Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy National Cat Day

I love animals but in particular, I adore kitty cats. Here I am with a few sweeties. At left: Cinnamon, Richard's cats Barney and Skanoo, Domino celebrating her 20th birthday and my latest fur baby, Matzo Man.
Every day is National Cat Day around these parts!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Smyth's Apple Orchard

On Sunday we headed out to visit Smyth's Apple Orchard the place that grew the first McIntosh apple.

 Inside there is a myriad of choices of types of apples. We ended up buying a basked of McIntosh (natch) and a basked of Pink Lady.

 We asked if we could walk around the orchard a bit. Picking time is long gone but we were still curious and they said we were welcome to go for a walk.

 There were still plenty of apples out back waiting to be sorted.
 The orchard was absolutely huge. Lovely trees, each one had a support stick and tied up. What a lot of work!

I was looking for a real old-timer...maybe one of the original McIntosh trees? Then I read this article from CBC about the last McIntosh tree.

 On the way back there was a bit of a commotion. The friendly farm dog had to be distracted and just rubbing his belly did the job.

 A piggy had ventured over from the farm across the road.

 He was far more interested in the fallen black walnuts than the offered apple. I'm assuming the little guy ended up back across the road...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Hermit thrush

 The sweetest little bird was sitting outside my window yesterday so quick like a bunny, I grabbed my camera to get a shot!

It looked like somewhat like a young robin, but I know in late October that's not what it was. Perhaps a female purple finch? The beak was all wrong. Thankfully, I have a few trusty birders who pointed me in the direction of a hermit thrush, one of the later birds that fly south.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A weekend away

 Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving when we go up to Richard's sister's house for a grand Thankgiving dinner with family.

 This year we decided to rent a wee cabin at Dwight Beach instead of staying in the big house with the family.

 The cabin was sweet and it was right on Dwight Beach. I imagine the place is hopping in the summertime.

 Misty mornings made for moody photos.

 On Sunday, before the grand meal, we decided to explore Oxtongue-Ragged Falls Provincial Park, just a stone's throw from Algonquin Park.

 The water patterns were very painterly.

 Selfie time!

 There's a short trail to the top of a rocky ledge where the water flows down. Amazing view!

Very, very rocky!


Friday, October 10, 2014

1st anniversary celebration

 How to celebrate the first anniversary of a sweet café? Pennants running alongside a cake...

 ...filled with colourful confetti sprinkles, of course!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Pop-up supper

I went to a pop-up supper the other night. It was hosted by The Quirky Carrot in Alexandria, in collaboration with the Farmhouse Tavern, whose staff came all the way from Toronto.
In case you're curious what a pop-up dinner is, here's Wiki's definition: Pop-up restaurant

 Julia and Darcy, owners of The Quirky Carrot and The Farmhouse Tavern oversaw all the details.

 Each course was paired with a delicious wine. I forgot to photograph the oysters with which we started. Next was this amazing ploughman's platter: two kinds of Glengarry Fine Cheese, marinated colourful carrots, sausage, duck eggs soaked in beet and a fantastic sort of mousse liver-y type thing that I loved!

Next was a seared scallop with a smoked sturgeon and creme fraiche croquette with carrot romesco. Tasted great and lovely presentation.

 Then there was a smoked veg course with roasted squash, carrots, beets, brussel sprouts, brocco-flower on a bed of, was it a kohlrabi mousse?

 And finally, there was a blue plum walnut tart with concord grape sorbet and honey cream. Yum!

 Everyone worked very hard to get 40 or so plates to the table. 
And each course was paired with a complementary wine, so the sommelier was run off his feet!

 I was lucky to have such charming dinner companions. A wonderful evening, my first ever pop-up supper and what fun. Hope Darcy and his gang at the Farmhouse come back to Alexandria from the Big Smoke for a repeat performance. Truly a delightful evening.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scrabble cupcakes

A friend of mine has a godfather who is turning 65 and loves Scrabble.
Perfect way to ring in his birthday I think.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chippy time

I have several resident chipmunks who love when I fill my former herb pot with peanuts. More fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Common mergansers

I just loved seeing these common mergansers on Lake of Bays last week on vacation. There were five of them, diving and swimming. Apparently the female hangs out with the juveniles all summer and the male takes off for some man cave somewhere or something. The female and young ones have rusty heads. The male has a dark green head.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Early morning Algonquin Park

 The mist rising off the water was so lovely the other day when we drove through Algonquin Park.

 Almost looks like a black and white photo.

 I especially loved how clear the water was, the blue sky reflection and the mist off the water.

Richard in silhouette on our favourite rock that juts out into the lake. We try and visit that rock as often as we can.

And we try to take selfies from that spot too. Fun!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Amazing burgers at Webers

Just last week, on our way from Toronto to Muskoka we went to the world famous Weber Burger joint. Last year we travelled that way on Labour Day and the line up was insane. This year it wasn't quite as bad, the service was fast and I'm so happy we got to try a Weber's burger.
Apparently, this amazing fellow known as Key Man started twirling hot dots at the age of 16 on Weber's opening day, July 16, 1963 and has now flipped burgers for 45 + years and hasn't missed a beat. Weekend fans watch him flip 800 burgers an hour, flipping at break neck speed. Wowza!

We were doubly lucky because it was such a lovely day outside and we got to enjoy our burgers in the sunshine.

Yum, yum, yum! Can't wait to go back next year!

If you want to read more about Weber's here's their

And more about "Keyman" the burger guy here:

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 60th Ron!

 My friend Ron celebrated his 60th birthday in Toronto last week and my gift to him was the cake.

 Ron has a larger than life personality and a joie de vivre that he shares with everyone he meet.  I wanted to make a cake to reflect this.

 I decided a film strip of his life over the past six decades might suit. I made three 9"x13" slab cakes and each one featured two decades of Ron. I cut the boards, reattached the cut piece for transport and when I got to the venue of the party, I removed the removable bits to put them all together as one cake.

And here is the finished product. What an adventure! Travelling 5 hours in 30C and then putting it together was just nuts but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. Happy birthday to you, dear Ron!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fox and buck

Driving home this evening, I saw a critter in the road. It was a fox.I wondered why it was so still that I could grab a photo. Why, it was having a pee by the side of the road.

 Guess it wasn't too impressed with me. What a look!

 Round the corner on the road was a deer...a buck. He ran off, followed by a doe.

All this followed by a lovely sunset. A perfect end to a gorgeous Labour Day!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Late summer hummer

Richard snapped this shot of a female ruby-throated hummingbird trying to get some nectar from the remains of my bee balm.


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