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Whats Cookin' Miramichi Blog

February 2011 Update

Sara KGBB - Monday, February 28, 2011

February 2011 Update


What – more snow!! We must have 3-4ft of hard packed snow on the ground and more in the forecast!  I have become ‘one’ with my snowblower though, after 2 years of minimal use and much cursing I have mastered the ‘pushbutton start’ at last!  Who knew the darn thing had to be plugged in! I still refer to it as ‘The Beast’ and just don’t think I will ever really warm up to using it.  My trainee chef, Jamie just loves it and can’t wait for it to snow so he can get out and use the blower. Gotta be a guy thing!

Had a busy month with Weekend Couples Packages and a romantic Valentines Dinner here at the B&B.  Had a chance to preview some new menu items – Roasted Winter Root Vegetables with balsamic vinegar, Herbed Basil Shrimp marinated, grilled and served over pasta, and Braised Beef Shanks in red wine and beef broth . . .yum! We’re still experiencing a big demand for our Dark Chocolate Lava Cakes and introduced a Lemon Custard Cup along with a guilt-free Angel Food cake with berries to our dessert menu. And our ‘Murder on the Menu’ mystery dinners have proven to be so popular, we’ve had to extend them through the month of April.  Usually we stop in March, but now have bookings to April 30th so we must be doing something right!

John and I had our own Valentines date on Feb 13th at the White Gold Dinner concert and enjoyed listening to the fabulous musical talents of some local musicians and singers. It never fails to surprise me just how much talent we have so close at hand.  I think that was the first time John has been out socially for weeks and sure enough, picked up a doozy of a chest cold that he’s still suffering with. My but he does hate winter! But living in northern New Brunswick, you’ve just got to embrace it and get out and enjoy it! But having said that, we’ve had a guy here 2 weekends in a row removing the accumulated ice/snow pack on our roof edges. In some places it was easily 3ft thick and with the heat of the sun melting and then re-freezing it into layers, it was a potential hazard. Even so, we have had water damage on the western gable window in the attic leaking down onto the 2nd floor. We had it sprayed with an anti-fungicide and have commercial fans blowing in the 3rd floor and hopefully have restricted the damage just to the hardwood floor in our guest lounge, and not in any of our guest rooms. Oh the joys of a century home!

And now my CFO (otherwise known as John) is valiantly trying to input all of our data into Excel in order to send it to the accountant to do our 2010 taxes. He would prefer to use a pen and manually enter debits and credits into a ledger, so you can imagine his frustration level! But he’s completed May 2010 so far, and I’m sure with enough encouragement, will finish it before mid-April

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!"

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