Rediscovering Acadian Cuisine at Chez DesLauriers

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Chez DesLauriers restaurant opens its doors every summer to serve authentic Acadian lunches.

 

The charming tearoom, originally a heritage home built in the 1800s, is located near Pomquet beach at the top of a hill overlooking St. George’s Bay.

 

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The establishment is run by the Pomquet development society volunteers who gather every Friday to prepare traditional Acadian meals.

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Mary Ann, Jean and Joan preparing fish cakes

 

The menu features various Acadian favorite dishes including fish cakes, pâté and fricot, to name a few. And most of the meals are gluten-free!

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Melt-in-your-mouth traditional Acadian fish cakes

 

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Chicken, turkey and pork pâté (meat pie) with cranberry sauce

 

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Fricôt, an Acadian staple, is chicken stew with potatoes and dumplings

 

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Delicious seafood chowder

 

Every meal includes coffee or tea and a dessert too!

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Ginger cake with lemon sauce

 

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Strawberry shortcake made with fresh local strawberries

 

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Caramel pudding topped with fresh whipped cream

 

Chez DesLauriers also hosts lobster roll dinners in the Fall.

Click here for the complete menu. If you’re pressed for time, you can always purchase your meal on site and take it to go, within minutes.

However, I highly recommend sticking around and experiencing more than just the food, as there are other fun things to do:

 

♦ Discover the hiking trails

There are many beautiful coastal and inland hiking trails to enjoy – the views are breathtaking!

 

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♦ Visit the Interpretive Centre

The local Interpretive Center offers captivating cultural and historical pieces.

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A hand-held turnip seeder

 

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♦ Check out le petit marché

The petit marché, small market, has merchandise and souvenirs for purchase.

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♦ Home-made treats

Before heading out, buy a few home-made baked goods from Mrs. Patsy Doiron of Nanny’s Country Cooking

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So be sure to drop in Chez DesLauriers this summer!

This is the perfect place to be on a hot sunny day. Delectable food, relaxing atmosphere and wonderful hosts.

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Beeswax Wraps

beeswax wrap country parent

Recently, I came across reusable beeswax wraps at the Antigonish Winter Market. Sandra Swinkels, the owner of Swinkels Bee Products, started making them as a natural alternative to plastic wrap.

I was thrilled to find them locally and was looking forward to trying them out. So, in case you were wondering…

 

 

What are they made of?

The wraps are made out of 100% organic cotton infused with beeswax, pine resin and jojoba oil. All three substances are known to be natural preservatives and have antibacterial properties. The combination of the cotton fabric and the above ingredients result in a breathable storage solution.

beeswax wrap ingredients

 

How big are the wraps?

The general use wraps come in two sizes: 8″ x 8″ and 11″ x 11″. The sandwich wraps measure 14″ x 14″ unfolded and 5″ x7″ folded.

 

How do you use them?

The wraps can be used to cover bowls, jars, plates, etc. They are very malleable and simply require the warmth of your hands to adhere to the rim of containers.

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They are very versatile too. You can turn them into snack bags by moulding them into a desired shape or simply use them to wrap leftover bread, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and more.

beeswax wrap bread

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How well do they work?

I compared the two methods of food storage by wrapping two halves of an avocado, one with cling wrap and the other one with beeswax wrap.

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Cling wrap vs Beeswax wrap

 

Twenty four hours later…

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Not bad, eh?

 

As for the sandwich wraps, I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical at first… I wasn’t sure if my sandwich would remain fresh until the next day, but it did!

An added bonus was the sweet aroma of beeswax. A little aromatherapy during lunch break is always a good thing!

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What about care and storage?

The wrappers come with a sheet of instructions for use & care. It’s recommended to wash them with cool water and mild dish soap, otherwise the beeswax and resin might lose their adherence. And, since they cannot be cleaned with hot water, they should not to be used for storing meat.

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The large wrap can be stored flat, folded or rolled. I like to roll mine up and place it in a drawer to minimize storage space. The sandwich wrap can easily be stored as is.

beeswax wrap storage Kent building supplies island cart

 

How much do they cost?

The small wraps cost $7.00, the larger ones cost $9.00 and the sandwich wraps, $12.00. They are reusable and can last up to a year, so it’s well worth the investment.

And, although I love the bumble bee print, there are many other beautiful and colourful prints to choose from. Here are just a few:

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You can find Sandra and her line of Swinkels Bee Products, including the beeswax wraps, every Saturday at the Antigonish Winter Market or you can purchase her products online.

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Eco-friendly  Sustainable  Reusable  Biodegradable

 

Food for thought…

If you use 1 sqft of plastic wrap for one sandwich per day, then this adds up to 260 sqft per year. For a family of 4, this number translates to 1040 sqft per year. Now say you were to switch to beeswax wraps only twice per week, this automatically cuts down your plastic wrap usage by at least 40%! Not bad, considering film plastics (which include plastic wraps) have such a negative impact on the environment and, now more then ever, we are strongly encouraged to reduce the amount of plastic we use; think of the recent plastic bags ban implemented in Montreal and possibly in Nova Scotia in the near future.

So, if you use plastic wrap daily for your sandwiches and snacks, why not try using beeswax wraps instead? Even once a week can make a huge difference!

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You might also like:

 

Sweet buzziness

DIY Mason Bee Hotels

 

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4-H is Back!

By Jennifer Van Den Heuvel and Regina Cozzi

 

I PLEDGE
My HEAD to clearer thinking,
My HEART to greater loyalty,
My HANDS to larger service,
My HEALTH to better living,
For my club, my community, and my country.

 

These are the core values of 4-H and what the four Hs represent.

 

What is 4-H?

4-H is a non-profit youth organization. It exists in over 80 countries, and has over 25,000 members Canada wide1.

 

How does it work?

Although 4-H is governed nationally by 4-H Canada, each province contains and supports multiple clubs. 4-H clubs are divided by region throughout the counties (e.g. West-River club, Heatherton club, St-Andrews club, Landing club, Goshen club, etc.). Each 4-H club organizes meetings and activities for their members, and has volunteer leaders for various projects.

The number of projects has flourished over the years. What originally started with agricultural competitions in the early 1900s1, has now evolved into an array of projects2. Here are a just a few:

projects-1If a club does not offer a project your child is interested in, then arrangements can be made to join the project meetings of another club that offers the project of interest.

Younger children (ages 7 & 8) known as Cloverbuds, can also become 4-H members. This non-competitive group can still take on a project, or simply join the Exploring 4-H program, which encourages them to explore more than one interest, yet allows them to complete 3-4 smaller projects within their capabilities (e.g. crafts, cake decorating, photography & woodworking)

 

Time commitment?

Usually, each club holds a General meeting once a month. Later in the season, each project leader holds sessions with the members to complete certain projects. For example, in Woodworking, members can meet once a week to work on their projects from December to April. In waterfowl, weekly meetings only start once the ducklings are hatched, and take place from May to August. In general, project work occurs over a six-month period.

In March, each club holds a Club Rally Day. Members, including Cloverbuds, can either give a short speech or do a demonstration on a topic of their choice (they can talk about their pet, an experience, demonstrate a recipe, DIY project, etc.). Selected club members move on to the Regional Rally (in April), and then to the Provincial 4-H weekend competitions a month later.

Judging Day takes place in May. During this event, members become judges! They compare and evaluate four items (or animals) within their project category and rate them. For example, ‘Foods’ members might have to compare four cakes, rank them based on their appearance (and taste!), and give reasons to support their decision.

This is a great opportunity for members to develop their reasoning skills and be able to effectively communicate their reasons for making a given choice. This exercise also gives them a perspective on the standards and quality expected for their own projects.

Achievement Day.  Once all projects are completed, they are evaluated, by the 4-H local staff members, based on their quality (this is also based by age and years of experience in the project). All members need to participate in this event in order take part in the local Exhibition or 4-H Day, at the end of summer.

Run-offs. This is a county level competition, where one junior and one senior member, for each project, is chosen by the project leader to represent their club. Subsequently, run-off winners can compete at the provincial show.

Exhibition Day! (also known as 4-H Day). At the end of August-early September, 4-H members can take part in the Eastern Nova Scotia Exhibition, ENSE. This is when members finally get to showcase their project work or show their animals (livestock showmanship), and get ranked against other members of their club and county.

4h-collageSome of the projects displayed in the ENSE.
The 2016 4-H theme was: “Let’s be Green in 2016!”

 

Winning members move on to the 4-H Provincial Show. Provincial competitions usually take place at the end of September. This is quite an event!

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Antigonish County project display (NS Provincial Exhibition, Truro)

 

What are the benefits of 4-H?

The 4-H motto is:

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Besides acquiring skills in a specific project, 4-H members develop numerous life skills, such as:

  • Public speaking skills
  • Judging skills
  • Communication skills
  • Entrepreneurial skills
  • Leadership skills (which could count towards High School Personal Development credits)

Last, but not least, 4-H offers many opportunities for scholarships, awards, mentorship from project leaders, leadership development conferences (e.g. StFX 4-H Society), national trips and exchange trips!

Group activities
4-H members take part in many fun group activities too. Each club organizes get-togethers like BBQs, entertainment, recreational activities (bowling, swimming, Christmas Bake-off, etc.), team competitions (4-H woodsmen, tug of war) and let’s not forget the famous Camp Rankin, a week-long summer camp based in Cape Breton. Loads of fun and a great way to develop lasting friendships.

Community service
4-H clubs actively contribute to their community. Whether it’s a community clean-up, ticket sales for charity, or caroling at Christmas time at the hospital, 4-H members learn at a young age the importance of helping others and how they can make a difference in their community.

 

How can my child join 4-H?

November is 4-H month! Registration is open. The deadline is Dec. 1st.
If you would like to register your child in 4-H, contact your regional Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, NSDA office, to find your nearest club. If you reside in the Antigonish or Guysborough County, click on the 4-H promotional brochure and visit the Antigonish County 4-H Council Facebook page for updates. For additional information visit 4-H Nova Scotia.

Testimonials from 4-H members

We asked 4-H members to complete this sentence: “I love 4-H because…”

Here is what they had to say:

“I’m always learning new things and having fun!”-Olivia

“I get to try new things, meet new people and go to new places.”-Nora

“my brother was in it.”-Cameryn

“I can be with my friends and make things.”-Brennan

“they always welcome me and I get to try new things.”-Marley

you learn how to do all kinds of cool things.”-Percy

it is lots of fun and way to stay busy.”-David

I love animals and because it’s a really good program.”-Sydney

of the life-long friends I have made and skills I have learned.”-Danya (parent and previous 4-H member)

of all the different things I can do.”-Mallory

I get to meet new people and get to hang out around the farm and cows.“-Mark

there are so many opportunities to become an active member and get involved in your community. 4-H allows you and challenges you to be a critical thinker and always learn, develop and better yourself on so many platforms.”-Iain

“you get to learn new skills.”-Ava

“I get to do new things that I can’t do at other places.”-Tony

“it is fun.”-Jacob

“you get to go outside.”-Ben

“I get to do a lot of different things that I like.”-Gabriel

“you learn lots of new stuff throughout the year.”-Baileigh

“I like showing calves.”-Ryan

“it is a really nice program and I love animals.”-Cassidy

“I like the variety of projects 4-H has to offer.”-Leah

“it encourages me to try and do new things.”-Casey

“it’s a great way to make you feel a part of a community.”-Emily

“they accept me for who I am. They help me accomplish things faster and they are always kind and cheerful. They challenge me to do my best.”-Maddison

“I love going to camp Rankin.”-Jaelynn

“it broadens my job options for the future.”-Angus

“it encourages learning and self development.”-Elliot

“they have free food and it’s a great experience.”-Hayden

“I get to go to camp Rankin every year and it’s always the highlight of my summer.”-Shannyn

“The projects are a lot of fun and the trips are great.”-Alex

 

Exhibition Day projects 2017

4H West River4H St Joseph

4H St Andrews

4H Landing

4H Heatherton

4H Havre Boucher

Hope you join us!

 

Acknowledgements:
Thank you to Sheri Lambourne and Dawn Barrington-Hodgson for helping with this post.

Sources:
1 http://novascotia4h.ca/
2 http://www.novascotia.ca/agri/programs-and-services/educational-resources/4h/

 

You might also like:

4H Day!

Annual 4-H Christmas Cookie Bake

 

More Girls Should Be Doing This

code

by Erin Aucoin

I have a question for you.  Can you even remember the last time you spent a day without using technology?  Probably not, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!  Computers and technology have become so engrained in our lives because they are extremely useful and computer science is arguably the fastest growing career field.  You would think that we, as a society would be encouraging everyone to take advantage of this and to be more computer literate.  But we’re not.

Only 30% of Math and Computer Science students in Canada1 are female even though the job prospects for computer science students are consistently among the most promising2. In a time where most of the revolutionary products are technology related, this statistic is very discouraging.

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My name is Erin and I started a society for Women in Science at St. Francis Xavier University this year.  I was inspired to do so for a couple of reasons.  First, I am the only graduating female physics student this year and this has led to quite a few interesting conversations.  Secondly, I have spent two summers working for the X-Chem Science Camps at St.FX organizing the computer science camp and it was easy to see that the girls loved the activities just as much as the boys.  I think that there are a lot of fields of science and technology, which severely lack women.  A lot of really smart women don’t even consider a career in physics, engineering or computer science and this is a shame.

Women often think that coding isn’t for them because virtually all of the big names in tech are men (think of Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk) and we rarely hear about the female pioneers of computer science Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper and Katherine Johnson (featured in the movie Hidden Figures)

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Women pioneers in computer science: Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Katherine Johnson3,4,5

 

or the current female influencers in the field like Helen Greiner6 and Marissa Mayer7.

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Current influencers in computer science, Helen Greiner and Marissa Mayer6,7

 

Beyond this, the most fun part of computer science, video games, are generally marketed towards boys.  Even though there twice as many women over 18 playing video games as boys under 18.

Computer science is everywhere so I think that EVERYONE should learn how to code!  With this week being Computer Science Education Week, it’s the perfect time to teach yourself a little bit of programming!

The great thing about computer science is how easy it is to start!  There are thousands of tutorials online which will teach you the basics of any programming language you want.  My favourites are Code.org, Scratch.mit.edu, and Codecademy.com.   The first two are especially great for kids because they let you start programming right away without having to learn any of the syntax (commas and semi-colons that have to be in just the right spot).

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Image retrieved from http://partners.disney.com/hour-of-code/wayfinding-with-code?cds

 

In my opinion, one of the most rewarding feelings is coding your first program, getting the computer to draw a red circle or add some numbers together or even just to say “Hello World!”  It doesn’t matter how much of a background you have in technology, you just have to decide to start!

Happy Computer Science Education Week!

 

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Erin Aucoin, BSc Physics Student President of Women in Science Society erin.aucoin@stfx.ca

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Sources:

1 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-006-x/2013001/article/11874-eng.htm

2 http://www.monster.ca/career-advice/article/highest-paying-degrees-in-canada-ca

3 https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ada-Lovelace

4 http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/code-and-the-quest-for-inclusive-software

5 https://www.nasa.gov/feature/katherine-johnson-the-girl-who-loved-to-count

http://www.inc.com/will-yakowicz/best-industries-2016-drone-manufacturing.html

7 http://www.leadersbiography.com/marissa-mayer/

 

Have You Tried Mookies?

mookies

Last year my youngest asked me to make mookies. I honestly did not know what he was talking about. He said they were ‘muffin-cookies‘. So I looked for a recipe and found this one online.

Turns out mookies (a.k.a. ‘muffin tops’) are delicious! We’ve been making them ever since. They’re great add-ins to lunches and after school snacks.

 

The following recipe was adapted from food.com

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Baking time: 20 minutes
  • Servings: 20 mookies

Ingredients

1 cup melted unsalted butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 cup chopped almonds or walnuts

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup raisins

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Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F

Line baking sheet with parchment paper

Mix butter and brown sugar until smooth

Beat in eggs and vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and blend in with butter mixture

Using a tablespoon, drop large scoops of the mixture onto baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart.

 

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Bake for 20 minutes

Let cool and enjoy!

 

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Star Wars fans? You might want to try this…

Make these simple changes to easily turn your mookies into Wookies!
1. Reduce the amount of flour to 3/4 cup

2. Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder

3. Substitute the raisins with 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

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Freeze & store

  • You can freeze mookies raw and bake them later.
  • You can bake mookies, then freeze them (up to 3 weeks).

If baked, then frozen, simply microwave them for 20 seconds and voilà… tasty as the day they came out of the oven.

 

Happy baking!

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Mookies