Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Summmer Days and Memories Made

Shortly after my arrival in Nova Scotia, the Beauty Bush beside the deck was in full bloom.  From then until I left we had mostly sunny, warm days.  As in Germany, there was little rain, so in both countries the farmers had a hard time keeping their grassy meadows and their gardens producing what their animals and we humans require.
Later in summer, starlings and blue jays gathering by the bird feeder
 In Nova Scotia and eastern Canada, seafood is, of course, renowned. The large, live lobster below was in a tank at the seafood store in Parker's Cove, on the Bay of Fundy.  A day or two earlier, an even larger one was trapped.  A man came in, bought it, and then put it back into the sea.

The lobster below is cooked and ready for someone to enjoy with a nice bottle of white wine, a rosee or a sparkling wine

Along with some home cooking, including mine and my sisters' and friends', I also enjoyed several outings to restaurants, cafes and pubs where I had some wonderful seafood.  In  particular:  lobster.  I had many lobster rolls, but also a lobster burger, which was wonderful.  The one below I had at the Crow's Nest in Parker's Cove.


You can make a lobster burger yourself if you are lucky enough to get fresh lobster (or even frozen lobster).  I can rarely eat a whole lobster at one time (everyone else does, though!), so I keep some of the meat for the following day's lunch.  I then make a lobster sandwich or a burger.  

Method for a lobster sandwich or burger:  Chop up the lobster meat (not too small); mix in mayonnaise, salt, pepper, a fair amount of chopped celery.  Then, taste for flavour.  I add paprika and if you like it a bit hot, a drop or so of hot pepper sauce.  NBI always add a squeeze or so of lemon juice (or to taste).  My sister Paula reminded me when she read my blog.  I forgot it.  Some like chopped onion. I do not.  Place it on a crisp lettuce leaf on a slice of bread or burger half, top it with the other half and enjoy!

My sister Carol, who lives in New Hampshire, stayed with me for three weeks in August.  The picture at left was taken at Angie's in Middleton where she enjoyed a large piece of haddock with French fries and a glass of white wine. "Excellent!" she said.

I couldn't resist their chicken wings.  They were as good as I have had other than my own.  They were sticky and crunchy and delicious.  Perhaps they were just as good as mine! 

My friend Mary, who lives in Ontario, spent a week with me at the beginning of my stay.  

Here she is at the End-of-the-Line Pub in Bridgetown and enjoying a beer.

Both Mary and Carol pitched right in and made a big difference, ensuring that we had some good dinners at home.  I tend to not cook much for myself when there so that kept me eating well!  I did entertain frequently, so that meant I had to get out the pots and pans and measuring spoons.  

My sister Paula (who lives nearby in N.S.) and I had many a glass of wine together, always part of our summer days and evenings.  Paula's husband Laurie had to listen to us discuss books--one of our favourite topics--and other stories we managed to come up with.  Always the gentleman, he made sure our wine glasses were never empty!

Summer also means TGIF time, so four days after I arrived in Nova Scotia--barely unpacked or the house in order for the summer--was the first one.  It is always a fun Friday evening with each couple or individual taking his or her own drink and accompaning (empty!) glass, plus an hors d'oeuvre for the table.  This makes it much easier for the hosts.
A typical array of dishes
Above left and forefront, my glazed, curried sausage bites

This particular TGIF was in Bridgetown in late June.  Phil, one of the guests, is shown at the food table.  

The evening is kept short:  people arrive around 4:30 to 5 p.m. and leave by 7 p.m.  A nice late afternoon/early evening with time to talk and to have a bite to eat, along with whatever drink one has brought. 

Sausage bites are simple and quick to prepare.  If you like curry or sausages, you will enjoy these.  I received this recipe in the mid 1970s from a friend, Olive Burke. (Her recipe did not include curry; I added that.)  Her husband and mine had been posted to 5AMU in Lahr.  Previous to that, in the late 1960s, we were neighbours in PMQs in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Here is the recipe:  When I prepare these, I always add a fair amount of curry powder.

Glazed Sausage Bites with Curry
1 to 2 lbs sausages
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Curry powder, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon or as wished (optional)

If you like curry, then add as much or as little as you like.  I add a lot.  I don't add it all at once though; I taste the sauce and add curry powder accordingly.  (You can instead also add liquid curry sauce from a jar.)

Cook the sausages in an electric fry pan (or on the stove) until browned and cooked or almost cooked.  Cut them into quarters or bite-size pieces.  Mix the remaining ingredients together.  Pour over the sausages and simmer them for 15 minutes or until hot.  Taste for curry and add more if wished.  With or without curry, these are good. 

Note:  When I take these out with me, I carry them along in a hot corning ware dish (and sometimes a rack with a candle to place under the sausage bites). I also make sure I take tooth picks to spear them. 

The next TGIF was in early July.  We sat looking out at Sandy Bottom Lake, near Annapolis Royal, enjoying the peacefulness, the food and the conversations.  
 Here I am!
My friend Mary (below), is talking to John, a friend of ours.

Nancy--below right (in light blue) at the food table--once lived in Münchweier, the town just next to ours in Germany. Jim was posted here years ago. We met them in Nova Scotia where they now live.


The last TGIF for me this past summer was in early August.  My sister Carol was with me so she was able to enjoy the evening as well.  Mary and Jim's home overlooks the Bay of Fundy.  It was a glorious day with a view to match.
Just below, my two sisters, Paula and Carol.  (A 3rd sister, Anne, lives in Toronto and didn't get down to N.S. this past summer.)

Some of the group, with the hostess, Mary (in white) with our friend, Jim, in centre 

A sample of the food offered by the hosts and guests

My sister Carol made egg salad sandwiches on this occasion as our contribution. 

The table and food and two of the guests

Summer would not be summer without lobster, scallops and other seafood, so a memorable dinner was a highlight. 
A special evening at John's

Our friend John invited me, Paula and Laurie to his house for a lobster feed.  His daughter, Andree, and her partner, Stuart, were visiting from Ontario.  It was a wonderful evening with quite a spread.

Below, John cracking the shells--with help from his daughter Andree--to make it easier for his guests to enjoy the lobster.

The table filled to overflowing with lobster, potato salad, a colourful tossed salad and rolls.  My plate is the one at right, forefront.  This was a superb dinner. 

Paula tying John's lobster bib (you need one!) and John tying his daughter Andree's.

 Andree and Stuart

My lobster cut up and ready to enjoy!  

Guten Appetit!

In my next blog post I shall talk about the rest of my summer in prose and photos.


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