Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Trip to the Annapolis Valley

One of our favorite summer-time drives is to the Annapolis Valley. Actually, I love it in the fall too...all those apples to pick. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Because summer is oh-so-short here in the Maritimes, I choose to just savor the here-and-now. I thought you might enjoy some of our trip...

Although the drive from Halifax to "the valley" really only takes about an hour or so, we decided to spend the night. There are a ton of fantastic B&B's around - some in wonderful old, restored mansions and others in small homes. This time we decided to stay at The Evangeline Inn & Motel just outside of Grand Pre. The inn itself was once the home of Sir Robert Borden, Prime Minister of Canada from 1911-1920.
That's the view of Domaine de Grand Pre just across the road from the Inn- cornfields in front obscure the award winning winery and restaurant.

That's the Evangeline Beach with a view of Blomidon Provincial Park across the ...well...this view at low tide, which makes it look like you could walk all the way across the Minas Basin (inner part of the Bay of Fundy). And you can walk out very far indeed, depending on the time of day....just check out the same view five hours later....
The water rises 8 feet every hour. The cycle repeats itself every 6 hours and is truly a world wonder. In fact, the Bay of Fundy is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature finalists.

I do love to hang out there for a while. Trivia fact of the day...sandpipers nest here in July and August to have their babies (they apparently mate for life but winter separately in South America) and fatten up before their non-stop flight to South America.

But I digress...this is a food blog, after all and I can't go more than 5 minutes without talking about food. Please note, everything we ate came from Nova Scotian farms and fishermen. So...

Lunch on the terrace of Rosie's in downtown Wolfville. The photo was taken after I wolfed down half the enormous order of mussels. Peaking behind them..the sweet potato fries. Delicious. We already had a pre-lunch dessert of ginger ice cream at Evangeline Beach.

After a walk and a rest we made our way to Acton's Grill & Cafe, also in Wolfville for an unforgettable meal.
Naturally I had to have all things of the sea, so I ordered these gorgeous crab cakes and, true to our very knowledgeable, very friendly server Seth's word...these were all crab meat with not a hint of potato to be found and served with a jalapeno jelly.
Usually my Honey and I just share an appetizer, but we couldn't resist Seth's suggestion of warm mushroom spinach salad with cider vinaigrette. This was so spectacular...creamiest of goat cheese from "down the road" in Aylesford, crunchy maple toasted pecans, sauteed mushrooms and baby spinach all topped with the sweetest apple cider vinaigrette (I'm pretty sure it's from Boates farm - my favorite is their balsamic apple cider vinegar)...candy before the main course!
I had this Nova Scotia Pan Roast with plump, scallops, shrimp, salmon and a lobster tail, dressed up so prettily with asparagus and the basmati rice was perfect to sop up all those juices.

My Honey, being the meat eater that he is, had the special...Pork Tenderloin with Shitake Mushrooms in cabernet jus, garlic mashed potatoes and local veggies.

And although we shouldn't have had dessert (South Beach Dieting...remember?) we couldn't resist either of these

Dark Chocolate Marquis on Creme Anglaise

Pear Pecan Tart with Creme Anglaise drizzle.

And that was just day one. Come back tomorrow for a visit to two wonderful valley markets - my real reason for the trip. That's the Wolfville Saturday Farmers Market at the top of the post.

Please remember to support your local producers and the restaurants that focus on using local produce, fish and meats. And check out the Eat Real Eat Local Campaign and see what you can do in your neck of the woods. Every time you spread the word...through twitter, facebook, email a friend with #realfood in the message, Hellmann's donates 25 cents to the Evergreen Foundation. The goal is $25,ooo by the end of September.

1 comment:

UPrinting said...

Wow, I've never been apple picking, but it sure does sound like a fun activity. If that wasn't enough to make me want to go there, the Evangeline Beach and all those delectable food surely are! They all look so yummy, especially the dark chocolate marquis on creme anglaise!