Friday, June 18, 2010

Oh the Peonies!

On top of the list for June's many virtues, has to be the peony.  My love for them grows every year.
The gardens here at the inn have somehow managed to accumulate nine different varieties, some of which I know and some remain a mystery.  They range from fuchsia pink to white, last for ages in a vase, smell divine, and the plant looks great in the garden till frost  What more could you ask.  Don't forget this June to stop and smell the peonies.

Had a brief getaway myself this week.  A friend and I had a night in Ottawa.  When you live in the country, you go to the city for your break but I had to laugh at our choices.  We ate lunch sitting on a rock looking out over the Ottawa river.  We stopped our tour of Rockcliffe Park when I saw what looked like a path into the bush.  Sure enough it was a lovely walk through what appeared to be a very old estate which was mostly given back to nature.  We also left the city early so we could take a scenic route home through the country.
So much for the city break. 

What I wanted to mention was the noise.  It was so loud in Ottawa with traffic, construction and industrial sized lawn mowers that I couldn't wait to get away.  Apart from our lovely drinks and dinner at Zoe's in the Chateau Laurier it really was an assault to the senses. So take a break folks and come up for some peace and quiet - and while you are here you can smell the peonies.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Victoria Day Approaches

Spring is my favourite time of the year and this year has been extremely kind.  We have had a beautiful two months already and it isn't even the long weekend yet.  The gardens are coming along ahead of schedule even with the snowy setback on Mother's Day weekend.  Birds are everywhere again and the White Crowned Sparrow has been singing up a storm.

We've been busy starting a new line of homemade preserves for the inn as well as revamping our menu for summer. It's always a struggle to keep to the inside jobs when it is so gorgeous outside. A discipline I confess to not being very good at.  There is always a weed to be pulled or a plant to be moved right now!

The long weekend is nearly here and with it, what is to me, the end of spring and the start of summer. Hope everyone has a happy and safe long weekend.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Wine Tasting Dinner

Saturday was our annual Spring Wine Tasting dinner and once again the weather was gorgeous.  We always seem to be so lucky with that one.  Warwick and I had been in the kitchen for a few days preparing and it was well worth the effort.  Our guests were most appreciative and we had a great time.  "A Night in Spain" was our theme. With so much great food and wine to choose from the hard part was narrowing it down.  We went with a succession of six tapas then a main of Chorizo and Chick Pea Stew with Ensalada and lots of crusty bread to sop up the sauce.  Of the five wines we served the two most popular seemed to be the Cava from Codorniu and Vina Zaco Tempranillo.  The cava is a gorgeous dry champagne style wine and the tempranillo is a full bodied leathery red from Rioja.  Really a must try.

April is drawing to a close and with it my favourite month of the year.  It is so good for the soul to see spring unfolding and the sun's warmth returning.  It is nearly always a good month here in the Madawaska Valley and yet people always seem to wait till late May before they venture north.  Such a pity.

Well the earth and the weeds are calling me so I had best get moving.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring Cleaning

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