Canadian Thanksgiving 🦃🍁🍂🌰

The origins of Canadian Thanksgiving are more closely connected to the traditions of Europe than of the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts!

And somehow…I just think it’s better celebrated in October…when the summer’s hardwork pays off with a bountiful harvest of various produce and the leaves are all in brilliant colour. We are so blessed!

Today is a rainy day for Thanksgiving. It’s supposed to rain all day BUT this year I am so thankful for the rain. I think everyone is. It has been the driest summer in 40 years and the water in the lakes and rivers is so low going in to the Fall and Winter months. So we are especially thankful for this steady rain today!

Cranberries are made. Turkey is in the oven. Desserts are made. Table is set. Just waiting for the family to arrive…

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img_8454 img_8433 img_8435 img_8437 img_8438 img_8449 img_8447 img_8448It was a wonderful time spent with Family. So blessed, so thankful!

The CHURCH at Grand-Pré

Today is Sunday. Canadian Thanksgiving Sunday and I wish I was off to church with James and David but I’m not able to this morning. There is just so much to be Thankful about living in our beautiful country. Days like yesterday when you see the beautiful “Colour of Fall” on display against a gorgeous blue backdrop is one of many reasons.

One of our stops yesterday was Grand-Pré in the Annapolis Valley. Grand-Pré is a rural community in Nova Scotia. Its French name translates to “Great Meadow” and the community lies at the eastern edge of the valley on a peninsula jutting into the Minas Basin surrounded by extensive dyked farm fields, framed by the Gaspereau River and Cornwallis River.  Grand-Pré was made famous by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem Evangeline. On June 30, 2012, the Landscape of Grand-Pré was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The church and statue at Grand-Pré are beautiful to photograph.

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And a quick stop at Evangeline Beach before leaving Grand-Pré

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Happy Thanksgiving Sunday!

Community

I live in a small town on the east coast of Canada. Bridgewater is on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Bridgewater is surrounded by interesting communities and special places, I think so anyway. I never get tired of exploring. All through the year there are special events, suppers, auctions, festivals, markets, and just fun things to attend…community things. Things that bring people closer.

Next week we have some time to explore and we plan to do some fun day trips. But what I really enjoy is being able to drive just 15-20 minutes to enjoy some of these great things.

Like… the “Annual Visitors” that come to Mahone Bay this time of year

Or a stop in Lunenburg for a quick walk along the waterfront and to get a treat one last time before this sweet shop closes for the season

And a home cooked meal at a local firehall in the community where we used to live and chance to catch up with some old friends

This is community and some of the many things we enjoy.

Have a great day!

Delicious FOOD… East Coast Style…End of Season REVEAL

It’s the END of Summer!! Well when it’s the last day of August that’s what it means for me!  It’s kind of the end of season for eating out at all kinds of interesting spots even though there’s probably another month of quite nice weather. It’s September 1st tomorrow and for many and different reasons I will be starting to eat CLEAN.

So… As promised back in June,

“This summer I thought I would switch it up to include all kinds of local food…East Coast food!

From fish cakes to food trucks to fish & chips to maybe even baked bean and salad suppers haha, we’ll see about that one. So starting now until the end of August when we are out and about and have chance to stop at interesting places, I’ll be sure to order something fun, East Coast style, and at the end of the Summer I’ll show you some of my favourites!

And here’s the BIG REVEAL…

Fish Tacos at the Old Fish Factory Restaurant in Lunenburg

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Fish & Chips at The Best Little Oarhouse in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater

IMG_7941The Rugged Dude Burger at The Best Little Oarhouse in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater

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The South Shore Fish Shack, Lunenburg

The Holy Haddock Burger at The Best Little Oarhouse in Nova Scotia, Bridgewater

Fish & Chips, Maxwell’s Plum, Halifax

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Potato Skins, Grand Banker in Lunenburg

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Lobster Sandwich at Goldwater Lobster Shack at The Seaport Market in Halifax

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Fish Tacos at Stayner’s Wharf Pub & Grill, Halifax Waterfront

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So…this post didn’t quite end up the way I had hoped. After we got back from vacay the end of July, I had a few health issues so we didn’t eat out a lot, not like we are used to in the summer so this “reveal” didn’t end up being quite the blog I wanted it to be..Oh well! We still had some amazing food and enjoyed all the places we went to.

And even had some GREAT seafood at home too!!

Take Out Fish & Chips from the Oarhouse

And I made Lobster sandwiches for a “Special” Sunday lunchIMG_6792

And scallops with fresh veggies

We enjoyed lots and lots of amazing meals on our 3 week vacation too but since they were across Canada, it really doesn’t count.

Tomorrow is.. SEPTEMBER 1st! Here’s to a great September and  Fall!

ACROSS CANADA DAY: 20 July 29~ …the looonnnnggg way HOME

Today we will drive home. Fredericton, New Brunswick to Bridgewater, Nova Scotia. Not really that far.

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BUT Leave it to me to extend this trip as long as I can.

Anna: “Hon, you know what we should do?”

David: “What?”

Anna: “We should take just a little extra time and pop down to one of our favourite spots”

David: ” Really?”

Anna: “Ya, we haven’t been there yet this summer and it would be such a nice ending to our Across Canada Adventure ”

lol, Haha…Guess where we went?

Can you tell from this picture?

How about this one?

IMG_6469 IMG_6470 IMG_6468Yes, we went to Peggy’s Cove. We stopped there for a really quick lunch.  First time there this season and we ( I) thought it was a great way to finish our Across Canada Adventure ❤

Adventure Awaits…

I picked up a copy of the 2016 Nova Scotia “Doers & Dreamers” book as well as the Culinary Guide.

Oh the possibilities & choices….

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I love our East Coast province ❤ and I love summertime to explore and see and try new things!

This is such a great picture captured by a local photographer… Catherine Rose Photography.

Enjoy your last day of June!

Delicious FOOD… East Coast Style

The last two Summer seasons I did a blog post about the best fish & chips places in Nova Scotia ( at least the local ones that we went to).This summer I thought I would switch it up to include all kinds of local food…East Coast food!

From fish cakes to food trucks to fish & chips to maybe even baked bean and salad suppers haha, we’ll see about that one. So starting now until the end of Summer when we are out and about and have chance to stop at interesting places, I’ll be sure to order something fun, East Coast style, and at the end of August, I’ll show you some of my favourites!

Here’s one to start:

Fishcakes & Salad at the Kiwi Cafe In Chester…delicious! ( and no matter what you order it come with a piece of kiwi)

IMG_7458Why not have your own fun? Order something different you haven’t tried…something very East Coast Style!

Enjoy the weekend!

Chaga

What in the world is Chaga? lol

James brought some Chaga home for me to try. His friend (boss) has been collecting it when he’s out on his hikes and introduced James to this interesting…mushroom? I had to google it.

“Rather than soft like a mushroom, chaga is hard, almost as hard as wood. It is unique, nothing like common mushrooms.” In fact,  the Siberians call it the “Gift from God” and the “Mushroom of Immortality,” this vibrant growth has been used by humans to support health for thousands of years. The Japanese call it “The Diamond of the Forest,” while the Chinese deem it “King of Plants.” For the Chinese that is saying a lot, since they have an immense history with countless plants.”

Now, you can get the great powerful secret of the Orient in your very own backyard…kinda…if you know what to look for.

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Inonotus_obliquus

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Inonotus obliquus, commonly known as chaga mushroom , is actually a fungus, parasitic on birch trees and other trees.  The sterile conk is irregularly formed and has the appearance of burnt charcoal. Weird… The name Chaga comes from the Russian word for mushroom.

Chaga is traditionally grated into a fine powder and used to brew a beverage resembling coffee or tea.  But you can also leave it in chunks and brew a “chunk” in a pot of water and keep reusing it until all the goodness is out of it. James brought some ground chaga home and then yesterday his friend gave him a bag of chaga chunks. Of course, I HAD to try it!!

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IMG_7109IMG_7110It has a mild flavour and really isn’t too bad. It’s mellow.

Guess I better go for a walk and find some Chaga!