Monday, July 2, 2007

Canada Day Fun in Nova Scotia

The Canada Day weekend here in Nova Scotia was wonderul, although we actually didn't catch any Canada Day festivities (we somehow were always a little too late or a little too early!) but the weather was awesome. For those of you who want to get straight to the food....you'll have to scroll down a ways.

It started out with another trip to the Halifax Farmer's Market on Saturday. This time I was insistent that we arrive by 8am. Because my family loves me (and are tired of my whining about it) they humored me. Last time we got there at 9am and it was already too crowded and, once again I didn't get my crepes...that's time number 2!!! or the ruby red rhubarb I saw....but enough whining, because this time was different...




The crepe line up was still long, even at 8:15 am, but we waited and the hardest part was choosing...savory or sweet (I decided on sweet) and then the long list of sweet options...


Sharron and I shared nutella & banana and honey, lemon & toasted almonds (my fave). They both were delicious.

Because I was disappointed at missing out on the ruby red rhubarb the week before, we snatched some locally grown (in the Annapolis Valley) strawberries (3 quarts that are already gone)



and rhubarb (waiting for a recipe) before we even went inside. Actually I bought some asparagus too. They are now standing like soldiers in some water until I'm ready. By 9 am it was too crowded, so just some quick purchases of mixed greens, baby beet greens, lots of mint, basil and parsley and more olive & rosemary bread plus 9 grain loaf at the baker (near the creperie) that I like best at the market...we headed out.

It was warm and sunny and perfect for a stroll and a coffee at the waterfront. Then it was off to find our new car and wonderfully got lost in Dartmouth. I say wonderfully because it was a beautiful "short cut" that obviously took us much longer than it should have, but we passed lovely lakes (in fact, it's called the "City of Lakes") and parks. Sorry no photos...I'll just have to go back.

Saturday evening was lovely - a barbecue at our in-laws to meet some of their friends. We had way too much food served along with the laughter on their beautiful deck. M&M Meats provided the marinated chicken that Marty so expertly grilled. Pasta salads were from Pete's Frootique and very tasty. And I whipped up a few myself....


Couscous Tabbouleh


Mixed Greens & Mango with an Asian Vinaigrette

You'd think we were feeding an army, but...variety IS the spice of life, isn't it?

Dessert was great too....Joanne brought a fantastic strawberry chocolate cheesecake one of her students (she's a kindergarten teacher) parents made (Is that proper English? Probably not, but you know what I mean) M&M provided an apple crumble cake and I brought...

Strawberries (naturally) with Balsamic Vinegar & Basil


Yesterday was even better, as lovely as Saturday was....my Honey and I went up to camp to visit the family and play with Boaz who is as cute as ever, don't you think?



After a lovely visit, we left camp and headed out to Lunenburg to pick up Sharron...



Lunenburg is a charming town with lots of excellent gingerbread houses, but I love this building on the waterfront the best. Naturally we had to have some more ice cream before getting in the car and heading along the lighthouse route back home. The idea was to stop at some lovely restaurant for something lobster (hard to believe, but I've been here for more than 2 months and I still have only had one small lobster fix...a lobster sandwich ). But I digress...

The old highway itself is windy and beautiful at every turn and I think that no matter how many times you see it, it's always fresh and new. Truthfully, you could get from Lunenberg to Peggy's Cove in about 30 minutes, but it took us about 3 hours on the scenic route...stopping at one of the umpteen beaches to collect shells. It was glorious...the smells and sounds of the ocean and taste of salt on my fingers ...perfect!

By the time we were closing in on Peggy's Cove, I had given up the notion of lobster and now we all wanted some good home-style cooking...a diner that would serve things like hot turkey sandwiches with gravy and mashed potatoes, or fish cakes, or old fashioned grilled cheese sandwiches. And lo and behold....


...we saw The Finer Diner which has only been open for 10 days, and is run by the sweetest husband and wife team. They're locals who decided to open a diner because there were no family style restaurants in the area. He's a carpenter by trade and did an amazing job with the place (I saw the "before" photo - yikes!) and she's an artist and the place is as pretty as can be. It was a little too chilly to sit outside and watch the gorgeous sunset on the terrace overlooking the water, but we'll be back for lunch. By the way, I had liver and onions with mashed potatoes and vegetables, Shar had a roast beef dip and my Honey had a club sandwich - everything was perfect...especially the pecan pie we shared.

So, the sun set on a perfect day... you'll have to come back to find out how we spent our Monday!

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7 comments:

Nora B. said...

Ruth, sounds like a wonderful weekend.

The Culinary Chase said...

July 1st was a holiday here for the British handover which was 10 years ago. We celebrated Canada day with a bbq! It was hot & sticky but fun nonetheless! My husband & I will be in Halifax next week so we are eagerly looking forward to lobster dinner, local beer & local cuisine! Cheers!

Ruth Daniels said...

Ladies, thanks for dropping by. Nora, it certainly was!

Culinary Chase, I'm sure you'll have a great time. I visited your site - which is awesome and noticed lots of great pastas and I can't wait to do your scallop dish! That's dinner tomorrow.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Hey Ruth! Those crepes look amazing! I love crepes! Especially the dessert kind....

On another note, I have an entry for this week's PPN, but my email is on the fritz....so can I just let you know here, I hope you don't mind. Here is the link:
http://www.leftoverqueen.com/2007/07/03/recipe-fresh-summer-marinara-and-a-romantic-dinner-for-two-at-home/

Ruth Daniels said...

Jenn, not a problem, I'll add your dish to the Presto Pasta Night roundup on Friday.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great food and wonderful sceneries! That weekend must have been very enjoyable!

tigerfish said...

I like the idea of combining the strawberries with something more savory like balsamic. Ingenious.