strange rock formations. That's Jamie at the bottom of the kettle.
We also got stuck in a thunder, lightning and downpour on our walk. Memories!

I've also been doing lots of jams and jellies. Here's part of my strawberry freezer jam stash!

The Acadian Festival was on last week. This is my table at the bazaar.

I also visited a quilt expo. Mind boggling! Just mind boggling.

We were actually thinking of selling the camper because by the end of July we hadn't gone once!

But one night there, and we changed our mind. We're staying. 
We camp what's called seasonal. We just park the camper at one campground and leave it there for the entire summer. We prefer it that way. I guess it's like having a cottage.

The girls are happy about the decision since they love camping.

Then a few weeks ago I had heard about low tide kite flying. 
So I decided to go and get pictures and information to talk about it on 
CTV Morning Live.

Here's the short (very short segment) I had on CTV Morning Live

Well by the time I left there, I was hooked!

Not only do I love it, I bought a kite!

Think about it....kite flying while you're standing on the ocean floor. It's just wow.
That's Nova Scotia living! 
That's me, Dave took my picture while I was flying the kite yesterday.

I turned 50 this summer also.
And I have so many things to be grateful for, one of them being my health. I've noticed that, except for my heal spurs, I'm in excellent health. I'm on no medication, no health issues whatsoever.
So I want to keep it that way.

So I'm going to go in le grand fondo

I'm not totally crazy, I'm just doing the little one. 35km.
That's enough.
Tonight I started training. I almost did 10km in 40 minutes and didn't need resuscitating. 
So I think I'll be ready by the end of September!

Well I think that's enough news for today. 

Have a Blessed Evening

Friday, June 2, 2017

Dandelion Flower Jelly

I didn't know if I should post this recipe or not.
I've had a love/ hate relationship with it.
The first batch I had to redo and it worked.
Thinking that I needed two pouches of pectin.

So I followed the directions again diligently but added two pouches of pectin.
All I got was syrup.

By the time I had a chance to make it again,
the dandelions were all gone.

I'm going to give you the recipe I found on the internet and you can be the judge.
I tried contacting the original blog that I got the recipe from a few weeks ago, but they haven't answered my questions.

So here goes.
I'll give you the recipe like the blog says and hopefully you'll have more luck than I did.

You'll need dandelion tea and here's how to make it.
 4-5 cups of dandelion pedals.
Try not to put the green part. It's hard. As you can see with mine, I didn't do a very good job.
But it's pretty.

Cover the petals with boiling water. Put a teatowel or something on it to keep the petals submerged for several hours. Preferable overnight.
Separate the petals from the liquids the next day.
I used a fine cheesecloth. One you would use actually for cheese.
It didn't say how much liquid to put, so I added about 4 cups or till the petals were covered.

Now you have dandelion tea.

Don't panic if it looks murky. It won't stay that way.
Honestly, I thought it looked like dirty water.


3 cups dandelion tea
4.5 cups sugar
1 box pectin
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 pint mason jars.

Bring to a boil, 
the tea, pectin and lemon juice.
Add sugar and return to a hard boil for 2 minutes, stirring often.
Remove from heat and skim the foam from the liquid.
Fill jars leaving 1/4" head space
put lids on, fingertip tight and can for 10 minutes in hot water bath canner.

I think the problem lies with when the pectin is added.
I was always told to add the pectin at the end.
But I use liquid pectin. So I'm not sure if that makes a difference.
But all instructions in the Certo box say to add at the end.
Since this is a US site I got it from, I'm not sure if it's a different company with different instructions.
Also, it only says one box. Does that mean a box with two pouches or a box with one pouch?

See my dilemma?

So I'll see if anyone tries this recipe and has better luck.

When I try it again next year and add the pectin at the end, 
I'll let ya'll know how it turns out.

But one good thing about it, is that it's really good. 
Tastes like honey. So I say it's totally worth the work.
I'll just use the syrup on ice cream...
I mean how bad can it be?

Have a Blessed Day

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cottage Pudding

My land it's been a cold spring. We even got some snow after I had planted my cold crops.

Snow does not look good on a Magnolia. 
I don't care what anyone tells you!

So here's a stick to your ribs,
warm your innards kinda recipe.
My mom would make this some days as a meal
just for a treat. My dad and I LOVE this
since we've both got a major sweet tooth.
My mom, not so much.

Why is it called Cottage Pudding?
I haven't got a clue since there's no pudding involved.

My mom got it in an old cook book when they first got married.
So it's survived the test of time. That means it's good!

It's really simple to make.
heavy dense white cake and a lemon sauce. Voila!
Here's the recipe.


Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour with 
2 tsp baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt
Set aside

Cream 1/3 cup shortening, beat in 1 cup sugar.
Blend until light and fluffy. 
Beat in 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla

Add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternating with 1 cup milk.
Bake 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes in a 9x9 pan.
Cool 5 minutes

Lemon sauce

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup cool water
1 tbsp lemon extract
1 tbsp butter

mix in sugar and boiling water over medium heat in a saucepan
add the cornstarch/water
then the lemon extract and butter.
Let thicken
Pour over warm cake and enjoy!
So very simple.
Have a Blessed Evening

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Easter is fast approaching.
In our family we will be celebrating Christ's death and Resurrection with one less person in our family.

Dave's mother passed away Sunday.

She had been struggling with dementia for years and living at Tideview Terrace. She was born in Jerseyville , Ontario.  Yes there's actually a place called Jerseyville.

Dave's family moved here, to Nova Scotia in 1983. 
They moved here so Len could retire around his family.
It was a difficult time for Marg since she couldn't speak or understand French.
So she was uncomfortable when people would speak it in front of her.

So she decided to get a job in an old folks home.
She loved her job. She took such good care of the residents.

I don't remember the first time I ever met her. But I know that she didn't like me too much the first year or so. I was taking away her only son. The funny thing is that I'm actually the same way
with Jamie's girlfriend (yes, he's got a girlfriend) I try not to be, but like Marg, I find that I don't want my little boy taken away from me. I now understand Marg.

But as the years passed by I grew on her and she once told me that I was like a daughter to her.

She made the best cabbage rolls and Italian spaghetti sauce.
 Or as she'd call it, Eye-talian sauce.

Unfortunately, when I asked her one day for the recipe, she told me she had never made cabbage rolls or Eye-talian spaghetti sauce. Dementia was setting in.

She loved Holstein cows and knick-knacks.  The house was full of them! She was an easy person to buy for. an Avon knick knack and she was happy. 
She was also a neat freak.  She loved to iron, as a young lady she worked in a 
laundry in Brantford, Ontario and she told me once she loved that job.
I believed her, cause she used to iron everything...EVERYTHING!!!!
Even underwear! 
She was the only person I know, that would wear out an iron.

She was a good lady. For awhile they owned a cabin in the woods. It wasn't her favourite place to go
but she made it homey with her Holstein cow flower pots and her dozens of 
hummingbird feeders!!
She would buy sugar in bulk because she would feed the dozens and dozens of hummingbirds
that would come to the cabin.

We're not sure what she died of. The flu was going around in the home, but it hit so fast, that the 
doctors told us it looked like a stroke.  She had decided a long time
ago that she would be DNR. So she was just kept comfortable till the end.
We want to thank everyone that was there for us in body and spirit.
The prayers, cards, phone calls etc...
The day before she passed our Pastor, Shawn Craven, stayed with us for the longest
time to comfort us. For that we will always be grateful.

We met the doctor going in to sign the death certificate. 
He told us that Dementia is the worst disease.
You lose your loved one twice.
First when they no longer know who you are and then
when they die physically.
So please, if you can, 

The service was held at Tideview Terrace where Len could attend (he lives there also) and all her friends and the staff that loved and helped care for her.

Have a Blessed Day
and Happy Easter

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Hoppy Easter!

Easter is fast approaching so I figured I'd divulge our family favourite Easter recipe.
Glazed Ham.

I know there's probably about a million and one recipes out there right now.
But this one is easy peasy!
And no cloves. My family hates the taste of cloves.

So here goes.
I make sure to de-salt the ham several times before I even begin.

Score the ham in a diamond pattern.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put about a 1/4" of water in the bottom of your roasting pan.
 But keep an eye on it.
Make sure it doesn't go dry.
Bake for an hour with cover on.

Increase the heat in the oven to 450 degrees.
3 cups lighly packed brown sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp maple syrup (you can use corn syrup but we like maple syrup better)
3 tsp dry mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Mix together till it's all blended.

Pour a third on the ham and bake with cover off.
Keep putting some on until all gone.
You should bake the ham for 30 minutes
and the sugar concoction will make a nice crust on the ham.

Take out, carve and serve.
Hubby likes to take the syrup from the bottom of the pan and put it on his potatoes.
Hey, to each his own.

Not the best photo, but you get the drift.

Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Chocolate Zucchini Cake.

I'm at it again!
And this time it's healthy eating...
Ok, maybe not.
But it's gooood!

And it's the perfect way of getting rid of your abundance of zucchinis!
In the summer I shred my zucchinis and freeze them in 3 cup increments. That way
I'm ready to roll whenever I need to make this cake.

Before I proceed, you're going to need a Bundt pan.
I've never done it in cupcake form, but I assume it would work well.
It's a heavy cake and that's why it wouldn't work well in a regular
cake pan.  It takes forever to cook in a Bundt pan.

So here goes.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 cups shredded and peeled zucchini
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp salt

Mix butter, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and milk in a bowl.
Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together.

Blend in together. Mix well.

Bake in Bundt pan at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes.
When you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, it's ready.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Have a Blessed Evening

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cinnamon Rhubarb Muffins

This is probably the most light and fluffy muffin recipe that I've come across in a long time.
It must be the sour cream.
Dunno but it's divine!

The recipe is a bit long but bear with me. 
It's worth it!


2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
1 cup sour cream
8 Tbs (4 oz) butter melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups 1/4" diced rhubarb fresh or frozen


3 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
Whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl whisk together sour cream, melted butter, eggs and vanilla till smooth
Lightly stir in wet ingredients into dry ingredients with a spatula until batter 
just comes together. DO NOT OVERMIX!!! 
Gently stir in rhubarb. Batter will be thick.

Spoon in muffin cups.

Mix the together topping ingredients and sprinkle  on each muffin.
Bake until they are golden brown and spring back to touch.
Around 18-22 minutes
Serve warm

The recipe says they only keep for one day.
But I kept them for 3 days (yes, they lasted that long)
and just reheated them when we wanted to eat them.

I found this recipe on the website Fine Cooking
Regular size muffins, it makes 12.

As Julia Child would say, "Bone Appetite!"

And yes, I do actually cook.  I don't always just bake.
I'll post my macaroni casserole recipe one day to prove that I can also cook.
Have a Blessed Evening

Monday, February 13, 2017

Everyone loves brownies!

It seems like I'm on a recipe roll.

I'm going to share with ya'll my mom's brownie recipe.

I hope she doesn't mind....oh well.

Brownies Simone

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar

Mix together and then stir in
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
3 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla

Bake at 325 degree Fahrenheit for 25 minutes 
in a 8x8 greased pan.

I've started putting them in tiny cupcake pans and making
two bite brownies.

We had company for supper last night so I made 
Fudge Brownie Pie.

Which is really just a large piece of brownie with 
vanilla ice cream on top drizzled with chocolate sauce.
It's really horrible..not. 

But last night instead of making a large brownie, I shoved the little two bite brownies into
the ice cream.  Again...not very good.
I lie.
It's to die for!

Oh and a great thing about this recipe is that if you eat them standing up,
there's no calories!!! How awesome is that.

I lie.

My mom sometimes makes a chocolate frosting to put on top of the brownies.

So here's the recipe for that.
I'm telling you...I'm divulging family recipes left and right.
What else might I divulge?!

Chocolate Frosting

Cream together 
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp hot water and 
1/2 tsp vanilla
Add 1 1/2 cups of sifted icing sugar
Beat until creamy.

Another thing you can add is crushed walnuts or pecans to the brownies before baking.

Gotta go before I reveal other family secrets!

Have a Blessed Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Blueberry muffins

I'm going to divulge my secret blueberry muffin recipe.
But you have to promise not to share it with anyone.
It's just for you.

I can't even remember what cook book I got them out of.
But they're goooood.

So here goes....
just remember it's between you and me.

Blueberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cup sugar 
(hey I didn't say it was a healthy muffin)
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Cream butter and sugar
add eggs
Put dry ingredients together
Mix into butter mixture
alternating with milk
Fold in berries
Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
Or until a toothpick comes out clean.


The recipe was originally just white flour but I prefer to add one cup of
 whole wheat flour.

I also like to add cranberries or rhubarb with the blueberries.
Spice it up a bit.

Hope you like them.
And don't forget....
it's our secret!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Hair, Hair, Hair

Most women complain about their hair.
I'm no exception, but I really shouldn't complain.

I've inherited my hair from my father's side of the family
since my mother's side all have very thin hair.

My hair is thick, grows extremely fast and I'll be
50 this summer and I don't have any grey yet.
(and don't worry, I check all the time)
My 80 year old aunt still had no grey
so I guess I shouldn't complain...
good genes.

Not everyone is so lucky.
So last year I decided to let it grow to donate it.

And this is the result.
(I guess I could have worn a more flattering shirt.)

I wanted to make sure we got as much length as possible. So we put it in ponytails.

10" of  hair!

Tah Dah!

The finished product!

At first it was kinda freaky...and cold!
Now I'm used to it and I kinda like it.
I'm saving a lot on shampoo...but not on hair styling products.
Phew...that's not cheap.

But the hair is now gone to it's destination.
I guess it takes 6-7 ponytails (one full ponytail) to make one wig.
They actually strip all the hair of it's colour and then redye it to
the desired uniform colour.

So if you've got long, non chemically treated hair...
think about donating it.

I might do it again in a few years.

Have a Blessed Day.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Back in the day *Christmas*

A few weeks ago, I dragged my mother to a writing workshop.
I'm really big on writing down memories.
I love hearing old stories of when she was a child and the
life they led was fascinating.
She was one of 10 children!
Her parents had 5 boys and then 5 girls. 
She's the eldest of the girls.
I keep telling her I'm going to write a book about her and her siblings one day.

This is probably why I write a blog.
It's not very private, but after I'm gone hopefully my memories of somethings will 
continue on.

But as usual I digress.
The workshop was for people over 50.
I'll be there soon enough, so they let me attend.
We were to write a story about ourselves.
From long ago, yesterday,whatever.
So my mom and I chose back in the day stories.

It gave me an idea.
I asked her to send me pictures of my childhood and I would blog about the
 memory that would pop up in my mind.

So here goes. Not one of my usual posts.
Something different.

I was born in 1967.
So the first two pictures are of my second Christmas.
The third, I'm not sure and neither is my mom.
I look to be around 4 or 5.

My dad, me and my mom at my grandparents house.
My aunt Diane, me and my aunt Elizabeth at my grandparents house.

The thing I remember the most about my Christmases as a child 
was my grandparents house.

Back in the day, before global warming, we used to have snow...a lot of snow.

A kids dream.

Christmas eve would start with having supper and my mother would always make this nasty concoction called "Pate a la viande".
It was tea biscuits mixed with stew meat. It was dry and nasty. 
But if I didn't eat it all, we wouldn't open our gifts.
So even though it would make me gag, literally, I would eat it.

I'm not sure why, but around here, it's customary for a lot of families to open 
their gifts Christmas eve.

After we'd open our gifts, we would bundle up and head to 
what people in these parts affectionately call "Pinque Alley".
This is a road that most of my relatives live in and we have the nickname of
"Les Pinques" the Bluejays.  Why, well that's another post.

We'd usually start at my Uncle Alphonse and Aunt Angela. They had two girls that were just a bit younger than I was. By now they had opened their gifts and we could see what they had gotten.

Next was Uncle Joe (his real name was Alfred, don't ask me why they called him Joe) and his wife Cecile. They had two children also. A girl and a boy.
And on and on we kept visiting the rest of the uncles and aunts.
By the time we were done it was late in the evening and everyone
congregated at my grandparents.

The house was small. And when you'd walk in the door the heat of the wood stove and the smell of rappie pie would hit you in the face. 

The small kitchen had a large wood stove that would heat that end of the house.
The even tinier living room held a large Wood Chief stove that would keep
 that end of the house warm and toasty.

When I say everyone would congregate there, I mean around 20 adults and 20+ children in a teeny tiny house.  The adults would chew the fat and us kids would go in the stairs to talk about what we had gotten for Christmas and school woes. The stairs was the premiere spot to be since it was unheated on the second story, so the heat wasn't so bad in the staircase.
But we weren't allowed to go upstairs. It was a bit of a mystery.
Some years we would make up stories about what was really up there.

The food was always there. You just ate as you got there. There was no set time to eat.
As long as you were done for 10pm.
The menu was simple, chicken rappie pie or stew meat rappie pie.
Dessert was jelly rolls (homemade of course!) and Barley candy.
The barley candy was a mystery to us little kids.

There was a place in Yarmouth that would make barley candy. But that was, at the time, over an hour away. And I don't remember my grandparents owning a car.  So how did it get there? 

After everyone had full bellies, my grandparents would sit down in the place of honour and open their gifts from everyone.  Much ouuing and ahhing went on. 
All gifts were admired, didn't matter how small or large they were.

Then ten o'clock was the bewitching hour. 
Everyone needed to leave to go to the midnight mass.
I'm not sure which was worse, eating pate a la viande or going to the midnight mass.
Remember, we were just little kids and waiting in a huge, hot stuffy church for two hours before the mass began was torture.  You couldn't talk, fidget or look around to see where your friends were.

By the time the mass began, most kids were asleep. 
But every midnight mass, one kid was chosen to bring up the baby Jesus.
Oh my, what a honour that was, especially since they got a small gift afterwards.
I never got chosen, because this wasn't our home parish.

After the hour and a half long mass, we were on our way home.

My mom, my dad, my uncle James and myself

It had been a long day. It didn't take long to fall asleep.
The strange thing is that, even though Santa was coming the next day.
I hardly ever remember Christmas Days. Only Christmas eves.

Which means one thing.
Faith, family and fun were more important than gifts.

Have a Blessed Day.