Saturday, January 30, 2010
The title of this post is taken from the famous quotation of the waitress serving the Duke of Edinburgh at a ceremonial dinner in a distant northern Canadian city. As she removed the main course plate, she recommended to the Duke, "Keep your fork, Duke, there's Pie."
Pie is important. So is having a fork to eat it...
Skiing and snowshoeing is only part of the getaway adventure. Food always features big in gatherings. We celebrate our friendships with good food, good conversations, good times.
Jan knows this well, so last week, while most of the 'Gang' were out on the trails, she whipped up a Peaches 'N Cream Tart for dessert.
From all reports, it tasted as good as it looked, and it sure didn't last very long! What is it they say about making good meals? Takes two hours to make, and two minutes to consume? Something like that...
Here's the recipe for this no-cook tasty treat. Thanks so much to Jan for sharing!
Jan's Famous No-Bake Peaches "N Cream Tart
1 398 ml can peach halves in fruit juice, drained
3/4 cup (175 ml) sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 9" graham cracker crust
Fresh mint leaves.
1) Chop peaches into bite size pieces on paper towel-lined plate.
2) Whisk together sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in peaches.
3) Beat cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold into sour cream and peaches mixture.
4) Scrape mixture into graham cracker crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.5) Using a long knife dipped in hot water cut tart, garnish with fresh mint leaves. Dust with cinnamon if desired.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
When you are a shetland pony, as is Squeegee, and there is a huge round bale of hay -- sort of an endless buffet -- in front of you, it's a bit of a problem.
The January thaw arrived late on Sunday. It brought with it rain, which is not fun, because it turns the ski and snowmobile trails into a slushy mess, soaks coats and mittens, and puts down a wicked sheen of ice where you'd like to walk. The good news was that the thaw seemed short lived -- by afternoon today it had turned back into snow. After all, winter is just way more fun when you can get out and play with it!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
They are ideal for anyone looking for beauty in the small details. The colours in the sand that comes up from the spring, the patterns the water leaves trickling over the hard sand, the tracks drawn in the snow by the creatures that come to drink, all are beautiful. Most fantastic and breath-taking of all are these exquisite frost creations that blossom along the
During a conversation with David, the discussion arose about domestic animals that have gone to war for us. Horses, obviously, God save them all, who carried cavalry, pulled guns and supplies, and died in the mud and hell of battlefields since the first horse allowed Man to sit on his back. Mules. Donkeys. Camels. Elephants, stomping across the Alps with Hannibal, who needed some lessons in climatology. Dogs, who carry messages, sniff out dangers and fight alongside their handlers. Dolphins, equipped by the Navy with weird devices to go look for mines. Even pigeons (but no record of chickens) have been pressed into our battles carrying messages.
“But not cats,” David suggested, as Achmed rolled over on the desk and grabbed David’s fingers in his claws. I think he was using those needle sharp claws to make a point. There was an occasion, in recorded history, when cats got up from their place by the fire and went into battle. Not willingly, I’m sure. In ancient Egypt, the cat was sacred. People had to stop what they were doing to render aid to an injured cat. To cause death to a cat was to suffer a hundred nasty hells. In short, you didn’t want injured, dying cats anywhere near you if you hoped to continue a long and peaceful life. The Romans knew this, and during a siege, they gathered up all the cats they could get their hands on, and fired them over the walls into the city streets, causing mass panic and crippling the fighting forces, who were thrown into great confusion and distress by the sight of cats being destroyed all around. It is a odd, tearful, sidenote to a greater history, but to Achmed, he of the long ginger fur and inquisitive nature, it matters. He set the matter straight, with a little help from David in spelling the longer wordsd, and unabashed by lack of rhyme or political correctness...
Achmed Teaches History
The walls, gray and high...
Without, the shouts of Romans
Within, panic and fear
The sky darkens
Strange blossoms in the sky
Unfolding, brown, black, white and gray
Some ginger. Some the shade of saffron.
The sky alive with caterwaul
The cats have breached the walls
Flung from trebuchet.
Cats fired over walls...
The CAT, as Missile...
Sacred cats, descending
Into the streets of Egypt
January 30 is the date for the Algonquin Snowmobile Club's Annual Chili Cook-off, at McCann Camp. That means that there will be smokin' hot chili, chili that will lift the roof off your mouth, chili that will set your eyes watering when you're still riding in to the camp on your sled. But it's all good...
Did you know there is one type of chili who's Mexican name translates to 'gringo killer'? Well, it will probably be at the Chili Cook-off, too!
Visit the ASC website for details.
They've got lots more action coming up. There's a course for kids, Driver Training, on Feb. 6th at the Oxtongue Lake Community Centre. After all, if you're going to drive, you should know how to drive safe, yes?
February 13 is the Celebration of the Sled at Oxtongue Lake. Test drives, new models, power tour, BBQ... There's no place to ride like right here in North Muskoka and Oxtongue Lake.
Helen sent along some of their photos to share, too. Not just pictures of their smiling faces gliding along the ski trails, but on a side-trip to Andrews Oxen, where they had a sleigh ride with Spark and Star. That's something different from the 'usual' horse drawn sleigh, and the oxen are quite the characters when you get to know them.
The sunset provided a lovely backdrop for some of the deer walking in front of the Lodge, too.
Thanks for sending us the pictures! We love to get them.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
That mild weather means there's moisture in the air -- and that settles on the trees, turns to frost overnight, and greets the morning with images like these. These were sent to me by Gloria Woodside, and we're delighted to share them here.
"Going to the Banff Mountain Film Festival," he replied.
So here's to you Algonquin Outfitters! We're thrilled you're our neighbours. Happy Birthday! Rock on!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Gary, over at the Algonquin Inn on Oxtongue Lake, has the kind of camera I dream about. (My birthday is in May, if you're all wondering what to club together and get for me... hint hint)
He's also located within the proverbial stone's throw of Algonquin Park, and spends a lot of his time in the Park, that fancy camera in hand. He is also, unlike myself, imbued with enough patience to Wait for the Shot. (It's the reason I don't fish... impatience... after all, I figure I dropped the bait down there, the fish had their chance... you snooze, you lose)
Sometimes Gary sends us photos to put on our Blog - he's been over here taking close-ups of our bluebirds, chickadees, fawns, for instance.
So today I'm posting one of his portraits, this one of a Pine Marten he found in the Park, near the Visitor Centre bird feeders. Go to his Nature Blog to read the whole post, and see more of his photos of this lovely little critter, and a whole lot more!
Sunday, January 17, 2010
The wax crews were hard at work, putting meticulous finishes on the skis to give the athletes the best possible chance.
The competitors and their support crews weren't the only folks there -- quite a lot of specators were out enjoying the day. Mike, Scott and Jodi from the Organizing Committee for the Ontario Winter Games were on hand at the finish to cheer the athletes, all of them sporting "correctly tied" scarves.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
We aren't the only ones around with deer hanging about. This chap came out to say "Hello" when I dropped it at our cousins', at Logging Chain Lodge in Dwight. Anne-Marie says he's robbing the birdfeeders. He's also eating their shrubs...
Friday, January 15, 2010
$20 provides a hygiene kit to help people clean off days of grime, cleanse wounds and help prevent infection
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Near the Government wharf, built to take the big lake steamers, at nearby Glenmount, a church was constructed to accommodate summer worshippers. (that would be worshippers here in the summer, not those worshipping summer... a fine distinction, but perhaps important)
The original church was built in 1908, and although it was not engineered for Muskoka winters, it stood against the worst of winters until 1943, when it collapsed under a particularly heavy fall of snow.
It was reconstructed in 1944, designed by architect L. Somerville and under the carpentry skills of Lewellyn Robertson. The interior was left in its natural state, showing the beauty of the pine rafters and timbers and remains in its original design today. A large cathedral window allows the worshippers to look beyond the green woods and into the blue sky. The pulpit had been saved from the cave-in and also salvaged were the oak chancel chairs. Much to the congregation's glee, the old hard backed chairs of the first church were replaced with the lovely oak pews that remain in place today. The original Bell was also salvaged, and mounted on a memorial cairn in 1969.
The church has been and still remains the focus of the community of Norway Point -- no longer just in summer -- and recently was the proud recipient of a Built Heritage award from the Lake of Bays Heritage Foundation.
Gloria Woodside sent us this beautiful 'Christmas card-worthy' photo she took of this charming slice of Lake of Bays history. A drive around the Lake of Bays will take a day-tripped to several exquisite small churches like this, that remind us not only of time past, but can with their beauty replenish that sense of worship and awe in all of us.