Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Following the Butter Tart Trail.......
Rob and I went on another summer road trip this past Saturday, "The Butter Tart Trail" is basically a self guided road trip in Wellington county. Lots of interesting stops and stores make up the route, and of course the opportunity to buy butter tarts at country bakeries.

We picked four places to check out on our journey, and here they are.

We stopped at Luther Marsh first, because we knew we'd probably spend the most time there birding. It's a big area and we enjoyed our time there. We saw a few different bird species and are looking forward to a return visit in the Fall when the bugs are gone.

We were thrilled to see a Loon.
Taking advantage of the "Look-Out" platform.
It was a lovely view!
These "bugs" I like.
Cows were in the field across the road.

Our second stop was "Misty Meadows" country market where we picked up some fresh corn, peaches, fresh baked peach pie, homemade pickles and of course butter-tarts!

Misty Meadows Country Market, lots of homemade goodness in that building.
   Next we took in River's Edge Goat & Diary Farm, where I picked up some goat milk soap and cheese!

We even got a tour of the barn.
The young ones liked to nibble on my fingers.
Thanks for the milk products guys!
 The goat farm was suppose to be our last stop before heading home, but we decided to hit one more stop on the brochure, "Damascus Emporium".

You could spend hours here looking at all the stuff for sale.
The store is small, but the yard is full of stuff and it stays open all year. It's like a giant yard sale! I purchased a nice, large wooden planter box for $2.50, what a deal!

We were getting hungry by this time and decided to have a late lunch/early dinner before heading back home. Rob located a Pizza Delight in Fergus. Most of them in Ontario have closed, which is to bad, I love their pizza. You could only get food to go, so we ate at a nearby park.

I wish all the locations in Ontario weren't closing.

Love their pizza!
Time for butter tarts!
It was a fun way to spend the day and we'll be checking out more of the route another time.

Footnote: We had an old brochure about the The Butter Trail, and Luther Marsh and Damascus Emporium are not listed on the latest version of the trail, which is now a more direct route with 16 stops. Lucky for us we did have the old brochure, we found a great new place to go birding and I got a great deal on planter! 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Back in June when I attended the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival, I signed up for a subscription to Saltscapes Magazine. It's a magazine about the East Coast; places, food and the people.

I paid for a 2 year subscription and for doing so was given a copy of a recipe booklet containing 10 contest winning recipes for "downhome fare". I tried one this past weekend. The reason this recipe caught my eye at first was the name, "Burnt Grapes", and then when I read the simple ingredients, I knew I just had to try it to find out how it would taste.

Burnt Grapes
  • 4-5 cups (1 L-1.15 L) seedless red or green grapes   
  • 2 cups  sour cream (can be fat-free)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp  vanilla
  • ½ cup  butter or margarine
  • ½ cup  brown sugar
  1. Wash and dry grapes. Mix sour cream, white sugar and vanilla together. Pour mixture over grapes, and stir gently. Place into 9x13-inch (23x33-cm) pan or into individual serving dishes (preferable).
  2. In a saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to boil. Continue boiling until golden, 1-2 minutes, and immediately pour over grapes. Do not stir. Chill 3-4 hours.
  3. Tip: fresh raspberries, blackberries or sliced peaches can be substituted for grapes.

    A simple but tasty recipe.
    This is a simple and great tasting recipe. It's perfect for a refreshing summer dessert and I will definitely be adding it to my recipe box, it's a keeper!

    I'm looking forward to trying the other recipes in the booklet.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Rob had his "Blueberry Grunt" with a side of vanilla ice-cream.

Since my Mother's passing in January, I find myself longing for "home" more then before. I suspect it's part of my grieving process and have embraced it, doing what I can to bring a little more "down home" into my life more regularly. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is through cooking. I suspect Rob wouldn't be to keen on beans and wieners for supper, a Saturday staple when I was a kid, so I've been trying some things I thought he'd enjoy too.

I remember my Mother making "Blueberry Grunt" when I lived at home, but never made it myself. I even remember my Dad eating it for breakfast, though it's really a dessert.  This past Monday, I gave it ago.

I found a recipe on my favorite recipe site, allrecipes.com. It was super easy and turned out well. I will definitely make it again. The only changes I made to the recipe posted were; I used butter instead of shortening, and I had to bake it longer then 30 minutes, I may try baking it at 400 next time.

Fresh from the oven!
It's good served warm or cold.

I even had it for breakfast this morning, I am my fathers daughter after all.

Monday, July 16, 2012


A juvenile Green Heron. Photo by Ann Brokelman 

Sunday morning Rob and I were up and out early to visit Rattray Marsh. He had been there on Monday and had some great sightings.

We went to a part of the marsh that I had not been to before and it was lovely. I found an area on the beach and sat down. It was a pleasant way to spend the morning, just sitting there trying to blend in, watching all the shore birds run and fly around; Killdeer, Great Blue Herons, different types of Sandpipers and Common Terns.

Less then ten feet away from me was a large dead tree with a limb that stretched out over the water, and I just knew if I waited long enough something would perch there. And sure enough, a Song Sparrow came over a couple times and sang from there. And then it happened, a juvenile Green Heron landed there. It was only the third time I had seen Green Herons, and the first time seeing young ones, there were 3 there. Unfortunately Rob was away talking to another photographer when the Green Heron landed so close to me, but fellow birder, photographer, and friend, Ann, was in whispering distance and came over to capture the great shot pictured above.

Rob did get some nice shots too, see below. Click on them to enlarge.

Hanging out at the marsh with the birds was a great way to start the day.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Charli and Steve enjoying the fish & chips in the backyard.

Yesterday morning at work a very "spur of the moment" idea had me having company last evening.
One of my team members, Steve and his prettier half, Charli, came over after work with fish and chips from "Golden Crisp Fish & Chips". 

Steve has been talking about this place since I've known him, so it was good to finally try the fish, which was very good.

Unfortunately Rob was working and missed the get together, but next time we go out for fish and chips, I will choose here so he can try it.

Both Steve and Charli enjoyed all the birds and critters both outside the house and in. I even got to show them a napping raccoon in our shed. "Shhh...he's sleeping."  The humidity effects even the birds and squirrels and the activity wasn't as energetic as it usually is in the backyard, so I told them they would have to come back when it's not so hot.

It was a nice way to start the weekend.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


All psyched for the Canada Day long weekend!
The Canada Day holiday doesn't always make for a long weekend, but this year it did and we were really looking forward to it.

I started my long weekend by meeting a girlfriend after work on Friday for pedicures and dinner out, as Rob had to work until midnight.

Saturday morning we were up and out pretty early despite his getting home late. We had brunch at Cora's and then did some birding.

Male Indigo Bunting, always a great summer visitor to witness.
  After our morning outing, we spent the remainder of Saturday at home enjoying the backyard.

This is where Meadow spends most of her time when outside, with her friends, Ren and Stumpy.
This is "Crusty", he's pretty tame with us. He'll take peanuts and sit with us.
This juvenile Blue-Jay was around most of the long weekend with his parents and siblings.
 Sunday morning we were up pretty early again and heading over Guelph way. We were going to check out the "Aberfoyle Antique Market" for the first time. We had a great time and I came home with the two things I was looking for, I even haggled a little!

Wagon Wheel for the backyard.

Our new, very old, coffee table!
We had a great time at the antique market and will definitely be going back.

Late Sunday afternoon we went to Rob's parents for a BBQ. Both his brothers and niece were there. It was a nice family get together.

Enjoying a cold one at the BBQ.
Canada Day dessert at the BBQ.
  Holiday Monday was spent at home, most of it in the backyard.

Our attempt at a butterfly feeding station.
My "Blue-Bells" are doing good this year.
Moonie enjoyed all the time outside, especially when a female House Sparrow came calling.
Misfit enjoyed her outside time too!
Grackle enjoying the bird bath.

We had a great long weekend, it was just the right mixture of fun and relaxing.