Friday, 13 December 2013

Show and Tell

Art Show, Nova ScotiaAs a fund raiser, the Osprey Arts Center invited all local artists and would-be artists to take participate in a local art show.

It worked like this: you bought two 6" x 6" canvas for $10, painted them anyway you wanted and submitted them to the Osprey for the show.  The work was then displayed and sold for $25 each.  The Osprey got $15 of the proceeds and the artists got $10.  
The show was fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing all the different pieces.
Can you guess which ones are ours?
6 x 6 is not a large canvas, but there were so many ideas. 
My boys have two in this shot
I ended up buying these two by an artists I don't know.

I get to pick them up today, so I can found out who did them.  If it is a woman, I am hoping I can convince her to be a featured artist in the Harmony in Art Show sponsored by Sandy Lane at next year’s Harmony Bazaar Festival of Women and Song.

The show is over today, so now I can tell you which ones we did:
Mine is top right.
The boys want to keep their pieces anonymous.

I hope they do it again next year.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Sweet Dreams Florence

1966 Plymouth Fury
Goodnight Florence
The time has come ...

Frosty Mornings
Minus 10 
 First dusting of snow
 Goodnight Florence 
Sleep Well
See you in the spring!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Some Like it HOT

Hot Sauce, Habenaro Hot Peppers
Ripe Hot Peppers Ready for Harvest

One of our more successful gardening endeavours was to grow habanero peppers.  The reason why the plants have done so well is simply because my husband LOVES hot and spicy foods.  If he could drink hot sauce, he would – in fact, he has!

So, for the past two years he has nurtured our two habanero pepper plants.  This fall all that love and affection paid off with a bumper crop of peppers.  

Picking Peppers
What do you do with 100 habanero peppers you might ask?   

Well, if you are my husband, you make gallons of hot sauce.  He browsed around on the internet checking out hot sauce recipes and eventually decided to give Bob’s Hot Sauce Recipe a try.  I cannot take any credit for the production as I was out at the time.  But, he did enlist the help of our children.   
First they picked the peppers.

Hot Peppers, Habenaro Hot Sauce Recipe
Harvesting the Peppers
Then they gathered the rest of the ingredients.
The Ingredients
Notice how they are wearing gloves.  Rubbing your eyes or other sensitive body parts with hot pepper fingers is not nice!   
Measuring the Mustard
This is a no cook recipe, so all they had to do was blend it together.  

Ready for blending
Once the hot sauce was finished, it was bottled in sterilized beer bottles.  A fitting vessel if you knew my husband.

Bottled in Boxing Rock Beer Bottles

There were enough peppers to make FIVE GALLONS of hot sauce!

It is a good thing I like hot sauce.  Not quite as much as my husband – I certainly won’t be drinking it from the bottle!  

We had it with dinner and it really is delicious.  The peaches add a sweetness, which is followed by the heat of the habanero with an after taste of pepper.  It really is flavourful. 

I think a few lucky friends may get some of this for Christmas - if there is any left!
Habenaro Hot Peppers
Go On ... I Dare You!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

BBQ Lobster Confession

Lobster, cooked lobster, nova scotia lobster, lobster feast
I have a Pinterest board for my Sandy Lane Vacation Rentals business, with various Nova Scotia inspired boards: things like seafood recipes, lighthouses, beaches, vacation ideas, art and culture - you get the idea.  

The most popular pin I have is for a recipe for Barbecued Lobster.   I put on a while ago after finding it at this web site.  I think the pin has been re pinned over 100 times!

Well I have to confess - I have never actually made the recipe.  We had relatives visiting so, we decided to go ahead and give this method a try. In case you want to give it a go - here it is: 

The original picture
Barbecued Lobster


Medium size lobsters; butter; Lemon; Salt and pepper

Select live lobsters that weigh between 1-1/2 and 2 pounds. 

In a large pot, bring about two gallons of salted water to a boil. Parboil two lobsters at a time in a covered pot for five to seven minutes.

Fresh from the pot

Remove lobsters from the cooking pot, turn them upside down on a cutting board, and slice them in half lengthwise from the tail to the top of the head. Use a sharp knife to split the claws only on the side that will be turned up on the grill. 
Cut lobster - we washed away the green yucky bits

Place each half lobster, shell side down, on a grill that has been pre-heated to medium temperature.  We had a procedure adjustment here and grilled them meat side down to begin with.
On the grill
Baste the exposed lobster meat with melted butter or oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. For added flavor, use seasoned oils, or add garlic, herbs and spices or lemon or lime juice to the butter.

Cover lobsters with a metal pie plate or a shallow roasting pan to ensure quick and even cooking. Remove the cover periodically to baste the lobsters and to check cooking progress.

Grill lobsters for about 10 minutes. Be sure to check the meat at the thickest part of the tail in order to determine that lobsters are completely cooked. When the meat is white and opaque, your grilled lobsters are ready to eat.

Serve grilled lobster with melted drawn butter and a slice of lemon.
The finished dinner

My picture is not as pretty as the recipie picture above.  I was distracted by the promise of lobster and forgot to take my "beauty shot".  So this picture is an "action shot" of lobster on plate.  The lobster was Delicious!   I really liked it.  I loved that there was NO water on the plate after serving them.  It  seems as though it does not matter just how much you drain boiled / steamed lobster that there is ALWAYS water on the plate.  Gross.  My boys preferred it the "old fashioned way" - their words not mine.

Bon appetite!

Monday, 4 November 2013

Wicked Witch Wilda

Witch, Halloween Window Display
I was inspired by the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival and decided to create a wicked Halloween witch for my office window display.  I always try to do something seasonal to put in the window.  It is a way for me to express some creativity and I love it when the local day care children walk by and stop to look in the window.  Their little faces pressed up against the glass and their high pitched voices commenting on the various items always makes me smile!
Dried Dragon Wings and Bats Blood

So this Halloween, I decided to go all out and make a witches kitchen scene.  Halloween is my favourite holiday and I cannot resist all the wonderful Halloween decorations.  
Rats and Cats Eyes
I am always coming home with more ghouls, skeletons, bats, spiders, and other creepy creatures. 
Skulls and Candles
As a result of that, I have a ridiculous amount of Halloween decorations, so finding items for her kitchen was easy.  I spray painted an old set of shelves, backed them with burlap and then put lint on them to act as dust.  I suspect witches are not all that particular about cleanliness.  
Skulls and Goblets
The boys and I made witches' preserves: clot of bats blood, cats eyes, dried dragon wings, etc.  I found some old bones, spiders, owls,  and rats in my collection of Halloween goodies and added them to the kitchen shelves.  I created the floor for her kitchen out of burlap, fall leaves and a large supply of spiders.

Bubbling Eyeball and Spider Stew
Her cauldron was filled with bubbling stew made from coloured spray foam and spiders.

Witch Frame

Making the witch herself was an interesting exercise.  I used two tomato catches interlaced to make the basic frame for her body.  I then shaped chicken wire to make her arms and shoulders and head.  I have had an old hoop skirt in my attic for over 10 years that I have been keeping for some unknown purpose - now it is a witches' petticoat. I dressed her in a turtleneck, various black shirts and fabrics and started added witchy jewelry.  I particularly like this skulls necklace.

Making the hands was a little more challenging.  I shaped fingers out of chicken wire, attached them to a basic hand armature, taped them and then covered them with washing up gloves.  I then attached the hands to the arms and covered them in some gruesome cloves that I had found years ago at Frenchys.  For the face I used an ugly witch mas, with painted ping pong balls for eyes.  The face is OK, but if I had more time I would have liked to do a paper mache face ... maybe next year.     
My efforts were rewarded with a long visit from my Little Peoples Place friends: 
all Oohing and Ahhing.

 Thanks kids for making my day!

Friday, 1 November 2013

Too Many Pumpkins

Is there such a thing as too many pumpkins? We think not! Each year we buy a ridiculous number of pumpkins.  There is something about them that attracts us.

Is it their marvelous orange colour?  Their interesting shapes?  The fun we have carving them?

Pumpkin Carving - messy fingers!

pumpkin carving, nova scotia, happy halloween
Happy Halloween

Their size?
pumpkin patch, dill pumpkins
Giant Pumpkins grown in the Dill Pumpkin Patch, Windsor, Nova Scotia

I don't know, all I do know is that one is NEVER enough!

Nova Scotia, Farm, Pumpkin Patch
Indian Garden Farms, Hebbville, Nova Scotia