Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Master White Sauce

Image result for white sauce

Thin White Sauce

1 tbsp butter or fat
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk, cream, or stock

Medium White Sauce

2 tbsp butter or fat
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk, cream, or stock

Thick White Sauce

3 tbsp butter or fat
3-4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp or more salt
1 cup milk, cream, or stock

Method #1

Melt fat, stir in flour and salt.  Cook until mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat; add liquid, and stir until smooth.  Cook in double boiler or over low heat until mixture thickens, stirring constantly or not at all.

Method #2

Melt fat and remove from heat.  Add flour and salt.  Stir until smooth.  Add liquid gradually, stirring constantly over low heat until mixture thickens.

Method #3

Stir enough liquid into flour and salt to form a thin smooth paste.  Scald remainder of liquid in double boiler.  Add flour paste to hot liquid, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Cover and cook 20 minutes or longer.  Stir in fat just before serving.  To keep hot and prevent crust from forming over sauce, place over hot water and cover tightly.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Day 7 ~ Halifax, Nova Scotia

Day 7 in Halifax was a catch-up sort of day spent doing laundry and a bit of shopping.  Laundry was so much fun. 

We found ourselves at a little laundromat that was also an Ethiopian restaurant, The Aster Cafe.  When the owner found out that Hal didn't like spicy food it became her mission to find something he liked.  Hal actually did try every sample she gave us.

Back at the Stardust Motel we hung up or put away all our clean clothes and made lunch out of the fridge.  Hal wanted to watch a TV show so I crawled onto the bed with him and apparently fell asleep until late afternoon.  I must have needed it but I was sad because it also felt like we wasted the day.

We were saved by my nephew, Marc, and his wife, Andrea.  They fed us our first home cooked meal in a week and it was BBQ!!!!  Everything was sooooooooo good.And then we went on a driving tour of the waterfront.  Apparently we could have gone on the naval base except I didn't bring my purse so I had no ID.  But it was a marvellous drive.  We saw the shipyards and lighthouses and a beautiful sunset in Africville.  We enjoyed a cold beer at Alexander Keith's.  

The weather turned from dreary to sunny while we were on our tour.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A Taste of Canada ~ Smoked Salmon

It is my birthday and the appetizer served at our favourite restaurant, Rail City Bistro, last night was an awesome present--Sockeye Salmon right out of the Copper River in Alaska that was smoked in house and topped goat cheese and dill on a sourdough crostini. Delicious.

I have always been a fan of salmon, smoked or not, but smoked is so perfectly delicious.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

A Taste of Canada ~ Bridge Mixture

I remember Bridge Mix as being a great treat when I was young. I did not know it originated in Canada. That is rather cool . . . and the candy is rather delicious.

First introduced to candy lovers in 1935, this iconic Canadian candy has continued to be loved by fans around the world. The mixture includes an assortment of milk and dark chocolate coated raisins, peanuts, jujubes, malt, fruits, nougat, licorice and Macadamia nuts.

Let's Travel Canada ~ Lake Ontario

#26 on the Let's Travel Canada list is Lake Ontario. That seems a bit of a broad geographical area so I'm going to make a list of the places I recall visiting along the shores of Lake Ontario.

Niagara-on-the-Lake ~

The Olde Angel Inn is the oldest operating inn in Ontario. The Olde Angel Inn was established in 1789 and rebuilt in 1815 after the War of 1812. We enjoyed a wonderful English meal there one day so I was shocked to see they have absolutely no idea how to make a proper cup of tea.

Wineries -- Lots and lots of wineries. We spent an afternoon on a wine tour at Chateau des Charmes where we learned how to taste wines and then enjoyed an afternoon of cheese and wine pairings and an extra bottle of brut (can't call it champagne because it isn't made in the Champagne region of France) because it was our anniversary. 

Heritage District -- loved the Niagara Apothecary Museum. So charming.

We've been to the Fort George National Historic Site of Canada several times in the past few years and each time we see and learn something different.

Brock's Monument National Historic Site at Queenston Heights Park

St. Catharines ~

Lakeside Park Carousel in the historic Port Dahousie district takes you back in time and still just 5 cents a ride

Jordan ~

As we cruise down the QEW we always stop to visit the Old Weasel

Stoney Creek ~

Memphis Fire Barbeque Company - amazing bbq food

Devil's Punchbowl Conservation Area

Battlefield House Museum & Park -- we've been there a few times

Hamilton ~

Dundurn Castle

so many waterfalls

HMCS Haida National Historic Site

GTA -- Toronto and its associated municipalities are so full of interesting places to see and things to do that it would be ridiculous to try and list them all in one blog post. That is a project for another day.

Colborne ~

Life is just not complete if you haven't visited the Big Apple

Kingston ~

the Waterfront

Fort Henry National Historic Site is so worth the trip. It has been beautifully restored

Iroquois ~

watching the ships pass through the lock

Morrisburg ~

Upper Canada Village

I know this isn't a full list. There is so much more that needs to be seen and done along the Lake Ontario north shore and hopefully we'll be traveling that way again soon.

In the meantime if you have any favourite places to add to this collection I would love to hear from you.  Please leave me a comment.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Cranberry Sauce

Image result for cranberry sauce

1 pound (4 cups) cranberries
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Wash, pick over, and drain cranberries.

Put berries, sugar, and water in a saucepan.  Bring slowly to boiling point.  Cover and cook slowly about 10 minutes or until skins burst.  Skim any foam and cool.  

Makes about 4 cups.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

300 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once ~ Animal Farm by George Orwell

Image result for Animal Farm

I don't know how many times I have read Animal Farm in my life.  Let's just say a few.  The story has always stayed with me.  I understand there are movie and cartoon adaptions that I vaguely recall but they don't have the power of the original book.

George Orwell write about a farm run by the drunken Mr. Jones which is untended and conditions are harsh.  The animals join together and overthrow Jones and create an equal society for the animals and the farm becomes a wonderful place to live.  Well, except for the fact that it does not take long before the pigs begin taking over and recreate the conditions of the original farm.

The most loved character in the book, at least for me, was Boxer the old workhouse who continued to believe in the dream and work for the dream even as he was being taken away, sold to the slaughterhouse by the pigs.

This novel is meant to illustrate the rise of Russian revolution and the rise of Stalinism.

This is not a relaxing beach read.  It is a book worth reading.

Top 250 Movies from the Last 10 Years ~ Django Unchained (2012)

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, and Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained (2012)

So why, when I've said so many times how much I hate violent movies, do I love this crazy movie.  I've also said more than once that I hate Quentin Tarantino movies.  And yet I've now seen two of Tarantino's movies that I love . . . Inglorious Bastards and Django Unchained.

Perhaps it has something to do with the stars of the show which I absolutely love.  Christoph Waltz cracks me up.  And I love to hate Leonardo DiCaprio.

The short version of the story is that Django ("The D is silent. Payback won't be.") is teamed up with a German bounty hunter.  The hunt bad guys.  The bounty hunter agrees to help Django find his wife who had been sold off.  They find out where she is and come up with a really complicated plan to free her.

There is a lot of violence and red stuff and the language is a "bit" much but the story is good and the actors are amazing.

Academy Awards, USA 2013

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christoph Waltz 
Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Quentin Tarantino 
Best Motion Picture of the Year
Stacey Sher
Reginald Hudlin
Pilar Savone 
Best Achievement in Cinematography
Robert Richardson 
Best Achievement in Sound Editing
Wylie Stateman 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Taste of Canada ~Caesar Cocktail

The Caesar was invented in 1969 by restaurant manager Walter Chell of the Calgary Inn (today the Westin Hotel) in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He devised the cocktail after being tasked to create a signature drink for the Calgary Inn's new Italian restaurant. Thank you Walter Chell. The Caesar is one of my favourite cocktails, virgin or classic, in the whole world. Many of my best and worst decisions have been made over a Caesar. Forget the celery though. I want a dill pickle.

300 Books Everyone Should Read at Least Once ~ Unless by Carol Shields

I tried for several days to read this book.  I think my problem is with the characters.  They are well developed and even interesting (a bit) but I don't like them.  Should I try to read it again some time in the future?  I don't know.  According to the "300 Books . . . " list, I guess I should.

That's all I have to say.

Monday, July 22, 2019

50 Places in Eastern Canada to See Before You Die ~ Grand Pres, Nova Scotia

Grand Pre National Historic Site is in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Once a thriving Acadian settlement and now one of the most significant memorials to the upheaval and the resilience of the Acadian people, the museum and displays were very educational and well curated. 

We wandered around the museum and then went to the theatre (decorated to look like the hold of a ship) to watch a movie about the Acadians and their expulsion from Nova Scotia. It was quite emotional and very educational.

A Tale of Acadie
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

THIS is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean        5
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
  This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?
Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,—
Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,        10
Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers forever departed!
Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o’er the ocean.
Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-PrĂ©.        15
  Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion,
List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.

To read the poem in its entirety click on this link

Let's Travel Canada ~ Prince Edward Island

If I had known how much I was going to love Prince Edward Island I would have planned more time there.  

After we left Cape Breton Island we drove right to the Caribou Ferry.  I have some advice for you.  Don't make a reservation unless you MUST be on the ferry at a specific time or if you will definitely be leaving the island on the Caribou Ferry as well.  They charge the two-way price when you get on the ferry with a reservation.  If you just show up and get in line and take the ferry to the Island you will pay when you leave the Island to return to the mainland.  If you return to the mainland using the Confederation Bridge the fee is lower than if you leave on the ferry.  You should also know that if you do reserve their website suggests you arrive 30 minutes early.  Without a reservation you should arrive an hour early.  So basically you just have to decide what will work best for your trip.  

We reached the ferry dock late in the afternoon and the sunshine was gone.  Hal, of course, started making friends while we waited for the ferry to arrive and unload the vehicles from the Island.  I was amazed at how quickly the ferry was unloaded and reloaded with those of us heading out to the Island.  It was a nice smooth trip although it was hard to see much between the overcast skies, rain, and fog.  The trip took about 75 minutes.

When we arrived on Prince Edward Island we headed for Charlottetown.  First stop there was a Sobey's to refill our cooler and pick up something good for supper.  Last stop of the day was Canada's Best Value Inn.  

We had a lovely continental breakfast in the motel's lounge in the morning, packed up the car, and headed out for a day of adventures.

These photos were taken at Confederation Landing Park. 

Beaconsfield Historic House is incredibly beautiful Victorian home.  We took our time strolling through the house and taking tons of photos of all the details which made the home so special.

I loved reading Anne of Green Gables but have never really paid much notice to all the movies, TV shows, and books about Anne.  It was a letterbox that made Green Gables Heritage Place a necessary stop.  And I'm glad we did.  The property is quite beautiful.  There was some construction going on at the front of the property when we were there but it was easy to ignore.

My favourite stop of the day was to the Moth Lane Brewery near Ellerslie.  I knew we were going to love this place when we drove down the lane and these signs encouraged us onward.

I believe they had 10 or 11 different beers from very light to very dark on tap.  At least one of us enjoyed each of the beers except for one.  I can't remember the name but it had a grapefruit taste in the background even though it had no grapefruit in it.  I'm a light weight when it comes to drinking so happily I wasn't the driver . . . LOL.  Just a hint -- it's cash only. 

FYI -- Apparently Moth Lane opened a pub serving barbecue on the second floor.  I bet that would be awesome.  Another excuse to return to PEI.

The folks at Moth Lane recommended a nearby place for a good lunch (since they didn't serve food themselves at the time).  I'm glad we listened.

Freeland Dining and Gas Stop (9552 PE-12, Ellerslie) is a Vietnamese and Canadian restaurant and, like many business we saw on our travels, is also a gas station and variety store.  The owner was so friendly and sweet and the cook was also a lot of fun.  I had the stir fried noodles which were delicious with just enough heat to make life interesting.  Hal couldn't finish the huge burger and fries he'd ordered.  

Our last stop before leaving the Island was the Canadian Potato Museum in O'Leary.  I didn't know if I would find a potato museum very interesting but I knew I had to get a photo of the giant potato out front.  Turns out potato museums are very interesting.  Did you know that potatoes originated in South America?  True.

It was time to leave Prince Edward Island if we were going to make it to our motel in Moncton before dark.  We crossed the Confederation Bridge which is 12,900 m long and took 4 years to build.  It is the longest bridge over ice-covered waters in the world.  I'm glad there was no ice cover this particular day.