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Archive for August, 2010

After a rather long hiatus, I am taking up my countdown of amazing things in Gibsons at #5 – and just in time to tell you about the Salmon Festival.  It happens on Saturday September 11th.  Here is a picture of my textile entry – just finished today.  It’s called Salmon Dreams and is fashioned from bits and pieces of fabric found in my quilting ‘stash.’

My anthropomorphized salmon dreams about the same things we do:  desires, fears, reproductive activities and mortality – the last two being rather closely associated for the salmon. 

My salmon on display at Gift of the Eagle Gallery

Here is a description of the festival that I “lifted” from the BC Travel Guide Events page:

“The Gibsons Landing Salmon Festival takes place in Historic Molly’s Lane. This is a fun event for all ages where artists of all abilities purchase a 4 foot salmon plank, take it home and create a piece of art. The salmon art is then returned to the place of purchase and then all of the salmon are displayed at an artist’s reception on Wednesday September 8th at Gift of the Eagle Gallery, Gibsons Public Art Gallery, The Landing Gallery and Artworks Tours & Framing and the bidding on these pieces of art officially opens on that evening. Then on Saturday September 11th the salmon are hung on display down Molly’s Lane and up around the Persephone and auctioned off in a silent auction format throughout the day. The festival runs from 9am to 6:30pm Saturday September 11th and there is live entertainment all day as well as buskers, children’s theater, salmon burger bbq, beer tent, face painting, children’s t-shirt painting area and much much more!”

The Salmon Festival is only one of several events held in Gibsons throughout the year. The Sea Cavalcade in July is a personal favourite (see # 7 on the countdown) and the Fabric Arts Festival in August is also well worth a visit.

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Moist and delicious blueberry scones in a jiffy.

On those occasions when poor time management drives me to seek quick commercial forms of sustenance, I might find myself at a Cobb’s or Starbuck’s staring glumly at their scones. Not only are they expensive, but they nearly always disappoint: Too heavy, too dry or just entirely lacking in flavour.  And it is so easy to make good ones!  My favourite recipe comes from my sister-in-law Sue (She of the amazing Raisin Bagel Bread.) You can have these scones in the oven in 15 minutes. Yum.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar (+ 1 Tbsp to garnish)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup chilled margarine or butter

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (raisins or coarsely grated cheddar cheese can be substituted)

METHOD

Set oven rack to middle or upper-middle of oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in deep sided bowl. Cut in margarine using pastry blender or two knives until “size of small peas” (does that phrase take you back to HomeEc 8?)

Separate one egg, reserving white.  Whisk whole egg and remaining yolk together in a medium bowl or measuring cup, then whisk in milk.

If substituting grated cheddar cheese or raisins for the blueberries, these items can be added in to dry ingredients now. (Not blueberries.)

Add milk and egg mixture to dry ingredients and, using a stiff spatula, combine with series of one folding motion followed by two downward scrapes. About 15 of these combination moves should do the trick. If there is still some flour in the bottom of the bowl, flip your dough upside down in the bowl to mop it up, then fold-scrape-scrape a few more times. 

Now is the time to add your frozen blueberries: Gently mix them into the stiff dough, but don’t worry if some refuse to join the party. You can apply those by hand, once the scones are formed. 

Fancy technique:  Pat dough into a smooth circle approximately 7 inches in diameter and 1 inch high on a floured board. Dissect circle into 8 perfect pie-shaped wedges and transfer these to your prepared baking sheet, leaving space around each wedge.

My technique: scoop approximately 1/8 th of the stiff dough into your hands, pat it into a very rough semblance of a circle and plop onto the baking sheet, then repeat.  They taste just as good!   

Push any remaining blueberries into the scones that need them most, then brush with the egg white and sprinkle with remaining 1 T sugar.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.  Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge.

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I know, I know. It’s not very becoming. But I just have to show you my before and after photos.  We’ve been away for a while (more about that later), and I’ve likely tested the interest of any regular readers with my unapologetic silence – so who is there to offend, really? 

Patience and hard work paid off here. Also, the assistance of followers of this blog and GardenWeb folk  – who continue to make great suggestions to this day. Oh . . . and really good weather may have had a hand. Also, the neighbour who watered while we were away.

So really, it was a group effort. Regardless, it is very gratifying to see what can be achieved in the span of six months.  It is especially appreciated this summer when a successful rental season at Keats View has kept us away from the cottage for six weeks and counting: Having a little bit of dirt to mess around in just steps from my kitchen has prevented me from feeling too unhappy about my exile from the cottage garden.  

Without further ado, here is my backyard in March of 2010:

Just getting started in the backyard: March 2010

And here is how it looks today, as I sit typing out a blog post and sipping a blender drink:

My new happy place: August 2010

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Please consider sponsoring us as Cottager and I spend two days cycling in Kelowna in September to raise money on behalf of the MS Society of Canada’s research efforts.  Here is a direct link to my online pledge site:  

http://msofs.mssociety.ca/2010bike/Sponsor.aspx?PID=1232844&L=2

Ta very much!  CW

Please sponsor me!

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