Monday, September 1, 2014

Three Friends and Their Hats

Three friends in August 2014.
In the summer of 2013 my friends Michealette and Christene came out to Marble Mountain to spend a leisurely day walking on the beach, playing Scrabble and just catching up.  In the course of the afternoon, David (Christene's son) took photos of the three of us, but we could not get Christene to have her photo made without covering her face.  We told her she was camera shy.  So this summer when they were out for an afternoon we decided to try and recreate that same photo.
Photo from summer of 2013.  L. to R. Christene, me, Michealette.
Photo from this summer 2014.  An attempt to recreate a similar photo.

We persuaded Christene not to be camera shy so she agreed. 
Christene camera shy no longer.

In the first photos I was wearing Michealette's hat and Christene was wearing a white hat that has been around the house here for as long as I can remember, but for our final photo this year, we each wore our own hats.  Christene had just got back from a trip to Vancouver and  was sporting a new hat from there.  Michealette had her original pretty sun hat, and I had my visor from the US Open which was in North Carolina this year. 
Photo from this year 2014 each wearing our own hats. 

The three of us always have a good time when we get together.  It's not just the young who can have fun, those of us who are not so young can continue to have just as much fun.  Stay tuned for next year's photo update.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Second Strawberry Season

Strawberry shortcake in August at Marble Mountain.
Back in North Carolina, strawberry season is in early May, and now we are in Marble Mountain, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and we are getting local fresh strawberries at the last of their season here.  That called for strawberry shortcake in August.
Local Strawberries in August.

We bought the most beautiful strawberries at Sobeys and when we were at Masstown Market I had bought homemade shortcake biscuits which I had frozen until today when we made strawberry shortcake.
Shortbread biscuits from Masstown Market.

After slicing the strawberries, I added just a bit of sugar and let them sit for about an hour.  I didn't use much sugar because the strawberries were very sweet.
Sliced berries with just a bit of sugar.
After thawing the frozen shortcake biscuits I warmed them in the oven.  These biscuits were so large that I only needed half a biscuit to make a nice sized serving.
Shortbread biscuit half spread with butter.

I spread the biscuits halves with butter and then added the sliced strawberries.
Add strawberries.

Strawberry shortcake always calls for whipped cream----nothing but homemade whipped cream.  After whipping the cream, I add a bit of vanilla and just a tad of sugar.  We don't like our shortcake to be super sweet.
Whip the cream.

I saved a few strawberries to garnish each serving.  The result was five strawberry shortcakes for the five of us at lunch today.  YUMMY!!!!!
Five strawberry shortcakes.

What a treat to have two strawberry seasons this year.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alice Visits Maggie's Garden

Maggie in her garden.
Soon after we arrived at Marble Mountain, Maggie, a close neighbor, brought us a large bag of Swiss chard that she grew, and invited us to go over and see her garden.  Alice who is an avid gardener was eager to go and on Tuesday we visited.  Maggie*, with help from her husband Kit, has numerous raised beds in which she grows all kinds of vegetables.  It is an amazing garden.
Maggie and Alice in the garden.
Alice looking at the "Jack in the Beanstalk" beans.  A whole wall of beans.Those are some tall beans.
A fine bed of leeks.
Sweet potatoes.
Maggie says the whirligig helps to chase away the voles.
A lush bed of Swiss chard.
Alice, ever the gardener, could not resist pulling a few weeds out of the broccoli patch.
Turnips like the ones we grow in North Carolina.
Maggie also raises chicken and their eggs are so fresh and delicious.  And I love to hear the rooster crowing, but so far this summer I don't believe he has crowed.
She has two flocks of chickens.  This is a black variety she has.  The fresh eggs when we can get them are delicious.

Alice and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Maggie's wonderful garden. Fantastic job Maggie!

*Maggie and Kit moved here from Maryland.  They are here pretty much year round.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Birthday Party Marble Mountain Style

A wonderful birthday.
Saturday was my birthday and I went to a fabulous birthday party at the Marble Mountain Hall.  These folks really know how to throw a birthday party.  There must have been more than a hundred folks from the village and surrounding area at the party, and there was live music.  A covered dish supper was provided by the women of Marble Mountain.

A lot of people.
Alice sitting on the left at our table.
The food.
Lots of good food brought in by the Marble Mountain neighbors.
The music.
Local musicians provided Cape Breton music.

The cake.
A huge sheet cake that was pretty and delicious. 
Actually you probably have guessed by now that this party was NOT for me but for Russell who lives in the village and who turned 85.  I quietly pretended that it was my birthday party too.
Russell dancing at his birthday party.

It really was a wonderful way to spend my birthday.. And many happy returns to Russell on his 85th.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Masstown Market at Truro, Nova Scotia

Masstown Market.

When my friend Wendy saw that I was in Halifax she sent me a message saying I might enjoy checking out the Masstown Market, since we would be near it on our trip back to Cape Breton.  I am so glad she clued us in to that Market.  It is fabulous!  So many fresh vegetables from local farmers and fresh fish as well.

When we arrived the parking lot was almost full, but luckily we found a spot right beside the lighthouse, and it was in a shady area that was perfect for Maggie.  It wasn't hot though because it was an overcast day.
Lots of folks at the Market on a Friday morning.
The little white car to the left of the "lighthouse" is ours. 

Dan stayed with Maggie while Alice and I headed for the fresh vegetable area of the market.  There was a little bit of everything--we found beet greens, green beans, yellow beans, and sweet potatoes.

Yellow wax beans from a local farmer.
 It is blueberry season here and we got a small carton of wild blueberries.  The wild ones have so much more flavor than the cultivar that is usually grown.  We have quite a bit of frozen berries or else we would have gotten a really big carton of those.

Wild blueberries.
A box of wild blueberries.
There were all kinds of baked goods, but when I found shortcake biscuits I knew I had to try those.

I'll use these to make blueberry shortcake.

A new kind of brownie.
I resisted most of the sweet baked goods, except for macaroon brownies---that's a new take on brownies.  Yes we brought some of those home.  

The highlight for Dan was the fish market in the "lighthouse".  They had quite an array of fish and seafood goodies.

Varied seafood at the Market.
Dan liked the looks of the farm raised Arctic char, and we baked one for dinner tonight.  It tastes like a blend between a salmon and a trout.  Really delish and oh so fresh.  
Baked Arctic char for dinner.

I don't know how we have missed this place all these years, but I am very grateful to Wendy for suggesting we visit it.  We will go back.

You might like to check out their website..