Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Go Exploring

The little people in our family love to explore outside. There are so many amazing things to discover, especially in the fall when the leaves are on the ground. Here is a general guide to an exploration hike in the fall:

  1. Take a book about the bugs, leaves and flowers you will see to assist in identification. We usually borrow one from the library - an adult should be its caretaker.
  2. Each child will need a container for their collection. Discourage the collection of living things though, they seldom make it home alive.
  3. One of our little ones likes to take a notebook and pencil to record his finds, another has an old digital camera to take photos of interesting items that should stay in place.
  4. Find a not too well traveled spot with varied terrain to hike in. Somewhere that will enhance the sense of exploration and discovery. A woodland trail or path along a stream would be perfect.
  5. After the trip provide each child with a way to preserve their finds- a scrapbook where they can write and draw as well as paste in items is a good idea.
A trip to explore usually requires a snack at the halfway point. These cookies from Two Peas and Their Pod look delicious.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Have a Picnic

Picnics are my favourite thing to do outside. Growing up on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, warm summer days were occasions to celebrate and we did so by going on picnics. I could write a whole blog on picnics so I will do this as a series, starting with getting ready to go.

Mom kept an old suitcase packed with picnic things - cutlery, dishes, tablecloth, napkins, etc. It was then easy to make sandwiches, a salad and a quick dessert to take along . With today's concerns about the environment many of the things we did then are relevant today.
  1. We always used reusable dishes and cutlery - older items that were no longer considered presentable on the dinner table but were fine for picnics.
  2. Tea towels, a wet cloth in a jar, and a round metal wash basin came along for clean up time.
  3. A fabric tablecloth and napkins were always packed in the suitcase, again those just past their prime for dinner table use.
  4. Sandwiches were wrapped in a damp tea towel then placed in a covered tin - usually one that candy came in at Christmas.
  5. Salad was in a bowl covered with a tea towel tied in place with string from the ball of saved string. (Dad loved to save string)
  6. Dessert was also in a metal tin, often covered with a piece of well washed flour bag or tea towel before the lid went on.
After our picnic there was no garbage to leave behind or carry out. Everything was packed up and taken home for use the next sunny day.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hike Peggy's Cove

Fall is my favourite time of year. And hiking the barrens in the Peggy's Cove Preservation Area is my favourite thing to do - especially in the Fall. If you go please obey a few simple rules.
  1. Do not pick the flowers. It is tempting as they are so beautiful this time of year.
  2. Do not stray from the paths - you will see several spots along highway 333 where people enter the area - following in their footsteps will preserve the beauty of the area for others to enjoy.
  3. Leave no trace of your visit, take your garbage home with you.
Check out the Peggy's Cove Cam to check the weather at Peggy's Cove before you leave home. Weather out on the Ocean can be vastly different than weather inland.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Corn Mazes Are Fun

Friday September 4 is Eat Local Day in Canada and the four Atlantic provinces have challenged one another to see which can get the largest percent of population to eat only local food on that day.

We took the pledge for Nova Scotia. What fun it will be. The menu is already planned and most of our food was purchased at the Hubbards Farmers' Market last Saturday. But a big part of the day will be to pack a picnic and head to Noggins Corner Farm Market outside Wolfville to have a picnic, buy corn and have fun in the Corn Maze. Later in October we will go back in the evening - the kids love the spooky flashlight maze.

This Friday is an adult day only (school, you know) but we love the maze also and can get just as lost as any kid. There are lots of other great outside things for the kids to do there but we old folks will just picnic, do the maze then buy some fresh corn at the farm market, stop at Grand Pre Winery (a member of our Atlantic EconoMusee Network) for some wine, then head home to prepare a family dinner that will include this favourite corn dish:

Fresh Creamed Corn

8 ears fresh corn
2 T.butter (we like the butter from Tatamagouche Dairy)
8 green onions, sliced diagonially, 1/8" thick
1 cup heavy cream (Farmer's or Scotsburn's)
2 T. chopped tarragon (from my herb garden)

1. Using along, sharp knife, slice the kernels from the ears of corn into a bowl and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add green onions and cook until just softened, about 1 minute. Add the corn kernels and cream andcook, stirring occasionally until the cream has thickened. About 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tarragon and serve.

Serves 6 to 8
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