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Whats Cookin' Miramichi Blog

Summer 2010

Sara KGBB - Sunday, July 04, 2010
A whole month without an update, just goes to show how busy we've been!  We did win the provincial tourism award for "Excellence and Innovation in Marketing" on May 27th in Edmunston and I have to say that John did an admirable job accepting it on my behalf. I was, of course, at home entertaining and cooking a lobster dinner for guests and was totally surprised when I received the call notifying me of the prize!  In any event, it's still a 'best-kept secret' here on the river, since no local press reported it, but it's spreading via word of mouth.  We are anticipating a busy summer season with guest bookings and start off with a bang July 1st weekend, with little vacancy other than the occasional Mon - Tues evening.
We had a great visit with my Mum, brother Tim, and S-I-L Jean in mid-June and were delighted she was able to make the trip via car from Orangeville, ON.  Tim & Jean continued on to St. Andrew's and PEI while we entertained Mum; showing her all of the highlights of the Miramichi in summer.  She had difficulty staying awake during the day, and everytime we caught her napping, she'd say 'Must be the air here!'
After a weekend filled with Canada Day and Rock'n'Roll festival activities, duck races, fireworks, dancing at Richie Wharf, etc. we're heading out to the brother's for a fish fry. John was also the big $1000 cash winner at the Legion's Canada Day draw, so he's going to buy a lotto ticket since he's on a roll now!  First the 10lbs of fresh lobster in May, then the $1K cash, and who know what's next!
We're sweltering in a 32C  heatwave today, but thunderstorms are expected before evening to cool things down a little. Thank goodness we have air conditioning in all the guest rooms, as well as the main floor living area.  I've now been introduced to the local game of skill known as 'Washer Toss' and am working on obtaining one for our own backyard. Thanks to the MacNeils weekend invitation to the Bartibog!
We've also been busy de-weeding the back and frontyards as the grass grows back, but somehow those dandelions keep reappearing! If we were paid by the pound, we'd be wealthy!  And my project to restain the interior foyer door has finally ended!  John sanded it and I stained and varnished it, so we're ready to have it re-installed.  Given that it's a 100+ year old door, it's not fantastic, but it sure looks a lot better than it was!  And naturally, today was the day my Sourdough Starter was finally ready and we're baking sourdough bread!  I guess Mother Nature just takes control of everything.  .  .I've been waiting for that starter to bubble and blossom for a whole week! Must be something to do with the warm temperatures and the humidity!
I will keep you posted as to the outcome of the bread!

May Events

Sara KGBB - Thursday, May 27, 2010
After our trip to Ontario to visit with family and friends, we arrived back in Miramichi on Sunday, May 2nd to find we have been nominated for the Tourism New Brunswick's 'Excellence and Innovation' award!  Unfortunately, I can't attend the awards ceremony and gala in Emundston on May 27th since I have a couple from Calgary checking in for the "Dowhome Lobster Dinner' package and someone has to be here to cook it!  But our friends, Rod & Irene Maloney have graciously agreed to accompany John to this event and accept the award on my behalf, should we actually win!  The Maloney's are spending 3-4 days with us in late May and it's always a pleasure to have such a handyman around the house. We have a long and evergrowing list of things to keep him busy.
In the meantime, Paradise Landscaping has removed a fence, installed an interlocking stone patio and walkway, and cleaned and tidied all of the flower and planting beds.  The edible and flowering crab and apple trees are in full bloom, and the lilacs are competing with them for Best in Show!  The scent of the lilacs is absolutely intoxicating, and not to be missed.
With the arrival of such an early Spring here on the river, we've had some unusually hot temperatures of 28 - 30C and the Victoria Day weekend was superb! We even had another family member visit with the sole intention of purchasing river front property so she can retire and fish to her heart's content.  I firmly believe there is something magical in the Miramichi River that permeates the very soul and is irresistible! I'll keep you posted if we win anything at the TIANB Gala.

Mother's Day G and Tea Specials

Sara KGBB - Friday, April 23, 2010
Apr 24, 2010 - As we head up to Ontario for a few days with family & friends, we're also looking forward to our upcoming May events.  Especially our 'Mother's Day G and Tea' dates beginning May 8 through May 16th on just the Saturday and Sunday afternoons.  I will be on the lookout for more 3-tier serving dishes to try to make our afternoon tea as authentic as possible.  We also have a trip planned to Ikea and a few lighting stores to obtain the final fixtures and fittings for John's 'spa' bathroom.  In our absence, our contractor will proceed to install the roof skylight over the shower, and then the plumber can finish the rest. Richard, our landscape designer, has remedied the worst of the damage done to our front retaining wall, and along with his trusty helper, Dave, they've cleaned out the backyard pond, installed a new pump, and made a cascading waterfall.  And even recycled a couple of cedar trees that survived the winter to make the waterfall look as natural as possible. When we return, we're expecting to see some new planting material and our bulbs in bloom.  I keep telling John, " Just wait until the lilacs bloom, they're the talk of the town!"

March 2010 Events

Sara KGBB - Sunday, February 28, 2010
March 2010 - Darcy and I had our second demo at Eel Ground First Nations on Feb 25th for 'Canning & Preserving'.  We prepared Bread & Butter pickles, Tomato Mango Salsa, and a Smoked Tomato Chutney and served blueberry pie made from my frozen blueberry pie filling. Darcy demonstrated two familiar methods of sterilization for the glass jars and lids, from using the 'sterilization' feature on new dishwashers, boiling in a water bath canning kettle, to heating the bottles in a 200F oven for 20 minutes. One of the participants had her 4-yr old grandson in tow and he was an absolute delight, with great praise for the 'delicious blueberry pie' and the proof was indeed in the pudding, with a picture taken of his face with blueberry stains from his nose to his chin! We sampled some commercially prepared salsa, and then when our own Tomato Mango salsa was ready, taste-tested the difference.  I must say how pleasantly surprised I was to hear how much better they liked the homemade version. Once the evaluations are completed, we may have the opportunity to do other demos on Sustainable Food Supply and Security for First Nations.  It is extremely rewarding to see the interaction between all of the participants and exchange ideas and recipes. I always leave with more ideas and suggestions that I can hardly wait to put into practice and I'm supposed to be the teacher!

We're also working on the possibility of doing a Seniors Supper class at Retirement Miramichi if interest warrants it so I will keep you posted.

Post-surgery and Update

Sara KGBB - Sunday, February 14, 2010

John's angioplasty done last week in Moncton has been a resounding success!  He actually went for a walk yesterday, (for the first time in a year we think) and although the Henry St. hill just about did him in, he made it home safe and sound. So today perhaps we'll attempt another route on more level ground! Now that he can manage stairs safely,and can make it up to the attic,  I'll have to be more vigilant with my hiding places!  He's a great man for getting rid of anything he hasn't seen or used in 6 months or so! Creates a little domestic discord trying to keep ahead of him!

The renovations to the office addition are just about complete.  We're waiting for the 'shower spa' and floor to be installed and tiled, and then that becomes a bright & cozy 2-room suite for those guests unable to manage stairs.  The first guest should be my 85-yr old mother expected in early July and if she likes it, then we're away to the races! And we may have another 1st with a request for a 3-tier wedding cake for a local bride and groom in late July.  Just waiting to have the details confirmed and then we'll have to get creative.

The new What's Cookin' winter class schedule is proving to be successful, with 2 new Saturday classes targeted exclusively for guys. We introduced 'Basic Knife Skills" along with 'Sauces, Stocks & Soups' in January, along with the regular ethnic cooking classes, and have had tremendous success so far. And the 'Kids in the Kitchen' and baking classes are also proving to be a hit, especially with the grandparents who have the time and patience to encourage the youngsters. I must say I enjoy it probably more than the children, since it helps ease the loneliness of not seeing my own grandchildren every weekend.

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