Monday, June 30, 2008

Saturday on the bay and Sunday at the Monkey

Saturday morning's mission was shopping. We started at the Hubbards Farmers' Market,

which, luckily, was in a barn, as it drizzled all morning. We found just about everything you could want on a Saturday morning: coffee



and lots of other good things.

In fact, by the time we got out of there, stuff was starting to grow in the back seat.

That didn't stop us from stopping at another garden place

where the organic compost machines were living a pretty good life

and the bird houses came in all kinds of shapes, sizes and flotation devices.

We had a stop at Chester

where we paid our respects at the Matlady's Gift Shop

and admired her giant clematis

and then went on to Mahone Bay, where the Deli Market and Bake Shop is rather beautiful

and the fancy swing doors are weighted with bags of carrots!

At the Cheesecake Cafe there was lots of local art, including some nifty stained glass. 3 out of 5 diners at our table enjoyed their meals.

Our real and ultimate destination, however, was Frenchy's, a Maritime institution where you join a host of other shoppers all armed with big plastic laundry tubs, and poke through bins of old (and not so old) clothing to find bargains, priced to sell, and where (a different) 3 out of 5 shoppers found stuff.

Sunday we went to the Wooden Monkey,

where the food is organic and local and the ambience laid back.

And then it was Monday, and time to say farewell to Nova Scotia.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Digby doings & fun on the Fundy

Nova Scotia rocks.

On Thursday, I stayed over in Digby

where there is an excellent used/rare book shop called Crooked Timber, packed to the rafters with all kinds of everything.

The B&B owners sent me in the welcome direction of the Boardwalk Cafe, which was a wonderful spot. I had some extremely good seafood chowder (featuring Digby scallops), accompanied by excellent home-made dinner roll

and I had to leave room for the strawberry rhubarb pie which was sublime.

After a lunch like that, supper needed to be light, so I wandered into O'Neil's where I had earlier bought some dulse

and opted for some steamed Cherrystone clams, which the waitress explained were baby quahogs; but smaller, richer and less sandy. They were just the thing.

I had been thinking about lemon meringue pie since lunchtime, having just missed the last slice at the Boardwalk, but this was a perfect size to finish.

And then I was off on a hyper-tour of the Annapolis Valley, Canada's first breadbasket.

First stop was Meadowbrook Meat Market, where they had some nice bacon. Then on to Port Williams, where the Fox Hill Cheese House lives,

and where they sell something called "Parmesran" which I can assure the buying public is nowhere near the item it seeks to imitate. They had a few aged cheeses (Gouda and Cheddar) which were good, but told me they didn't have the space to age anything longer than that.

Had some coffee at Just Us! Coffee Roastery & Museum, where they've spent a lot of time and money making a righteous display about Fair Trade and coffee production, and they have a fair trade products shop and cafe. I picked up a very good lemon square for the road...

I didn't have time for a tasting or tour at Grand Pre Winery, but I did make it to lunch, where I had something they called gnocchi, which I wouldn't have called that, but which was good and covered in local mushrooms (oyster, portabella and button) and Fox Hill cheese curds.

I spent the second half of my day on the Bay of Fundy, watching the waves gallop in. Getting there, I found some of the back roads a bit less than perfect.

The shoreline is dramatic.

We had a little walk on the beach before the tide started coming in.

Then we were treated to some of Ian's local, line-caught (by Ian) grilled trout with spicy mayo

while Susan demonstrated the amazing portable pedal organ

and then we ate some salmon pesto pasta

and the strawberry rhubarb crisp was steaming on the table

as tragedy struck the cream jug, but it made a fair map of the United States, so that was cool.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nova Scotia

I arrived at St Margaret's Bay to fair weather on Tuesday evening.

Wild poodles roam the woods, looking for crows to bark at

or bounce around with Geoff, noted local poodle herder

who made the spécialité de la maison, what he calls Zulu Bannock (or buns a la bbq)

with amazing mussels, before

and after cooking.

And of course there was lobster.

And strawberries are in season, yippee! Here with Jan's hand-crafted tea biscuit:

If I read tails correctly, this one's saying Don't bug me.

Then on to Lunenburg, where there are more mussels, hanging from the electricity poles along with a lot of other seafood:

And I noticed some crowds milling around the docks, with a boat in the distance

coming nearer

coming nearer

and packed to the gunwhales with students, returning after a semester on the high seas in a tall ship as part of the Class Afloat program.