White Gold

Between getting ready for my son’s 19th birthday this past weekend and the holidays coming up all reminded me of some of the Christmas traditions we have carried on with our kids . These traditions include getting a live Christmas tree, putting out the Nativity set, going to Christmas Eve service at church,  reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve with family, opening 1 present on Christmas Eve, and eating breakfast before we open gifts on Christmas morning . The best tradition we love is making “White Gold” aka homemade ice cream!

This tradition started with my Grampie Earl Killam back when he came up with a way to turn his manual ice cream maker into an electrical one.  We love this picture of him in his basement on Salisbury Road with his friend Merle Carter around 1962 – Earl is on the right. I remember my Dad also using these burlap sacks to crush up his homemade ice. He didn’t like just a small bowl either to serve his ice cream , he used a cereal bowl! The sign that you are a true Killam is a love for ice cream. All of his 4 kids continued the tradition of making ice cream. A few of his grandkids have also continued to make it. We hope the tradition lives on for a long time!

There are many ways to make ice cream and we have made it a few of those ways over the years. As a kid, I’ve experienced the manual work needed to make this delectable dessert via a manual ice cream maker. Here we are having fun before the true hard work began and Dad had to take over the cranking!

 

My Dad has mostly used an electric machine so that is where I have the most experience with making it.  Getting your ice cream mixture blended right is 1 key to having good ice cream. But the biggest key is getting the right mix of ice and salt for getting the ice cream to freeze correctly and have a great texture. Salt lowers the melting point of the ice to 27 degrees Fahrenheit ( or – 3 degrees Celsius)  or lower as that is when ice cream will start to freeze.  If it gets too cold or freezes too quickly, the mixture will freeze on the outside of the container instead of all the way through and makes for a coarse texture. If it’s not cold enough, it will take forever to make and will give it a spongy, buttery texture. It should take 20-25 minutes to freeze if all conditions as right. Here is a picture of 3 generations making White Gold- my Dad, youngest brother Rodney and his firstborn Rory- they all have the initials RGK. ( Notice Rodney still has the job of pushing the ice down around the sides of the canister as it melts.) My nephew Rory is trying his hardest to beat his Dad to have the record for the most ice cream eaten at one time. You make us proud Rory 🙂 !

We bought our own ice cream maker a few years ago from the White Mountain Ice Cream Maker Company. 

It has served us well. We did have to replace the motor once but overall these machines are well rated- you can get a manual or electric one, 4 qt or 6 qt.I haven’t done research on all the other brands out there but one look on Amazon and there are tons on there from $40 to several hundred dollars. Here are a few shots of our kids enjoying a lick off the ladle as soon as it is made.   I personally like getting the rest of the ice cream off the bottom of the canister that didn’t get in the container to go to the freezer! I may or may not leave a little extra in there just so I can eat it!  Some people will eat it as soon as it is done but it is best to let it chill for a few hours or overnight to harden.  When you do scoop out a bowl, the key is to let it “bouquet” a few minutes in the bowl to have the flavour truly blossom before you eat it. Sometimes it is hard to wait but it is worth it!

 

This is the original recipe for my Grampie’s Vanilla recipe. Using pure vanilla gives it a true vanilla taste!

Grampie Earl's Vanilla Ice Cream

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time24 mins
Total Time34 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: ice cream, vanilla
Author: Earl Killam

Ingredients

  • 1 litre + 200 ml homogenized milk
  • 1 litre + 200 ml whipping cream
  • 3 1/4 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 4.5 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix sugar and eggs in big bowl with hand mixer. Then add about 500 ml cream to get sugar to dissolve for 1 minute. Add the rest of the cream and continue mixing 1-2 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. Add milk and vanilla.  Whip for another  minute. Put in canister or container and chill for a few hours before putting in your machine. 

We have wanted to try different flavours over the years but were so disappointed once with a pumpkin flavour we made that we didn’t try too many other kinds . I have even collected a few ice cream recipe books that looked promising but now I just like looking at the pictures. For now our favourites are vanilla, chocolate and eggnog. You will notice most traditional ice cream recipes call for ” cooking” the mixture prior to freezing but our recipes don’t need cooking. I guess that’s why we keep going back to them , for ease of preparation.  I found a chocolate recipe that we keep going back to- it is dark and smooth. I found it on a forum that shared “ Ben and Jerry” ice cream recipes.

Ben and Jerry Chocolate Ice Cream

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: chocolate, ice cream
Author: Sheila

Ingredients

  • 16 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 cups homogenized milk
  • 8 eggs
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 cups whipping cream
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 4 pinches salt

Instructions

  • Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot (not boiling) water.
    Gradually whisk in milk, stir until smooth. Remove from heat; let cool.
    Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
    Gradually whisk in sugar, then continue whisking 1 minute longer until completely blended.
    Add cream, vanilla, and salt; whisk.
    Add the chocolate mixture; blend well.
    Cover, chill, and freeze according to ice cream maker's directions. 

Notes

This is the original recipe quadrupled for our machine which should equal about 4 quarts.
When I first made it, I didn't have unsweetened chocolate so I substituted cocoa and oil . The result gave such a smooth texture that I've used it every time.  1 oz of unsweetened chocolate = 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp oil. 

As mentioned the last one we have tried recently is an Egg Nog based recipe. My son and I love Egg Nog. I knew my Uncle Tom always made it when I was a kid so his wife kindly shared their recipe for us to try this year for my son’s birthday. It made a bit too much for our ice cream freezer so I would probably scale back the liquid parts a bit next time. Overall it also had a great texture and mild Egg Nog flavour.

The machine in action!

 

A very full canister!!

Uncle Tom's Eggnog Ice Cream

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: egg nog, ice cream
Author: Tom and Karen Killam

Ingredients

  • 1 litre regular eggnog + 250 ml
  • 1 litre whipping cream + 250 ml
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix sugar, eggs and a little cream with electric beater until sugar is dissolved. Then add remainder of cream and eggnog and stir making sugar is completely dissolved then add vanilla .

If all else fails, you can always try the shaker method to make ice cream. Remember these  ice cream balls that were advertised a few years ago? They have updated to a different style of ball than this one but it still gives you about a pint of ice cream. We have  tried this method and it does work.  You can do it too if you want to burn some calories before you eat your ice cream!

Do you like ice cream? What are your favourite brands and/or flavours?

 

 

Down Memory Lane Part 2

The last time I shared some memories of the Fundy area we ended at my teenage years. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a moment of feeling depressed because I was sad about all my activities ending and that I felt my life would be changing forever. The summer I graduated was when I met Mark and well, I was no longer depressed after that 🙂 .  A lot of our dates  were spent in Fundy park and the Fundy area.  I was even able to work as a lifeguard at the Fundy pool for a couple summers in university which was fine with us, more time in Fundy! The Fundy region is special to us because of the memories we’ve had at different times in our lives and this time was extra special.

Mark wanted to share his love of photography with his new girlfriend and I have such nice memories of this day on the Maple Grove trail in Fundy Park the 1st Fall season we were dating. I felt a little uncomfortable posing but was happy to be by his side in this beautiful place. I soon got used to posing as you’ll see in the following photos of our dating years and early married years before kids! Who are these young kids?!

These photos and memories also remind me of how active we were back then and how much we loved getting outside. I still love doing these activities but the last few years since building the cottage we haven’t spent as much time getting out and being active. It is also harder to get teenagers to want to go out. I hope Mark and I can resume some of these things and get a little more fit!

 

How do you like our fancy gear, and trendy outdoor clothing? I think we need to get to Outdoor Elements for some new gear before we attempt this again. It has been years since we skied but I really enjoyed it. It’s a great workout!

Here is the link on Fundy’s site for winter related activities: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/nb/fundy/activ/hiver-winter/ski

There is skiing, snowshoeing, winter camping, fat biking and sliding at the Bowl!

 

Does anyone know this trail?  If you do, you were one of the lucky ones who used to be able to hike on Devil’s Half Acre. It had lovely views and neat boardwalks that crossed ravines ( where the devil was hiding? 🙂 ) I remember as a kid doing arts and crafts up in the area where the trail started. I found an article on the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design that the original summer school for the College was the New Brunswick School of Arts and Crafts and was housed at Fundy Park.  I’m pretty sure those buildings I remember at Devil’s Half Acre were part of that school.

 

Here are more views from around the park from hikes to places to just chill and enjoy the view – favourite places for chilling are at Cannontown Beach, Herring Cove Beach and from Matthew’s Head.  We are sad we can’t get to some of these places anymore like on the Caribou Trail. Even the Coppermine trail has changed recently  which is the trail we are on in the photo below.

 

We were once pretty adventurous and did some of the overnight backpacking trails and camped at the back country sites. We ventured out to Tracey Lake, Chambers Lake and the last couple are from the Goose River Trail- one of the hardest we did! Mark taught me lots about what you need and don’t need to survive out in the woods. After carrying a backpack a couple times, I learned to keep what I needed to a minimum. I don’t know how I would do now out there overnight but I like to think I am still game for a little adventure. Just couldn’t go more than 1 night without a shower and running water!

 

Here we were in 1993 after Mark had come back from a term at Oxford University with ABU down at our favourite place to be, Waterside. Who would have known we would have had a dream fulfilled just 20 years later and looking forward to dreaming of more time spent here in the future. We are so blessed. Thank you Lord!

Tell us what some of your favourite memories were in Fundy park?

 

 

 

 

Blogging reflections

 

I attended my first blogging conference this past weekend called Blog Jam Atlantic. It was the 4th year for the event and I took the opportunity to go since it was in Moncton this year. Since I am new to blogging I figured the $100 wasn’t too much to find out more about the blogging community and if it is really something I want to continue. I was ready to quit last week after having technology challenges with Facebook and feeling very inadequate in the technology arena. Even though I have a husband in IT and very smart in all thinks tech related and I have a son doing a Computer Science degree I still feel overwhelmed at everything one can do with their blog. I do have a vision for how I want the blog to look and am looking at what opportunities I can do with it and the community in the future but getting there sometimes feels very daunting.

This weekend’s speakers really encouraged us to be ourselves, to be vulnerable, to tell our stories in our own ways and to engage with our audience authentically. There was also a lot about technology but I focused on hearing other people’s stories this year.

I was excited to meet some bloggers that I have been following for a while and that have inspired me. I feel connected to them because they are authentic, live in rural areas and are successful at blogging.

Jennifer Naugler of Simple Local Life did a presentation on how she turned her blog into a career in just a few years down in Bridgewater,NS. She works with local businesses in her area with a fresh , real connection in her pieces. She gave us some great ideas that I hope to use in the future.

Lori Byrne of Farm Fresh Style was another blogger I got to meet in person after conversing with her for the past couple years. She’s from the North Shore of NS.  She’s the one that helped my daughter and I coordinate our 1st trip to the Lavender farm a couple years. I love getting a peek into her designer life and her family farm life on her blog. She likes to have fun! You should see how she got the flower wall home in the picture above from Paper and Peony!

Here we are together 🙂

The other blogger I was interested in hearing was Ruth Ann of Everything Unscripted from right here in Moncton. She encourages people on her blog about life struggles, family, travel and frugal living. She encouraged us to look at how we label ourselves and what we struggle with to identify what is holding us back from feeling successful or connecting with our audience. She wanted to  help us be more authentic with our audience and find ways to identify with our audience so they know who we are.

Lastly I really liked hearing from Rebecca of A Little Bit of Momsense who is based in Ottawa and has been blogging since 2009.  She was new to me but really loved what she had to say and loved her fresh, approachable style. She is one to follow for sure!

All of these wonderful ladies and the other speakers at Blog Jam have all got me thinking and dreaming of what I can offer to you and to my community especially to Albert County as Waterside and the Albert County area was my inspiration for this blog in the first place. I would love to know how I can educate, inform, entertain or inspire you in the future. Feel free to leave a comment and sign up for an occasional e-mail where I will keep you up to date on blog related activities and information.

Thank you!!

The beautiful Fundy Trail and a dedication

Before we get to the beautiful Fundy Trail Parkway which we visited this past weekend, I want to dedicate this post to my dear Aunt Diane Page who we  lost this past week to cancer. We celebrated her life on Monday in Quispamsis where she and her family have lived since the early 70s. She was a lover of family and photos. One of the last times I saw her she was still trying to get on her tablet and show me her most recent photos of her family. Her family had her albums out to view during the visitation time. I came across a couple of her and my uncle on the suspension bridge and with their vehicle crossing the Big Salmon River back in the day when all there was was a rough dirt road to get there. She also had some of her grand kids down to St. Martin’s  this summer so I knew she liked getting down to this area. It’s an easy quick trip from Saint John to get there and enjoy the day by the sea and in another couple years it will be an even easier trip from Alma to access this beautiful area. Right now it takes about 45 minutes from Saint John or  1.5 hours from Moncton to get to St. Martin’s and the start of the Fundy Trail Parkway.

Here is my spunky aunt with 3 of her grand kids at the suspension bridge a few years ago, playing on the beach at the Caves and this summer she was still willing to scramble up some rocks down at the Caves as well. She was always up for an adventure. I hear she liked to pull a lot of pranks on people too!

Her family will miss her so much but hopefully the love and time she has invested into them will be carried on to others. We love you Aunt Diane!

It is a much easier trip to get to Big Salmon River thanks to the vision of Dr. Mitchell Franklin and many other supporters as well as assistance from the Provincial and Federal governments that started developing the Fundy Trail Parkway back in 1993-1994 with its Environmental Impact Assessment. Thankfully that went through and construction started in 1995 with phase 1 opening in 1998 which included about 10 km. Phase 2 opened in 2010 with the bridge to cross Big Salmon River just in front of the suspension bridge that had already been there for many years . (This is also where the Fundy Footpath begins if you have heard of people undergoing this arduous “hike” that takes you along the coast to Fundy Park in about 4-5 days- not for the faint of heart! You must register before you attempt any part of this trail for your safety.) Phase 3 was completed in 2016 which gave direct access to Long Beach- this stretch of beach is a beautiful representation of how far our tides reach in this part of the world- you can explore a “Long” way- almost as far as our Waterside beach . The most recent Phase opened this year which ends at another facility and trails to see the Walton Glen Gorge and “Eye of the Needle” which previously could have only been seen if you had trekked on the Fundy Footpath. If you want to see and hear more about how the Fundy Trail Parkway was developed and how to plan your trip there please check out the website here.

These are the famous Caves in St. Martin’s that you can explore when the tide is out or you can go out in a kayak  or Zodiac with Red Rock Adventures when the tide is in. This spot has lovely views just from your car or stay awhile and get your lunch/supper at 1 of the 2 restaurants right on the beach. I hear one is known for their World Famous Chowder.

This is one of the 1st lookouts you can find on the Parkway looking at Flower Pot Rock. A lot of the lookouts or places on the map have little side trails to get down to see them. And did I mention you can bike or walk on a lovely multipurpose trail for 10 km until you get to the Interpretive centre. You can see a bit of it in the 2nd picture below from a few years ago. There is also a shuttle for $2 that will take you to different locations at certain times of the day.

These are some views from our visit this past weekend and in trips gone by. This is one of our favourite lookouts. It was the last day of the season and we had already planned this day so we went despite the weather. We saw amazing waves and peaks of sun which Mark says still made for an interesting day for creating moods in the pictures with the clouds and rain and fog.

This is the view from the interpretive centre looking out towards the Bay down the Big Salmon River. The interpretive centre has washroom facilities, snacks, lovely guides to give you additional information about the area and places to explore as well as a new video explaining the history of the area and the progress that has been made here so far.

The suspension bridge that crosses the river and takes you to the start of the Fundy Footpath as well as the hike to the Hearst Lodge:

A recent selfie showing the bridge and suspension bridge 🙂

One of the awesome views you will see where they had to cut into the side of the mountain and rock to make this roadway!

Looking out toward Isle Haute:

Some of those moody views and sun rays from this past weekend:

View of Martin Head in the distance and then zoomed in:

One view looking out over Long Beach with the tide partially out:

Another pretty view- reminds me of a watercolor painting with all the colors fading into each other. Just beautiful!

We had a BBQ at the the end of the trail beside the newest washroom and interpretive centre. We didn’t get a chance to go out to see the Walton Glen Gorge and Falls but we have something to look forward to next time!

We have had a lot of fun down in this area from camping in St. Martins at the Century Farm Campground to spending a getaway at what used to be the Quaco Inn but I think is now the Tidal Watch Inn. There are other campgrounds and Inns in the area to meet your needs as well.  Since the Trail opened we have tried to get down every time a new phase opened . Every time we come, we are blown away by the design, the quality, the view, the access, the trails , the history and everything that makes this wonderful Parkway an added gem to the province of New Brunswick. We are so fond of it that if  someone asks where they should go for a 1 day trip that really showcases the beauty of New Brunswick, we would recommend coming here! The daily rate is probably more than you would expect but check out the season pass which also gives you these discounts:

Your Fundy Trail Parkway season pass allows you a 25% discount on admission into Hopewell Rocks and some other attractions in New Brunswick due to a partnership. All Fundy Trail season pass holders receive a 25% off discount when they show their Fundy Trail season pass at the following locations. Please be prepared to show a picture ID with the pass.

  • Fundy Discovery Aquarium, St. Andrews
  • Village Historique Acadien, Caraquet
  • Le Pays de la Sagouine, Bouctouche
  • Jardin Kingsbrae Garden, St. Andrews
  • New Brunswick Botanical Garden, Edmundston
  • Kings Landing Historical Settlement, Prince William
  • Aquarium and Marine Center, Shippagan
  • Eco-Parc, Lamèque
  • Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton
  • New Brunswick Museum, Saint John

I am hoping that by the time the Trail opens to Fundy Park with links to Alma in 2021 that there will be a discount for there as well!!

Here is a view looking back towards the start of the trail where you can see the Quaco Head lighthouse out in the distance.

Thank you to my husband Mark for providing most of these photos!  I hope you plan a visit for 2019 to see this beautiful place!!

 

 

 

Let’s go glamping!

Down the road past the Hopewell Rocks and along the beautiful drive on route 114 that follows the coast with views of Grindstone Island, you will come to some idyllic pastures with views of horses out on  the marsh or you may see some horses and riders out for a ride near the Sawmill Creek bridge as you come to the entrance of Broadleaf Farm Ranch. I love seeing what’s going on at the ranch every time we pass to go to the cottage.

This ranch has been in operation since 1953. It was founded by Vernon and Joyce Hudson. Their 7 children have all played a part over the years in continuing their parents’ legacy and development of this beautiful property and company. Most continue to be involved in some way as well as their offspring. You can check out more about how the ranch got started here. We had missed the open house to tour the new Glamping units at Thanksgiving so stopped in this past weekend to see if we could take a few pictures around the ranch and of the new units. We got to have a private tour with one of the daughters Wendy who manages the ranch along with her brother Danny.

The Glamping units are located about halfway up the hill behind the main property. As soon as you come out on the road where they have been placed, you get a magnificent view of the Bay – you can see Joggins off to the left  and see all the way across the valley to the Shepody marshes, Grindstone Island, Mary’s Point and Nova Scotia. Mark took some great photos so this post will be photo heavy but it gives you a great feel for these units and space. You can click on the photos to enlarge them 🙂

The units all have a theme and are named after landmarks or livestock around the area. They have a Covered Bridge, Lighthouse or Chuck wagon unit to rent. Wendy told us about how these units were constructed and brought in by companies from Quebec, custom made and ordered right down to the paint colours.

The 1st one we checked out was the Covered Bridge unit: I loved the quality and great use of space in these units.  It’s a lovely place to soak in the view, hang out with family and enjoy the many activities on the property and the surrounding area.

The second unit is so unique, so iconic and fits in perfectly with its’ surroundings, as you can see from the view! Can you spy a little lighthouse in the distance 🙂

 

Look at this cute little space to sleep under the stars! There is room for up to 5 people in each of the units. The table folds down like a murphy bed and the couches turn into beds.

The 3rd unit is the classic Chuck Wagon- this one definitely fits in with a horse ranch and farm life doesn’t it? Its’ space is also strategically used with everything you need for a comfortable stay.  The only thing missing in these units is Wi-Fi but who needs that when you have all of nature to enjoy!

There are 2 of each of these Glamping units. They are available for year round use and available for booking on their website www.broadleafranch.ca .I think Wendy and her team have done a splendid job bringing these units in and hope they have great success and lots of bookings with them for years to come!

Wendy invited us to go further up the hill to see their Mountain Chalet that has been available since 1997 when they expanded their accommodations with the chalet and  their country cabins and dormitories. The chalet has a wonderful view as well and makes you feel like you are far from the hustle and bustle below. What a great get-away. The chalet can accommodate 24 people!!. It was recently used by a wedding party when they reserved the whole ranch for their wedding celebrations. It would be great for a family reunion or company function as well.

Back on the main property, we met these lovely fellows. I remembered I had 2 apples so ran to get them to feed these guys. I got a little scared and dropped one  so Mark broke my second one in half because I didn’t want either one to feel left out.

Here are some more shots of the main house with the fall leaves.

Thank you again to Wendy, Donna , Kathy and Danny for welcoming us and showing us around. We may have to do a part 2 to showcase the other part of the ranch which includes all their adventure activities like horseback riding, and adventure camps along with summer and winter activities. I have heard their Sunday Brunch is always popular that occurs from 10-2 every Sunday from May to October. As you can see, there is so much to do at Broadleaf!

Which Glamping unit was your favourite? Do you know what Glamping means?  Have you been to Broadleaf Ranch? Check out their website for more info, photos and for booking your next adventure- www.broadleafranch.ca

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin obsession

Hello! I have missed the last couple of weeks because we were busy with a fun fall giveaway and lots of DIY projects and crafts on my Facebook page plus we’ve had family visiting all this week. Be sure to stop by our page to see all the projects and like our page to stay in the know for future posts. Since we just had Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a few pictures of our week and some pumpkin inspired recipes and projects.

This is our front step decked out for fall with a few pumpkins :

For our other pumpkin inspired project I made a sign on an old cutting board from a Pinterest inspired project by printing the quote, transferring it to the board with chalk and painting it in. I sanded it a bit and rubbed in some finishing wax to bring out some luster. I am going to do a similar project on a smaller scale for our fall giveaway prize. The little fabric pumpkins were made a few years ago with some scrap fabric , gathering it and stuffing them . I use real pumpkin stems for the tops!

I tried out a couple new pumpkin recipes and a couple tried and true. The first new one was for pumpkin cookies from the blog” So much better with age“. You can find her recipe here. It is delicious and true to  pumpkin pie flavours. It has a raisin or chocolate chip option – of course I chose the latter.  Between me and my little nephew, they aren’t lasting too long.  I then made a pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee. I had tried a few of MacDonald’s Pumpkin Lattes this season but I like mine just as well with less additives and sugar in it. The recipe is from Dashing Dish here. This website is a membership website if you want access to more recipes but she does offer a lot of free recipes as well. I love her approach to clean eating and her wonderful Christian spirit with lots of motivation and articles as well as an emphasis on exercise in her content.

This next recipe is one I tried from her website as well that you can find here– Pumpkin breakfast oatmeal cookies- I think they ended up looking like owl faces after I took them out of the oven 🙂 . They will go well with this pumpkin butter I made last year and froze- I have some pie pumpkins I can’t wait to cook up and use for butter again and for baking throughout the year.

One of the tried and true recipes are pumpkin muffins from Armadale Dairy in Sussex , NB that they shared on their Facebook page last year.  I am sharing their recipe with their permission  I have used their Quark cheese they use for the icing  but cream cheese also works for the icing. They suggest that they are similar to the Tim Horton version. They are awesome but what makes them even better is knowing what is in them.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins with Quark Icing

2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch of cloves
2 eggs
1 heaping cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1.5 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, divided

Quark Icing

250 g Quark
6 tbsp Icing Sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 Celsius

In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the pumpkin seeds. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Combine dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Divide in greased or lined muffins tins. Don’t be shy to fill them full, they won’t rise excessively. Top muffins with the rest of the pumpkin seeds. Bake for 20 minutes.
**You may have a little bit of batter left over. I created this recipe myself, and couldn’t quite get the amounts perfected without affecting the taste. It was a good day to be a kid in the test kitchen though!

Mix together the 4 ingredients for the icing with a whisk or mixer and let set in the fridge until the muffins are cooled. Transfer icing to a cake decorator or piping bag. In the middle of each muffin, cut an X with a sharp knife. Insert your cake decorator (with your thinnest longest tip) into the muffin and squeeze some icing into each muffin, with a dollop on top. If you don’t have a cake decorator or something similar, you could just put the icing on top. Muffins should be refrigerated where they contain Quark.

The last pumpkin recipe is one I’ve been making for years since my colleague and friend from Waterside introduced it to me. It’s called Pumpkin Crunch- it’s like an upside down pumpkin pie with a sweet and salty flavour and you don’t have to make a pie crust. Bonus!

Here’s the recipe:

1 package yellow cake mix,16 oz solid pumpkin, 1can evaporated milk, 3 eggs, 1.5 cups sugar, 4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 c chopped pecans, 1 c margarine or butter,melted. Combine pumpkin,milk, eggs,sugar, spices and salt- mix well. Pour into 9 x 13 pan . Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin. Top with pecans. Drizzle with melted marg/butter. Bake at 350 for 50-55 min or until golden. Cool.Top with whipped cream! 

Here is our dining table all set for dinner!  We had 15 gather for dinner on Monday. So blessed to have family from all sides and special family from New York share a meal together. I got the cute little white pumpkins from the Green Pig Market in Salisbury.

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and try out some of these fun and yummy pumpkin recipes.

 

Where it all began – part 8

Hi there! As I was thinking about what to share this week , I realized we hadn’t completed the cottage tour!  We missed the bathroom. Everyone needs to know where the bathroom is 🙂 .  I had fun creating this space. The creative juices started with a dresser of all things!  When I was looking for ideas and DIY solutions for a sink and vanity, I came across lots of people who had converted a dresser into their vanity.  I found the perfect dresser on Kijiji that was the right height and drawer configuration to be able to convert it to a vanity. Mark was able to get holes cut and drawers shored up to be able to get the plumbing in and through the back. We can still use the drawers which is what I was hoping for with this type of dresser. It was on the narrow side so I had a bit of a harder time to get a sink to fit but we found one.  Our biggest splurge was the faucet I fell in love with. I think it is by Pfister. Mark surprised me with it one day when I didn’t think we could get it. The dresser was the 1st thing I painted with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk paint . I wasn’t thinking of documenting everything back then so I don’t have a before picture. I remember not loving it in the beginning. The dresser took 3-4 coats and I had to put a coat of shellac on the sides at one point because the reddish stain was bleeding through. I didn’t know what I had gotten myself into. I remember talking to Wendy at Front Porch Mercantile about it but she encouraged me to keep going. In the end it is one of my favourite pieces I have redone. I sanded down the top and used Milk paint in Curio watered down as a stain. I had sealed it with tung oil but after a couple years, something got left on it and there was a large imprint left. I resanded it lightly this year, applied more Curio and sealed with 3 coats of Fusion’s Tough Coat.  So far it is holding up but I treat it very tenderly. ( You can see the before and after  pics below ) Because it was a dresser there was no edge at the back so I just stuck a piece of wood trim I had been keeping and it matched up perfectly as an edge for the back of the vanity sealed in Tough Coat as well.

 

 

I had gotten this IKEA shelf on Kijiji also and painted it up with Fusion Mineral Paint and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Mark also had to do some trimming on it so it would fit beside the sink in the corner of the bathroom. It’s great for holding our bath necessities and towels.

One of the other big jobs in the bathroom was painting the floor. I had seen Melanie at Carte Blanche do a stencil treatment on her floor and wanted to try it here on our concrete floors. I love how it turned out!! It was just Sherwin Williams floor paint, the same  we had used throughout the cottage. I used a large stencil I had bought off Amazon. I went up with the stencil and Chalk paint  onto the bottom of the shower curtain to add a little interest 🙂  That little stool started out very dark and sad and rough looking but cute now to hold your bath essentials or to put your foot on to dry after the shower.

This area is behind the door. For an inexpensive window treatment I took an embroidered pillow case I had collected, put some rings at intervals on the sides, tied some cording through them and through a couple rings on a board at the top that we stapled the pillow case onto.  My own little roman shade. The towel rack was just made out of reclaimed tongue and groove with some neat hangers screwed on that I had gotten at Kent with a spot to write our names on each of them.  I got the cute little washboard from my grandmother and gave it a paint treatment with Milk paint and a little stencil as well.

 

We put up MDF beadboard panels around the lower half of the walls and finished with a couple pieces of plain trim  on top.  We still have a large corner area beside the shower that is targeted for a claw foot or soaking tub but our ideas keep changing about what we might do with the space and possible expansion when we move here full time in a few years. There have also been other things that take our extra money right now so the tub still gets pushed down the list! It will be finished some day!

I hope you liked the tour of the bathroom and that it give you some inspiration as well to get some treasures to paint up for your own place.

Next week we will have some Fall inspired projects! I love decorating for Fall at our house in Moncton. What is your favourite Fall activity?

It’s a sign!

This is a quick little post to show some additions we’ve made to the walls at the cottage lately. I love signs and original wall art and was inspired by some art I  have had for a while and by some new items we just picked up. Of course it involved a little paint but they were all easy to do and anyone can do it!

I have had this beautiful print of a heron by Lucy of Craftberry Bush .com for 2-3 years but wanted to add some interest to the canvas. Layla of The Lettered Cottage had shown an idea on an Instagram post for adding some salvaged wood trim to a standard canvas print and I knew just what to use to do my own. We had some leftover salvaged wood from a school in Norton that we had used in the bathroom and my daughter’s bedroom. It matched the colors in the artwork so I had Mark trim it down and nail it together to put around the canvas. I love it even more now!

The second piece of wall art I embellished was by way of a piece of wood I found at a yard sale in Riverside-Albert a few weeks back. I love pieces that are architectural in nature. They look awesome painted up or embellished. I have some in the cottage that I just left as I found them also with their original paint and/or sand on them!

Here is the original piece:

And here it is with a couple coats of Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Typewriter and sealed with Hemp oil. I then added this little typographical ceramic sign I picked up at Front Porch Mercantile in Moncton . ( where you can also get the Milk Paint and Fusion Mineral paint). I put it up above the sink and think it looks cute there ! –

Our third wall addition was a piece of art I had been debating about getting for a while. I couldn’t decide which one to get and I’m sure most of you have seen his work by now. These prints are by local graphic artist Eric Goggin  who owns Goggin Signs and Graphics in Salisbury. He has ventured into doing these types of vintage poster prints in the last few years. They are hugely popular for gifts for loved ones to remember their hometowns and places dear to their hearts. You can find all his prints and options for hanging at Destination Art.ca .  I wanted one for ourselves to hang in the cottage. We ended up getting a print of Fundy Park in the stretched canvas format. I wanted to add some depth and interest to it to make it more of an art piece. I painted up some MDF we had leftover with Fusion Mineral paint in Algonquin and Mark again nailed it together for me. It’s hanging in our hallway at the cottage. I hope to add another one of local interest sometime in the future as well ( there has been a request to make one of Grindstone Island – hint hint).

I hope this has inspired you to look at some options for artwork and signs in your own space or to add to what you already have with a little wood and nails and paint!

Cheers to a great week!

 

Bank stories

On our way to the cottage for Labour Day we stopped in to the Old Bank at Riverside-Albert. So many of us have driven right by as we navigate that turn and stay on route 114 or while we are trying to decide to drive straight and go on the scenic route 915. This stately building at the corner in Riverside-Albert has quite a history! It has moved twice since it was built in 1903  When we stopped in on Sunday, we were able to get an account of the place by David Christie who is in charge of the Albert County Heritage Trust foundation which manages this building and the Shipyard Heritage park I featured here on the Harvey Tour. It is run by the Trust foundation with donations and support of the province. There is some help in the summer with students and Mr. Christie doing tours and it also serves as a visitor’s information centre for the area.

Here are some photos of the place Mark took while we were there. I found another great tour of it on another website called My New Brunswick.  They have some great photos as well with a description of the Bank and its story so I won’t repeat it all here. I encourage you to visit their lovely website featuring places all over New Brunswick. I love being able to travel through their eyes to some places I may never see in person but may get you interested in going to visit!

Mr Christie said they painstakingly removed chipping paint off this door to reveal the original lettering that was on here before it became the Bank of Nova Scotia in 1913.

Oh the stories this bank could tell! Even with its slanted floors and peeling wallpaper it is a gem to be preserved and we are thankful for the Albert County Heritage Trust foundation and residents as well as the province of NB who keep it upright for all of us to enjoy. You can make a donation to this worthy organization by sending a tax-deductible donation to their address at 5985 Route 114, Riverside-Albert, NB E4H 2B8 or contacting them at (506) 882-2015 or 882-2100. Their e-mail contact is maryspt@nbnet.nb.ca

Thank you for the stories Mr. Christie and your dedication to preservation of these lovely places in Albert County!

Vacation- brought to you by the letter B

I kind of lost steam last week and didn’t get a post out. It was a mental and physical drain. We just had 5 days in Waterside so my tank is filling up again and I feel like sharing again.  I wanted to share some of the activities we did and funny enough I realized they started with the letter B! See if you can spot the 3 B activities!

I know I shared before about Mary’s Point and Johnson’s Mills being the places to see the migrating sandpipers but this past weekend was prime at Mary’s Point and we ended up going down every day. We watched for 1-3 hours some days. It was fun to not only watch the birds but we got to interact with people we have only known for a little while ( like Beulah Morrissey from Riverside-Albert) and met new people from the area ( like photographer Sybil Wentzell) and from away. It was late in the season to still have the sandpipers here but Denis Doucet ,the interpreter from Parks Canada and the Canada Wildlife Service, said they could just up and be gone any day depending on the weather. He said they are about double the size they arrived at in July and are roosting more so are ready to fly south any day. We enjoyed seeing some other Birds this week too.

Sandpipers in flight ( ~ 40-50,000)

Beautiful Blue Heron flew right by us at Mary’s Point:

A Merlin on an old tree stump in front of our property: He as well as the Peregrine Falcons have been keeping the sandpipers busy the past few weeks as their main enemy.

Piping Plover exploring Waterside Beach at low tide:

Next on the list this week was more Blueberries! I have picked about 20 cups in the past 2 weeks. I used to hate picking as kid and still don’t really enjoy it but I can’t resist them while they are right there for the picking and free! I tried a couple more recipes:  One was called Blueberry Flan. Jennifer from  Simple Local Life and her guest from Wile’s Farm Market were featuring blueberries the other week and mentioned this dish as a popular one at the market. It is on their website here. I didn’t know what to expect with the list of ingredients and no picture but it was just lovely and stayed good for a few days.  I hope you try it!

The second blueberry recipe I tried was a healthier version from Oh She Glows. It was supposed to feature Raspberry Chia jam but since I had just made some Blueberry Chia jam I used it innstead for another night I needed a dessert. It is not very sweet but I love the oatmeal crumble. You can find the original recipe here.

Lastly I got out a new colour of paint I hadn’t used before from Fusion Mineral Paint- Midnight Blue! I found a dresser on the curb and decided to try to use it for my son’s bedroom in his new apartment at UNB. Here is the before: A little scary.

The top seemed to have a laminate on top and was very slick and glossy so I applied Ultra Grip 1st for better adhesion. I sanded the drawers really well- they seemed to be covered with plaster or a chalk based product so they were easy to sand and cover. I covered the sides and top with 2 coats of Midnight blue and 2 light coats of Raw Silk on the drawer fronts. I thought that might be too plain so found a stencil at the cottage that worked perfectly! I also gave this mirror I found at Value Village a quick coat of blue also!

Here is the after of both:

The drawers were a little sticky since it is quite a rough crude construction so I put some furniture wax on the bottoms and we’ll see if that helps them slide a little better.

All in all a fun project to keep me busy and something I could do as prep for school while at the cottage. It was also so therapeutic. The weather was gorgeous and we were thankful to be able to spend that many days in a row down there.

Did you spot all the B activities? I hope you were inspired to see some Birds, Bake with Blueberries or paint with some Blue. Until next time….