Thursday, 30 March 2017

A sparkling morning wander

I have observed within this new chapter that everyday seems to be different and also have its own unique beauty.

With overnight freezing rain, it was a delight this morning to see everything outside was sparkling in the bright early sunshine. So with cheerful joy and not too much delay, it was off on a wander down to the tidal LaHave River.

The brilliance of the morning was absolutely awesome, it was like we were walking down corridors and lanes of glistening chandeliers weighing down tree branches into what seemed like awkward and uncomfortable configurations. Due to the slight wind, the silence was disturbed only by the loud cracking of higher elevated ice as it broke from trees and smashed to the ground.
I often find photographs rarely do justice to many of the panoramic splendours available to us, this is especially true with the selection below ....

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Freezing rain's natural creations

Some pics taken during a couple of days of freezing rain ….


No beach today, but Cheesy Buttermilk Scones ...

With freezing rain on the outside, a rare day was spent on the inside catching up with Gusto food shows. Today those included episodes of Luke Nguyen’s UK, Rachel’s Coastal Cooking, Paul & Nick’s Big Food Trip and Jamie & Jimmy’s Food Fight Trip.

It is only recently that I have taken a genuine interest in such shows, mainly because in addition to recipes and things they also take in the great scenery and the lovely culture of Ireland, Scotland and other great places visited in the British Isles.

After today’s viewing Linda quietly disappeared and produced the most wonderful and truly fantastic scones ~ Cheesy Buttermilk Scones. The recipe is courtesy of Rachel’s Coastal Cooking, as Rachel was travelling around Ireland’s beautiful and dramatic coastline.

Parts List ~
450 g (1 lb) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp bread soda (or 1 level kitchen tsp)
75 g (3 oz.) butter
100 g (3½ oz.) Cheddar cheese, grated (Linda actually split the cheese content with White Cheddar and Havarti Cheese)
350 ml (12 fl oz.) buttermilk
Production Plan ~
1. Preheat the oven to 220C (420F), Gas mark 7. Dust a baking tray with flour.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne and soda into a bowl and mix with your hands.
3. Rub in the butter, then mix in the grated cheese. Make a well in the centre and add in all the buttermilk (if the buttermilk is quite thick you may need 25 ml/1 fl oz. more). Using your hand outstretched to look like a claw, go around the sides of the bowl to mix the wet and dry ingredients. Stop mixing once it all comes together.
4. Lightly flour the worktop. Tip the dough out onto it, dust more flour over the top and pat the dough into a piece about 2.5 cm (1 in) high. Cut into 14 ‘scones’, each about 7.5 cm (3 in) in diameter. Do be careful not to knead the dough at all, otherwise the scones will be tough and heavy.
5. Place on the prepared baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6 and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the scones are golden and sounding hollow when tapped on the base.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

March madness ...?

……. Certainly not today.
Anyone who knows or remembers me from the past will recall my dislike for winter. Today marks the second full day of spring but in reality it felt like a frigid snowy day from the depths of January or February, certainly not what I expect late March should be. The “should be” comes from growing up in Scotland where my internal senses for late March is firmly set to a default of daffodils, green grass and buds on the trees.

As I journey through this new chapter I am learning much about myself and the environment in which we have chosen to live. Now that we are entering our fourth season here in the South Shore we have found that each new season has been better than the last. Yes, even winter has been great and a positive delight, so this week’s slight intrusion into spring by the cold season is OK and certainly has my approval …!!!!
During my last life I did truly hate winter, but I now believe that had more to with my environment and the circumstances within it. Today, while out on one of our wanders I actually began to feel some regret that very soon the sparkling ice and beautiful white accents of winter will soon pass to be substituted by the next season known for its growth, rebirth and rejuvenation. I suppose, like we have experienced already the coming season will be good and perhaps even better than the one we are leaving. Some folks from my past will find this incredible that I now draw comfort from the fact, it is only nine months until winter arrives again with its unique brilliance, beauty and characteristics.

Below are some pics from today’s pleasure trip. The church shown in the last two photos is St. John Evangelist Anglican Church constructed during 1903 on Bell Island. It is located down a bumpy gravel road where it was built almost on a cliff edge with a beautiful view of the LaHave Islands. The province of Nova Scotia has hundreds if not thousands of churches. Most of them are small white wooden structures. In some locations you may actually find two or three of them in the space of just a few hundred yards. So far on our wanders we have not seen many or in fact any folks attending church, perhaps that’s because services start far too early on a Sunday morning….!!!!!



Monday, 13 March 2017

Cherry Hill Beach

Cherry Hill Beach is a hidden gem, located just down the road from Crescent and Rissers Beaches. It offers a direct route to happiness via its empty vast curve of fine grey sand, exposed water and endless sky. A wonderful beach for a good long wander with fantastic rocks for exploring.

In bright sunshine and a cool brisk south east wind, the tide was on its way out. The mostly flat rocks at one end of the beach had a scattering of glowing ice chunks probably deposited there during some recent storm.

Another great beach wander with some local wildlife on show, see the snail trail .....