Going into Summer


, , , , ,

We are still in May but the weather took a turn for for sunny and hot, in just one day we are now at 25C.

Yesterday it was 10C. quite the difference, this week we will reach 27C which is July weather but I am not complaining. Will have a tour this week on Wednesday starting at 8am.

This past week, I took Nick and Nora to the groomer in Kensington and then drove over to Summerside, it was a very cold day, windy and rainy with fog. I was surprise how cold it was, near the freezing point all day. In Summerside on the water with the wind it was even colder. I did walk around a bit, it is a very nice little town of 17K and once was a major air force base which closed in 1999, it is now a centre for aerospace research.

Beautiful homes and I stopped at Holman’s for ice cream. Holman’s is in the old mansion of the Holman family built around 1855. They were until about 45 years ago a big concern on the island, owning the large department stores in both Charlottetown and Summerside. There home also has a beautiful garden and the present owner has preserved it. The downstairs is the ice cream parlour which kept all the fixtures and woodwork of the era. Despite the fact that you will be told that the best ice cream on Earth is COWS, which is made by a large corporation in a factory, the Holman’s Ice cream is all small daily batches and so it is rich and very creamy. I got their chocolate ice cream which is very dark and pure chocolate. I also got the salty caramel which is very good and unlike any commercial brand. I brought a big cooler to keep it cold on the drive back.

On HWY 2 close to Kensington you pass the Cavendish Farm factory where they have their potato research station, always a lot of white smoke in the area which smells of boiled potatoes, rather pleasant smell. This is a big corporation owned by an even bigger one IRVING, which is involved in oil, propane, gas, timber, navy ship building for the Canadian Royal Navy, etc. Despite the fact that they generate thousands of jobs, the Irving family is detested, never heard one nice word about them.

The rest of the week has been arranging wardrobes retiring winter clothes and bringing out summer clothing. If you live in Canada, you will have several wardrobes for various seasons. This takes an afternoon to do and it is tedious. Same with the bedsheets from flannel to cotton.

I have not been blogging as much as before, simply I have been busy with other projects around the house, at the Club and now with the Cruise ships and tourism. I try when I blog, to be interesting and give an idea of life here, not going to do a FB post with a picture of every tedious moment of life. So maybe there will be less frequent postings.

Here are some pictures of Summerside, the old town. The photos were taken on Thursday and it was a very grey cold day.

What a week it has been.


, , , , , , ,

This weekend is the first long weekend of Summer, Victoria Day weekend, we are the only country in the world celebrating a Queen who died more than 122 years ago. Some say it is time to change the name of the holiday. Cottages will open and time to light the BBQ.

This past week because of icebergs near Cornerbrook Newfoundland many cruise ships were diverted, 2 came to us on the same day so we had a total of 3 ships at once and we had to improvise. That day my short tours of 3 hours turned into a 7:30 hour tour. It was a long day, but I learned a lot and had a lobster lunch and ice cream, so one cannot complain too much.

Then on another tour later in the week, we crossed the Confederation bridge to Cap Jourimain in New Brunswick, this area is at the entrance to the bridge and is a national park, very swampy area, perfect for moose and black bears. There was a sign warning people of little cubs and mother bears in the area, which means if you see a cub no matter how cute and cuddly they appear do not touch them and walk away, the mama bear is very near and will kill you if she thinks her baby is at risk. The view from the N.B. side of the bridge was spectacular, but despite the beautiful sunshine the wind was very cold.

The last tour of the week took us along red dirt roads I did not know about around Victoria by the Sea which is a charming little village of about 100 people. It is very nice to go there in Summer, excellent restaurants, hand made chocolate factory, very small and high quality and one of the oldest hotel in PEI, The Orient Hotel.

I am looking forward to guiding my own tours. What the tourists off the cruise ship do not know is the Cruise terminal in Charlottetown was built as a potato warehouse and was used as such until 1989. It has been completely renovated for its current use.

Here are some photos of the week.

Cormorants drying themselves by the Pier.

The Old Railway Station of Charlottetown closed in 1989 with the last train.

Some tourist stop like Shop and Play, offer to dress you up as Anne of Green Gables for a funny picture. This is at the entrance to PEI as you drive off the bridge.

Cap Jourimain with the Bear sighting warning.
From New Brunswick looking across the Strait at PEI in the distance.

There are 44 arches to this reinforced concrete bridge and it take 12 minutes to drive across.

The lighthouse at Cap Jourimain.

This lighthouse is at Victoria by the Sea. We have 61 lighthouses all around the Island. Our coast is very dangerous with rocks barely visible just below the water level.
This week in the mail arrived from the UK the mug I ordered for the Coronation.

A very good week


, , , , , ,

This week we got wonderful news from the Chief doctor at the Cancer Centre who took care of Will.

This was the 6 month exam/consultation. All the testing and blood work shows Will is clear of cancer, it’s a big relief for Will and I. Life will be less stressful now that we have put this behind us, what a roller coaster ride this was, truly exhausting. We can now plan ahead and look for vacation time off Island. To celebrate I got him a big bunch of multi-coloured tulips, we grow here on PEI.

In other news, I am continuing my training with the Tour Company, I am enjoying it, good group and on a good weather day it is very pleasant. This week and yesterday the weather shot up to 21C and it was so very nice. We could shut off the heating system and open the windows. Thinking now of flowers for our terrace.

Today I worked for 8 hours as a tour guide. Coming to the Cruise terminal at 07:30am I thought I was doing one program, however I quickly learned that because of numerous large icebergs near Newfoundland, 2 cruise ships had diverted towards PEI and now instead of only one ship we had 3 ships. Also it happens that tours are oversold and this means other problems for us, lack of space on the bus. So suddenly I was switched to a new tour but I had no idea where we were going or what this tour was about. Lesson #1 be flexible no matter what.

Since I was only following the senior guide giving this day long tour, I thought, just go with the flow. It was a very interesting and good tour and I discovered many things again and this gave me ideas on how to develop my own tours with my own spin on things.

To my surprise, we got lunch, a lobster lunch no less. This is the beginning of the lobster season, so it was nice. Usually as staff you bring your own lunch but I was told that if it was an all day tour you get the same lunch as the clients. Then later we got Ice Cream, pretty nice. What was also a bonus today, it did not rain, the forecast said rain all day and I dread doing tours on rainy days, it is so dreary. We got sunshine and mild weather, it only started to rain once back to home port and only lightly.

On Thursday another tour, I am not sure where exactly this time, but will know the details tomorrow.

This Morning the first ship to arrive in Charlottetown at 8am

The old now closed since 1989 Train Station at Borden Carleton where the train met the ferry to cross over to New Brunswick (1917-1989) Next to it the Confederation Bridge built between 1993-97 to link PEI to the Mainland of Canada 12 Km away.

The Point Prim Lighthouse built in 1845, the oldest lighthouse on PEI, now automated, signalling the way into Port Charlottetown. It is only one of two round lighthouses in Canada, the others are square. It is also built of brick recovered by wood shingles.

The ferry at the Port at Wood Island in Western PEI connecting that point of the Island with Pictou, Nova Scotia, during Spring, Summer and early Fall. No service in Winter.

The McNeill family farmhouse relatives of Lucy Maud Montgomery and the inspiration for her books on Anne of Green Gables. It is now part of a National Park and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year. The house has been modified to meet the description of the fictional house in the book. The area was devastated last November by hurricane Fiona. The damage is visible in the woods all around. When the McNeill’s lived there around 1880 the house was not painted white and green, again an adaptation for the book and the tourist market.

I also bought today my uniform which is dark blue with the company logo. So I am all set to go.

The day has arrived


, , , , , ,

Despite the constant speculation by the media and their morbid fascination with the downfall of the Monarchy all that remains speculation. I see little value in asking a bunch of kids with piercings what they think when what they have to say is confused and half baked opinions with little to no aforethought.

Point is, in Canada, Charles is our King and this is our reality and it cannot be changed or not changed without a great deal of difficulty. In our Canadian Constitution the king is entrenched as the head of State.

Was at the club tonight and we had a charity auction, it went very well, we are also fully prepared for tomorrow’s Coronation Lunch/BBQ with music and broadcast of the ceremony in London. Looking forward to it, weather is said to be sunny around 10C. not warm but we will enjoy ourselves. In fact we had a fire going in the fireplace of the Lounge at the Club tonight. May can be chilly on PEI.

Saturday 6 May

So we had our big lunch for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. About 100 members showed up and we had a great deal of fun. The Mayor of Charlottetown who is also a Patron hosted the event and the Lieutenant Governor of PEI who is the personal representative of the King and is also a Club Patron came. We watched the Coronation and at the moment of the crowning, the Lieutenant Governor offered 3 cheers for the King and we all said God Save the King! The weather was quite nice, sunny and we had a good time all around.

What a memorable day for all. During our luncheon the Government of Canada announced a new postal stamp and a new Canadian Crown which is distinct from the Tudor Crown used in the UK. The currency will also bear the effigy of the King.

The New Canadian Crown, has a wave of blue line for water and oceans, Maple leafs and the cross is removed and replaced by a snow flake which is in fact taken from the Order Of Canada. The Chief Herald at Rideau Hall designed this new Crown.

We also had a military parade pass by the front of the Club and a 21 gun salute to the King. Great food, harp music, good attendance and good weather.

The horses


, , , , ,

The carriage of their Majesties will be pulled by 6 Windsor Greys, their names are Icon, Shadow, Milford Haven, Echo, Knightsbridge and Tyrone.

Once their work life over they are retired and live a pleasant life being looked after in Windsor Park. Truly beautiful beasts. They will pull the Gold State Coach for the return trip from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The coach is made of carved wood covered with gold leaf. It was made for King George III in 1762, it weighs 4.4 tons and measures 23 feet long. It can only go at a walking pace, not faster.

Tomorrow Friday hopefully we will have better weather, this week has been frightful, cold and rainy. For our big coronation lunch at the Club on Saturday the weather is said to be sunny at 10 C. It should be great fun, I am looking forward to it. All is ready and the set-up has already been done. The City sent picnic tables, parking barricades will be set-up for the Lieutenant Governor’s car. Live music and live transmission of the Coronation in London.

The Governor General, the Right Honourable, Her Excellency Mary Simon is already in London and met the King with an indigenous and Metis delegation at Buckingham Palace.

The Prime Minister and his delegation will arrive Friday. In the meantime there has been in the newspaper a story about a new crown. Until the death of our late Queen, the Crown of St-Edward was used on all coats of Arms and other insignia in Canada. King Charles changed that for the Tudor Crown which had been used previously by his grandfather King George VI. However in 1957 the then Queen Elizabeth made a visit to Canada and introduced the concept of a Canadian Crown which would be composed of Maple Leafs and Snowflakes and it appears in the stain glass window of the Senate. No one paid much attention until a few days ago when the Chief Herald at Rideau Hall announced that we could see this Canadian Crown in our own new Canadian Coat of Arms which has not been changed since 1931. I do not see a problem with that, Scotland has its own crown and it will be used when King Charles goes to Edinburgh to be crowned. It is probably time that Canada has its own distinct crown as a Kingdom.

The Stain glass window of the Canadian Senate shows on the left Queen Victoria and on the right Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Canadian Diadem with maple leafs and snow flakes. This window was installed to mark the late Queen’s Jubilee. I saw it a few years ago and it is quite beautiful. Should there be a ruckus?

How was the first day


, , , , , ,

This past week the first Cruise Ship came in port around 8am. The Zaandam of Holland American with 1432 passengers.

It was a windy day but quite pleasant a few clouds and sun. The first day is always about orientation around the Cruise ship terminal which use to be the potato storage area prior to shipping on the dock of the port. It has been completely renovated and is a nice space for people to enter while they wait for their buses to take them to different points on the Island. The Port Authority offered free oysters on the half shell, live music and Anne’s drink with is a cordial. People are relaxed, the average age is 75 and they are all on vacation.

So I did learn a lot on that first day and observed how the operation functions. It is a lot to remember but it is common sense and nothing complicated. I will have to prepare some cheat sheets about Island facts and each guide gets a folder for the tour of the day, so it is pretty straight forward. I did help that I got this type of training back in Ottawa when I was working as a guide and presenter at the National Gallery of Canada.

Port Cruise Terminal seen from the deck of a ship.

This week I work on Tuesday with the same ship coming back into port arriving from Boston. I have to remember to bring some water and some lunch.

So this morning (Tuesday) I was at the Terminal at 8am however the ship was 45 minutes late due to bad weather and rough seas. The weather was not good today, heavy rain and freezing weather. We drove to Cavendish to the site of Anne of Green Gables. Lots of fog and rain, however Parks Canada who is responsible for the site has done massive renovations and it is quite beautiful. Lots of cleaning up during the Winter after the incredible damage done by Hurricane Fiona. We went to Rustico, no fishers since they are all out to fish for Lobster. Rustico has been cleaned up again after Fiona, we travelled around the Island and it was very nice despite the weather. I learned quite a lot about how to conduct the tours and how to handle a bus load of people.

Next week I am to do a full day from 7am to 3:30pm, should be interesting but also quite tiring, you are on all the time. The bus is comfortable and the drivers are knowledgeable. I did not realize that last week the ship was in fact arriving from Fort Lauderdale and had sailed up the way up the eastern seaboard to PEI. Repositioning for the Summer. Some people got on for this 10 day trip in Florida and paid $400 total, last minute deal. Where can you go for that amount today? So I am enjoying myself so far with this Summer job.

So we are approaching the deadline for the Coronation, only 3 day to go, in London every night there is a full dress rehearsal in uniforms, parade with the bands, horse guards, carriages, etc… following the route that will be taken on Saturday. It takes place between midnight and 4am and lots of people come out to see it. A real dress rehearsal for free.

At Westminster Abbey the stone of scone has arrived with a special royal escort from Edinburgh, it will be placed under the Chair of St-Edward. The stone is the one used for all coronation of all Scottish Kings who would sit on it. Here it is in the Abbey and the Herald stands next to it, dressed in the heraldic colours of the King. Upon its arrival there was a religious service and a blessing.

Here we see the Scottish Archers in their green uniform, ceremonial everywhere.



, , , , ,

Clarence House, which stands beside St James’s Palace, was built between 1825 and 1827 to the designs of John Nash for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence. Today Clarence House is the official London residence of the King and Queen. They have lived here for many years. King Charles inherited the house from his grandmother Queen Elizabeth when she died in 2002. It has been a royal house for a very long time, Queen Mary of Romania lived there as a child, she was the daughter of Prince Alfred, the son of Queen Victoria and her mother was Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia.

Buckingham Palace which is still undergoing a massive renovation of its electrical and plumbing equipment looks as if it will remain an Official function type building, but not used as a residence anymore.

Many people walk past it on The Mall, going to Buckingham Palace, not realizing this is where the King lives. Look at the flag on the roof, it’s the Royal Standard, pretty good indication of who lives here.

The Coronation has many complexity which are difficult to understand. From the symbolism which goes back 1000 year to custom which are just as old. In preparation for Coronation Day this week, the new cypher of the King can now be seen on all uniforms and on standards and regimental colours. A ceremony in the Courtyard of Buckingham Palace saw the Horse Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Royal Marines receive new standards and colours from the King. The flags are also blessed. The King’s colour and the Royal Standard are of enormous importance

The hymn Zadok the Priest composed by G.F. Handel for the coronation of George II in 1725 is still used to day to announced during the ceremony that the King will be anointed and thus becomes a priestly king. This is the most sacred part of the ritual.

Here is the screen that was created for this moment during the coronation.

The king and the queen consort will be anointed behind a specially created screen of fine embroidery, held by poles hewn from an ancient windblown Windsor oak and mounted with eagles cast in bronze and gilded in gold leaf, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The anointing screen has been blessed at a special service at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, and will be used at what historically has been viewed as the most sacred moment of the coronation.

The anointing is traditionally regarded as a moment between the sovereign and God, and the screen is to be used to give sanctity to this moment. Traditionally, the moment is not photographed or televised.

At Elizabeth II’s coronation, an opulent canopy of rich gold fabric was held aloft over the monarch’s head.

Charles’s screen will allow greater privacy as the archbishop of Canterbury pours the chrism, or holy oil, which has been specially blessed in Jerusalem, from a golden ampulla into the 12th-century coronation spoon. The archbishop will then anoint the king by making a cross on the hands, breast and head, and perform the same on Camilla.

The tradition of anointing dates back to the Old Testament, which describes the anointing of Solomon by Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet, and was one of the medieval holy sacraments emphasising the spiritual status of the sovereign.

It was also announced that the Princess Royal, HRH Princess Anne with be the Gold Stick of the King, leading the 6000 parade of troops marching behind the King and Queen on the procession back to Buckingham Palace.

The Gold Stick and the Silver Stick are bodyguard positions in the British Royal Household, personal attendants to the Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.

The Stick

So there will lots to watch on Saturday 6 May as the day unfolds.

Lots of details


, , , , , ,

As we approach the date of the Coronation of King Charles III, we are reminded of the many details that go into this event. Since 1066 when William the Conqueror was crown at Westminster a tradition has been developed. Recently I was meeting with some City Officials to arrange for a luncheon/party at the Club on Saturday 6 May.

I was asked during our conversation where was the Coronation would take place. I said in front of the High Altar in the Abbey Church of Westminster as it has always been since 1066. More precisely the throne of St-Edward will be place on this very special cosmatesque mosaic floor created by 3 Italian artisans some 800 years ago in the Sanctuary. In 1953 it was recovered by a large carpet so it could not be seen. Such floors have since antiquity an almost magical propriety. Roman Emperors used them and so does the Catholic Church like in St-Peter’s Basilica. It is believed that whoever stands on the spot is in direct line with God.

Complete floor after cleaning and conservation

The music has to be chosen and the King wanted new music for his coronation, different from his mother in 1953. So we will hear 12 new pieces by famous composers. However as the King said in his recent speech at the German Parliament in Berlin, the hymn Zadok the Priest will be sung as it was for his 4 times great grand father George II in 1725. The hymn composed by G.F. Handel comes at the most sacred moment of the ceremony, it refers to the moment when in biblical times Zadok and Nathan the priests anointed King Salomon as ordain by God. The Charles becomes King by the Grace of God, you see this on Canadian Coins, D.G. Rex.

All the infinite amounts of details for the day have to be worked out, from who does what, to who is invited to the various venues. How the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster and back will be organized. We do know that this time it is be much more simple than in 1953. Then some 16,000 soldiers and officials participated in the procession on 5.2 miles. This time the length of the parade will be 1.5 miles and only a third of that number will be present. Queen Camilla as borrowed the Crown of Queen Mary from 1911 instead of having a new Crown designed for her, a wise choice given the economic situation in the UK now. The King instead of having new robes of Estate made for the Coronation will re-used those of his great grandfather George V in 1911 and used also by his mother in 1953. Saving again a fortune given the rich material used and the gold sown into the vestments. Queen Camilla will have her grandsons as Pages of Honour and the King will have his grand son George who is 9 yrs old as Page of Honour, something quite rare, George is Heir after his father Prince William. Usually a Prince like George does not do this type of job because he is reduced to being a servant. However both the King and Prince William thought that it was important to involve him in this way so that he understand his destiny. Thing is the Pages role is to hold up the long ermine and gold embroidered train which is very heavy, George will have to practice maneuvering it and walking at the same slow pace the length of the Abbey and getting it into the Gold State Carriage.

A lunch will follow the Coronation at Buckingham Palace, again the King mindful of the economic situation has simplified the menu to avoid excesses. King Charles does want to be seen by his people as the man of the people. The King as ordered that 2000 people be invited instead of the thousands which came to the Coronation in 1953. The Duke of Norfolk is in charge of managing the coronation day and the invitation, his family has been doing this for more coronation than I can remember.

The King and Queen have also chosen a signature dish for all to enjoy and this recipe was published in The Guardian, a quiche and it was created by the King’s Chef to suit all diets, very sensible. However many other meals have to be planned for this weekend of festivities and hundreds of guests of the King and Queen have to be fed. There will not be any goose liver on the menu since the King banned the product from his table.

This is the famous invitation given to 2000 persons by rank of precedence, which is very important and should not be forgotten. You will note the invitation was designed to reflect the interest of the King in the environment and gardening. You will see a Bee, birds, a butterfly, flowers of all kinds but all have a special meaning to the King, it is not an accident that they are on the design. At the bottom is the Green Man, a symbol as old as the world, representing renewal, Spring, a new era which we are entering. In the bottom right corner the coat of Arms of the Duke of Norfolk (Earl Marshal). At the top the coat of arms of the King on the left and on the right those of the Queen with the blue boar, symbol of courage. All the invitations are on recycled paper, they are hand painted with gouache. Note the Crown, now the King is using the Tudor Crown, back to another old tradition prior to 1953.

The Coronation on the 6 May will be a 90 minute ceremony we are told, instead of the 3+ hours of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. One big shortcut taken, only HRH Prince William as Prince of Wales and Heir will swear fealty to the King instead of all the nobles assembled in the Abbey, one by one. It also is convenient since both Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, will not be required to do so in person at the ceremony, avoiding all awkwardness.

Yes Harry is coming but he will be seated in row 53 behind a column, I hope, since he disenfranchised himself from the family. Of course many have said that he should loose his title of Duke, but only the Prime Minister and Parliament can do that upon request of the King.

In Canada, Parliament has voted the Title and Styles for the King, based on a decision of 1953 by then Prime Minister Louis Saint-Laurent. Canada unlike England does not have a State Religion, so the title and style is different. Yesterday as part of the bill on Styles and titles of the King, Act 510, in Ottawa, Parliament voted the following and it received immediate Royal Assent from the Governor General.

Charles the Third, by the Grace of God King of Canada and
His other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.

As you can see it is very different from the Style and title of the King in the UK.

There are so many other details in the coronation ceremony, like the sacred oil from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem used to anointing the King etc. or the term ascending the throne, which actually happens once the King is crowned. H.M. Camilla will also be crowned during the ceremony. Then at the end of the ceremony the Crown of St-Edward is replaced by the Imperial State Crown which is the one used for all occasions. I am looking forward to it all, who knows when we will have a chance to see this again in my lifetime.

In closing a funny gift or detail today, it was announced that the Pope had sent as a gift to the King for the Coronation, two splinters of wood of the true cross of Christ. If this is not popery I do not know what is. Imagine such a gift just 100 years ago, it would have created a great scandal. These little pieces of wood have been incorporated into a processional cross which will be used in the Coronation ceremony. The ceremony starts at 11am, London Time live on BBC.

Food critic and wine connaisseur


, , , , , , ,

I recently wrote about Francois Simon who is a French food writer and critic who is well known and writes about quality in food preparation and the flavours of ingredients, presentation at table and how simple and elegant this can be. In Europe most restaurants have tablecloth and not just bare surfaces, there is effort in preparing food and serving it in a fashion that is typical of that restaurant and not a generic big corporation approach which is the cancer of chain restaurants killing the industry, if we can call it that.

The other night we had a wine tasting of Cabernet Sauvignon at the Club, four wines from different regions of the world. This reminded me of this fellow who has an immensely large collection of rare vintages between 1787 to 1990. He will organized monthly dinners in Paris where 7 bottles of rare vintage will be opened and the goal is to identify, taste, examine the notes and quality of each wines. Some of those rare vintages are very old, say 90 years old. I have to say that I was skeptical if a wine was still drinkable after such a long time.

Francois Audouze, francois.audouze@wine-dinners.com is all about the love of very old wines with rare qualities. A fascinating site, just to look at the labels of what they will drink at one of those dinners is an amazing thing.

The other fellow I follow has a site on Instagram called Le Secrets des bouteilles he answers questions on what to look for in a wine and how to enjoy it.

This Petrus Pomerol 1975, gets a 4.5 rating and is on average $6400. for a 750ml bottle.

On Friday evening we crossed the street to attend the Season opening of the Water Prince restaurant, I believe this is their 38 year in business and it is a lot of fun to go to this small 14 tables, with its all seafood, lobster menu. We know the owners and their family, all the staff and it is a good atmosphere, just before the tourists arrive. Had excellent Malpeque Oysters, and a great grilled scallop dinner.

Yes the Tourist Season is just about to start and everyone is getting ready. I now have been hired by one Tour Company and a second one would like to interview me. I am looking forward to it all.

This week I made a pizza at home, Will prepares the dough and then I do the rest. The pizza is cooked in a black cast iron pan in the oven at 500F. The toppings were a rosé sauce, mushrooms, cauliflower, brocolini, mozarella which I slice myself, I do not buy the crap stuff already sliced and a generous portion of Parmigiano Reggiano, again grated from a big block I keep. I parboiled the cauliflower and the brocolini, I also sautéed some slice mushrooms prior to garnishing it all on the pizza which then cooks for 8 minutes.

Tonight I will have a pizza for dinner, this time I will garnish it with zucchini sliced, cauliflower and some brocolini all parboiled for 4 minutes. The mushrooms again sautéed, mozzarella and parmigiano. You can substitute mozzarella for goat cheese (made from goat milk).

Finally, I also follow a fellow who has a wide knowledge on cheese. Unfortunately most people eat cheese today which are of poor or mediocre quality and mass produced, wrapped in plastic. Supermarkets are full of that, here they are so expensive, the other day looking at the prices for any kind of cheese and the small quantity you get, I said to the clerk, you should have security guards around at those prices for such a display of cheese.

We do have a lady at the Farmer’s Market who sells fresh cheese and a beautiful variety, all are produced in very small batches by various producers in Quebec or here in the maritimes. Quebec has a great culture when it comes to cheese making. All of her cheese are wrapped in wax paper, no plastic. The thing is, it is not more expensive to buy from her compared to the corporate/industrial stuff. It’s all about the quality.

Summer job


, ,

In the last two years I have heard quite a bit about friends who in the Summer months are involved being tourist guides, a job that pays very well and has tips on top. It’s not that I need the job, no, however I need to keep busy and I am not the sort who goes to the beach everyday, some people do and like it but not me. I like walking on the beach but not lying on it for hours on end. In town, well the attractions are limited and concentrated on the tourist experience, so it is tiresome after a while. Will see how it goes. I have previous experience in the last 12 years in museums in Canada and it is fun to meet and speak with people.

In the meantime today is Easter Sunday a beautiful sunny if coolish day. This coming week restaurants are re-opening for the tourists and the first cruise ship is arriving. I would not visit PEI before mid-May, the weather is just too cool and windy but people do.

We are 3 weeks away from Coronation Day on Saturday 6 May, we will have a BBQ at the Club, I hope the weather is warmer and sunny. In the next 3 weeks I will be in class for training for this guide job, so it should be busy.

In Canada we get a 4 day weekend with Easter and this means that shops are usually closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. I shopped yesterday for our Easter meal and I really wanted lamb chops, I found Island Lamb which I prefer to Australian lamb for various reasons. However what dominated the meat counters was ham in various sizes. I am not crazy about ham unless it is the big ham with the bone simply cooked or smoked and served as is or later in sandwiches. Easter for me is more about a nice crown of lamb or lamb chops, lamb brochettes. Easter morning for breakfast we will have French eggs and Gravlax. I am going for a walk today to build an appetite for tonight. Will also made a Remoulade with celery root and kalamata olives, you can use capers also. He is also making a pudding for dessert, I think he will use oranges.

Today was a perfect day for walking, the wind is brisk from the North East, but it is still nice and it is so quiet all around. Only the convenience store is open. Tomorrow is also a holiday however most stores will be open. The weather is so warm and sunny 14C that we are putting away our Winter jackets and the Spring coats have come out. The rest of the week is suppose to be equally nice.