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Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Daffodil

My first daffodil popped this morning. 

I feel joy at seeing the bright yellow trumpet
with its collar of sun-coloured petals!

   I love daffodils.  They’re my favourite flowers,
    full of life, enthusiastic gold.

      And the spring squills are everywhere. 

Blue variations peek from the greening grass
in random patterns,
wherever I have planted them
and wherever the squirrels have moved them.

    It is the last day of April.  The flowers are coming…

      Release from the clutches of maritime winter!  At last…

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Margaret Atwood at Frye Festival 2011

I saw Margaret Atwood tonight.  It was a thrill!

I’ve loved her books for years, studied them in university, read nearly everything she has ever written, envied her artistry with words, but have never seen her live.

My niece and I ventured out to Soirée Frye at the Capitol Theatre, part of the Frye Festival in Moncton.  The Soirée Frye provides a taste of the festival, great literature, music, awards and a reception following to meet the authors.

This is the 12th year of this bilingual, international literary festival and Margaret Atwood is the star attraction.

Margaret Atwood is funny and articulate, entertaining and engaging.  She read an excerpt from her novel Oryx and Crake, a tongue-in-cheek look at a post apocalyptic world in which all humans, except one, are gone.

Margaret Atwood describes herself in her Tweets:   
“Dress-as-me tips:
  1. Wear Black.
  2. With a broad-brimmed hat if you like
  3. Be short
  4. Wear pink accent scarf
  5. And weeny earrings
  6. Grey fright wig”
Though she is petite and does have challenging hair, she is delightful, warm, personable and self-effacing.

It was a thrill to see her in person.

Weird Words in Z

Weird Words in Z

My mother is culling her book collection.  I’ve inherited an aged copy of Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary.

Search for unusual words, use them in a sentence to remember their meaning and expand vocabulary!  I choose words that appeal to me, not necessarily the most obscure, though there are multitudes of those.

I’m starting at the end with “Z”.

Zax      noun ~ a tool for trimming roofing tiles

Zenzizenzizenzic       noun~ the eighth power of a number

Zneesy       adjective~ freezing, frosty (also spelled “znuzy”)

Sentence:         Careful on that slippery roof on this zneesy day; you still have the zenzizenzizenzic of 2 (256) tiles to trim with your zax, before your work is complete!

How would you use these words in a sentence?

Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary, Josefa Heifetz Byrne. 
Copyright 1974, Simon & Shuster, New York, NY.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Dream

The Dream

in its bones
all worlds that must or ever will be.
We rush to set them free
and seek our selves on that journey,

what is dear—
yet so afraid of the opening door.
Unaware that before
we throw wide this door or this dream,

must be done
with searching outside the self and learn
all that, for which we yearn
draws us to plunge, to trust, enter

again seek
within the damp, deep inside our soul.
Our world unfurl, one whole.
With flash and flesh and ache, wake us!

(Words are mine.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just to Be

Just to Be

Just to be.
After days of doing,
a day of being. 

Quiet time.

Feet up
sun on my skin
doing nothing.

Like a cat
stretch, yawn,
and turn. 

A day to loosen
my mind.

Be aware
birdsong on bright breeze.

No schedule,
do no-thing
all else will wait.

Be.  Just be.

(Words are mine.)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter morning to everyone!  If Easter isn't something you celebrate, then happy day to you.

Hope this beautiful day finds each one of you happy and hopeful, whatever the reason.

May your today, and all the days to come, be filled with love and peace and joy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gather at the River

                                            A gorgeous spring day at the river.

Birds are singing and flowers are blooming.

The trees are free of snow.

The earth is warming.

The woods are waking.

The river is free again.

Ah!  Spring...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter Cookies Batch Three

Easter Cookies Batch Three

Continuing from my blog yesterday, I am reporting on roll-out sugar cookie progress.

After warming the cookie dough rounds stored in the fridge all night, rolling and cutting the dough with proper Easter Cookie Cutters and stamping them with designs…we bake them. 

“WE”, because Mum came for a visit, now we are both working on this project.

Everything is fine so far.  Remove cookies from the oven, do another round of dough. Completely cool all cookies on the racks.  When they are cool, we begin to decorate.

All ready…the bags of dyed icing, prepared with frosting tips.  First lesson: Don’t use the disposable plastic bags.  One promptly has a blow-out, causing delays while repairs are carried out with duct tape...careful not to allow purple frosting and duct tape to come into contact with one another.  (No Easter-coloured duct tape, gray suffices.)

Much discussion and anxiety about how to decorate, what tips to use, which colours, what designs, where, etc.  We plunge in using an assembly-line method.  Discovery: Heat from our hands melts butter cream frosting inside the decorating bag.  Some tips do not function properly. Or is it the operators?  More discussion.  A tiny glass of wine to facilitate and promote decorating ideas.

Husband wanders in from garage. Unwisely makes dangerous comments about shaky hands and squiggly lines drawn on cookies. “What are you two doing anyway?”  Discussion.  Husband invited to help.  Husband declines invitation to help.  Husband invited to return to garage. Much muttering all round.

Decorating is efficient for a while, assembly line is working.  Again, start to run out of ideas.  Slightly larger portion of wine is poured.  Ideas discussed.  Decision made: Squiggly lines, wonky looking dots deemed to be quite acceptable.  Some discussion about responses one could offer if cookies get too much criticism on Easter Sunday.

Running out of different colours of frosting; using what is left.  Some cookies must now be eaten as some decorating is objectionable.  Imperfect cookies dispatched promptly.

Counting number of people coming to dinner on Easter Sunday.  Counting number of cookies.  Numbers don’t match.  More cookies must be made tomorrow!

Husband strolls through kitchen again, this time wisely declaring that cookies look wonderful and wanting a sample.

What the heck!  More cookies must be made; everyone has cookies and a bit of wine.

All in all, a good afternoon. 

Mum says she had fun!  Might be back tomorrow…

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Cookies

Easter Cookies

My niece invited us for dinner on Easter Sunday at her new house.  It is pot luck—everyone brings their speciality.  My husband is making mashed potatoes and dressing to go with the turkey and the ham.  I’m making sugar cookies, not my speciality, not yet anyway!

Why am I making cookies that aren’t my speciality?  I just received these new cookie cutters as a late birthday gift.  They are from Williams-Sonoma called Message in a Cookie, Cookie Cutters and Stamp & Style Easter Cookie Cutters.  They look interesting and creative so I’m trying them.

The basic cookie dough is a Sugar Cookie Recipe included with the cutters.


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Sprinkles or other sugar decorations (optional)


Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and salt and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in vanilla. Add flour and beat on low speed just to blend. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness for smaller (2-inch) cookies and 1/4-inch thickness for larger (3- to 4-inch) cookies. Using decorative cookie cutters cut out cookies and transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

 If cookies become too soft to transfer to baking sheets, place in freezer on waxed paper for 5 minutes before continuing. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more cookies, repeating until all dough is used. If not icing cookies, decorate with sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired.

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and golden around edges, about 7 -10 minutes for smaller cookies and up to 12 - 14 minutes for larger cookies. Cool completely on rack. Decorate with icing, then sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired. Let stand until icing sets. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 days ahead.

The icing is a Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.  The recipe is in http://www.epicurious.com/  click here to see it.

I haven’t made roll-out sugar cookies in a long time so I am practising.  I made a batch two days ago; weren’t great. The cookies were edible but I needed to chill the dough longer as they squished out on the parchment paper.

I made another batch yesterday.  They turned out well but the decorating didn’t.  I am rusty.  The vanilla butter cream frosting tasted yummy however my artistic abilities were just this side of horrific. 

So…I’ll be at it again today.  I’ll let you know about the results in the next blog.
Easter cookies ready for the oven

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love in Springtime

The two of them sat huddled together on the curb in front of our house, for over an hour.  Two slender awkward adolescents, a girl with caramel-coloured hair and a boy, more fair.

The day was chilly with drizzling spring rain.  The cement curb must have been hard and cold and damp.  They seemed not to notice, so absorbed in their conversation and shared soda.

They didn’t touch just sat hugging themselves against the weather.  Shoulders hunched around their ears, shivering in the wet.

He chain-smoked, inhaling and exhaling in short bursts—perhaps trying to impress her or calm his nerves.  They talked and talked and laughed, self-consciously drawing patterns in the dirt on the street with random twigs.

I looked out at them occasionally, as I sat writing at my kitchen table.  Wondering to myself, “What are they doing out there in this cold rain?”

Suddenly, I was flooded with memories of you in high school: tall, good-looking, a cigarette dangling dangerously, older than I and so mysterious.

I remember quiet glances and sudden shared laughter.  Self-consciousness.  Heart thudding with excitement and wonder.  The fragrance of after-shave mixed with bitter smoke.

We too were shy, oblivious to the weather, standing at the bus stop scuffing at the wet, spring snow with the toes of our shoes.  Not touching, too bashful and innocent to know what to do.

Young and naïve and new to love. 

I remember you bent down and tenderly kissed the huge wet snowflakes from my eyelashes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

This House of Ours

This Home of Ours

Today is an anniversary.  We’ve lived in our house for six years.

This is a good place to be, cozy and comfortable, a wee house with a generous, treed yard.

When we bought it six years ago, the house hadn’t been updated nor looked after for a long time.  No yard care, no tree trimming, no painting, no cleaning, no maintenance outside or in.  Quite a challenging mess!

We’ve made progress.  Cleaning and repair are simple, mostly hard work.  The “must-do-it-list” still dominates the “want-to-do-it-list”.  Slowly we create changes, improving the appearance and feel of the house — our continuous project.

Each time we re-enter, we are content to be home again.  This house is a humble, relaxed place, a fireside retreat with comfy familiar furniture and cozy welcoming colours.  It is full with music, sunlight, sumptuous baking smells and three playful cats.   It is home, our home, a home we’ve made together with time and love.

My mother has a cross-stitch hanging, handmade by my grandmother, framed in her bedroom.  It says:

Having someplace to go is home.
Having someone to love is family.
Having both is a blessing.

Six years of blessing in this house, this home.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Grapevine Intrusion

Each year, our nonconformist grapevine manages to pull the sturdy cedar fence apart, as it works and twists and squeezes its way along the rails.

We fixed our cedar fence yesterday, nailed the fallen posts back into place, creating again the proper path for the ambitious grapevine to travel.

This presumptuous vine is enterprising and determined!

Our grapevine escapes riotously and regularly into the neighbour’s yard each summer, wrapping sly tendrils round the leaves and twigs of a nearby maple, exuberantly seizing the soft furry trunk of the sumac.

Even though we tie the grapevine to the fence rails to offer support, in some way it resents these restrictions, preferring to stagger and lurch into the openness of the neighbour’s yard in search of greater sunlight.  It is a challenge to keep the errant vine contained at the edge of our property.

We are still learning what the vine wants and needs, in hopes of harvesting delicious fruit at summer’s end.

Usually our grapevine produces only tiny green pellets of grapes.  Last summer, a magical combination of moisture and sun produced clusters of dusky purple grapes!

As we waited for the grapes to swell and ripen, one autumn day, a flock of finches feasted full.  We were too late!

Even though we didn’t get to taste the fruit ourselves, we learned much about nourishing grapevines in our micro-climate.

So, maybe this fall, we’ll be successful…unless the finches get there first!

Survival of the smartest?  Birds-one; us-zero.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Faces of Tulips

My best friend sent me a link to Abbey of the Arts, a guide to transformative living through contemplative and expressive arts.   I was so stunned by the vibrant reds of the tulips contrasted with the ethereal blacks and whites of Christine Valters-Paintner’s photos that it has taken me a few days to want to share them.

Keeping them all to myself seemed necessary; I wanted to secretly enjoy them first.  How selfish!  But delightful!

Look at what she does with a camera; how she lets the photos speak.  Completely lovely!

She begins her Visual Meditation: “The faces of tulips” with a poetic excerpt from Mary Oliver, one of my favourite writers.

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips

~Mary Oliver

Explore the website and enjoy Christine's photos and words.  These photos are Christine's.

Thursday, April 14, 2011



Eyes, blue as August sky,
imagination ripe.

Relationship gone dark,
lost in the squeeze and grasp
of grandiose design.

Started too soon
to decree and demand,
lost, lost, all lost
in his head, deep adrift.

Life dictates dream.
Unmoving and angry,
small stamping child.

Goal imprinted on steel.

Went home with the marbles,
imagination, rules--
then lost all in the grief.
His own mind, he destroyed.

April is National Poetry Month.   Poetry web sites encourage poets to write a poem a day in April.  This is one of my poems. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Crocus

First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

Christine Klocek-Lim has a blog at http://novemberskypoetry.blogspot.com/
This is the first verse of the poem First Crocus by Christine Klocek-Lim.  She is amazing.  If you'd like to know more about Christine, click here, or to read the whole poem, click here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Death Called We Spoke

Sunrise April 11, 2011

It’s been a year since I nearly died.

So close, the doctor told me later, that a few more hours without medical attention and I would have been gone.

But, I didn’t go.

Death beckoned.  Made very appealing offers: peacefulness, freedom from pain, and shedding my sick physical body.  It was tempting, the lightness, the cessation of incredible pain, the floating free. 

I remember the Chief of Emergency shouting into my face, “You, my dear, are a medical emergency.  Stay awake.  Stay with us.”  I remember thinking, “Please, let me sleep.  Don’t yell.  Please, just let me rest.  Let me leave this pain and this heaviness and this fever.  Please…”

I’m still here a year later, reflecting on what I’ve learned from this extended illness, the stabilization period, the serious surgery and the oh, so slow, struggle through recovery.  Death altered my life.

Averting an abrupt end intensified the brevity and the fragility of my life and the necessity of doing what I want now, not next week, not next month, not next year.  Now…now…now.

I could create a list of what I want to do before I die permanently; feels like a gigantic “To Do” list, almost task-like, useless.  Now, I am simply living each day as it comes.  I am more patient, less angry, more loving and less judgemental.

Now, I write every day, and we bought a used Harley.  Strange combination of lifestyle changes?  Gary accompanied me through this experience; we are both acutely aware of the evanescence of our lives and of the fleetness of time for doing what we most desire.

I write; he rides.  When I buy a helmet, we’ll both ride and I’ll still write every day.

Not to say that one shouldn’t look ahead to the future and save and plan and prepare; but what good is that if one never gets to the future?  I’m simply saying that I’m grateful to be alive now and am living more and more in the present moment.

Death called.  We spoke.  I declined.

I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Easter Cards

I made Easter cards.  Didn’t follow directions nor use diagrams and templates.  That hadn’t worked well before anyway, when I made Valentine’s Day cards.  My blog entry dated February 8, 2011 explains that little learning process.

I’ve been “busy inside my head” for the past few weeks and needed to do something creative and easy to “blow the knots” out of my brain.  Easter cards …perfect solution.

I like the nubby textures and bright, pastel or sparkly shades of card stock papers and the challenge of mixing those to create pleasing visual combinations.  I cut out a few basic shapes, used them for patterns. And felt quite free to use commercially produced stick-on-thingies for decorations.

I suspect that those of you who actually do make gorgeous handmade cards with some degree of skill and artistry are now saying, “Tsk, Tsk…” to yourselves, in despair over my lack of proper card crafting.  My cards are not works of art, definitely not perfect in any way, but I did have fun making them.

When my grandchildren receive them this Easter season, they won’t care that the edges are crooked and that the design work is at best, amateurish.  I expect the card will get a two-second appraisal before being tossed aside in favour of candy eggs and chocolate bunnies.

And wouldn’t we all do the same thing?   Straight to the good stuff!

I enjoyed making the cards and happily thought about each particular grand child as I worked on their individual card.  That’s all that counts! 

Perfection, be damned. 

And my head feels lighter, less full of knots.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Decadent Dinner

We ate a decadent dinner.  She had taken a day and a half to prepare the meal; loves to do that sort of thing as it relaxes her and provides a complete change from her work responsibilities.  The potato gnocchi and sauces, she made ahead and refrigerated or froze.

The delightful meal began with a bright and delicious salad:  balsamic strawberries, orange maple vinaigrette with goat cheese and candied pecans on a bed of baby spinach and arugula.  So scrumptious!

The main dish was potato gnocchi with roasted red pepper and oven dried tomato sauce, garnished with basil and Parmesan cheese.   A perfect match for the grilled asparagus with lemon vinaigrette and toasted pine nuts, and the succulent prosciutto wrapped halibut.

Molten Chocolate Cake with Bumble Berry Sauce and Whipped Cream, ah... dessert made in heaven.  All the other dishes came from the mind of our capable hostess.  This dessert was her version of a recipe  from Chef Craig Flynn's cookbook Fresh and Local.  Chef Flynn is the owner of Chives Canadian Bistro in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Learn more about the restaurant and the cookbook at  http://withbite.blogspot.com/2008/10/fresh-local-at-chives-canadian-bistro.html

Not only did our hosts provide a wonderful meal and great company, they wowed us with an eclectic array of music.

Thank you for the decadent and delicious meal, the laughter shared, the delightful musical variety and the generous spirit of the evening.  You two make a meal and a visit so extra special.  Thank you!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Detailing a Car

Have you detailed your car lately?

Gary first cleaned and detailed cars at Lounsbury’s Automotive during his high school summer holidays.  He learned how to detail a car from a boss who knew what he was doing, and who had rigid, lofty standards about the quality of work that goes into all the phases of detailing from the first wash to the last polish.

Do you know the difference between a wash/chamois dry and detailing? 

A wash/chamois dry can make your car look better; detailing can make it feel, smell and look like a brand new car.  It’s a difference created thorough hand cleaning with concentration on every detail inside and outside the car, and it takes time.

For Gary, spring cleaning means being outside doing a job he loves; being outdoors, in the warmer weather, washing and detailing a car. 

He loves to gather the piles of microfiber towels, trim treatment, spray-on detailer, car soap, wax, applicators, clay bars, vinyl and leather cleaners, upholstery cleaner, carpet cleaner, varsol, window cleaner, vacuum cleaner, power washer, tire cleaner, polisher plus a multitude of indispensable supplies. 

Once he has all his “stuff” gathered, he can transform a vehicle into a fresh smelling, shining thing of beauty.

Did I mention that this is a time consuming process?  He works meticulously and steadily, taking about 5 hours to detail an already fairly clean car, and up to between 7 and 8 hours to detail a car that hasn’t had much attention…quite dirty and stained inside, faded and dull outside. 

Gary has detailed cars for family and friends, for over 40 years, in his spare time outside of his paid employment with Nav Canada.  He certainly knows how to utilize work, effort and the skill of those years of experience, coaxing out the very best shine, the very best cleaning and the very best detailing.

Up to now, he’s given detailing as “gifts” to family and friends.  He’s now decided to start charging fees for his work, though he’ll still be giving detailing “gifts”, too.

How clean is your car?  How clean would you like it to be?  Step it up with detailing.

For fun, there is a YouTube video about Costly Car Detailing *Crazy*.  It’s about a detailer in England who charges a $5000. fee to detail just one car.  Take a look.

Paint so shiny that it reflects clouds and overhead wires

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Miracle of Flowers

If we could see
the miracle of
a single flower,
our whole
life would change.

~ The Buddha

From: “Word for the Day”

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pillow Cases and Dreams

A recent gift of a handmade pillow case has me thinking about dreams.  I track and journal my dreams; have done so for years.

Dreams are elusive unless I consciously work at retaining them upon waking.
Within moments of awakening from a dream, our memory for its plot is wiped out, presumably to avoid contaminating autobiographical memory with bizarre confabulation.
(Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works)

If I write about and examine my dreams, this “wiping out” effect lessens.  With paper and pen beside the bed, upon waking I write quickly to retain much of what the dream offers.  This might seem like mere intense navel-gazing, but dream work helps me with issues or decisions with which I am struggling.  Often, I go to sleep with unanswered questions and unresolved dilemmas only to awaken with fresh answers or solutions.

Sometimes my dreams warn me of impending troubles.  I don’t always understand the message nor clearly interpret my dreams, yet, years of working on my dreams have provided me with an enhanced sense of their meaning and of my own dream symbols.  It becomes easier to distinguish between the day’s conglomeration of regurgitated detritus and dreams that send messages.

Startling dreams, night terrors and nightmares often signal that my sub-conscious mind is trying to grab the focused attention of my conscious mind.  Those dreams are hard work!  Often they are vivid, emotionally tangible mini-movies of surreal and mythical proportions, literally waking me to communicate.

Last April, one such dream turned out to be a precursor to a life-threatening illness.  Hindsight is wisdom!  I now know that this particular dream with its intensely startling imagery, repetitive stark choices and heightened sense of danger was a warning of a near-death experience to come within a few days.

Later, as I lay in the Emergency Department clearly facing the choice of leaving or staying in this lifetime, vague images of that recent dream flitted though my dulled consciousness.  The ethereal images from my earlier dream were there with me, vivid, shocking, familiar.  I faded in and out of consciousness through several days of intensive care.  Only after I was home recuperating did I re-read my dream journal, learning how my prescient dream and my illness were connected.

A hard lesson, but a useful one.  If I dream like that again, I may recognize that health issues and serious life choices are imminent.

This lovely handcrafted pillow case is a warm and welcome gift; it reminds me also of the necessity, wisdom and reward of paying attention to dreams.

When people dream, their body stays in the bed but some other part of them is up and about in the world.  The soul and the body also part company in the trance brought on by an illness or a hallucinogen. … But how does it [modern science] do at explaining the sentient self that dreams, imagines, and directs the body?
(Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works)

Interesting question.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Captain Burgess Rum Cake

Captain Burgess Rum Cake

Baking Time:  55-60 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Yields 12-14 servings

·                       3/4 cup softened butter
·                       1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
·                       4 large eggs
·                       3 cups all purpose flour
·                       1/4 teaspoon salt
·                       4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
·                       1/2 cup dark rum 
·                       1 cup milk
·                       1 cup raisins
·                       1 cup chopped pecans
·                       1/4 cup pecan halves

Rum Glaze
·                       1/4 cup melted butter
·                       1/4 cup water
·                       1/4 cup dark rum  (I used more)
·                       1 cup granulated sugar

 Grease 10-inch tube pan.

 Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

 In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.  Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture, alternately with rum and milk, being careful to mix only until batter is smooth.  Fold in raisins and chopped pecans.

 Place pecan halves on the bottom of the tube pan.  Spread the cake batter evenly over the nuts.   

Bake in 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Turn the cake onto a cake rack to cool, before glazing.

 In a small saucepan, combine butter, water, sugar and rum and place over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.  Prick the cake with a small skewer and drizzle the syrup over the cake until it is all absorbed. 

Store in a tightly sealed container at a cool temperature, to mellow for a day or two, before serving.

I stored the remaining glaze in a covered container.  When we ate the cake, I warmed the glaze and served it with French Vanilla Ice-Cream on the side.  Another time, I would cook the leftover glaze a bit more to thicken it.

This recipe is probably the Blomidon Inn’s best known dessert.  The recipe is taken from the 6th Edition of Maritime Flavours by Elaine Elliott and Virginia Lee.  The book has interesting back stories about the Maritime provinces’ finest inns and restaurants with beautiful photographs by Keith Vaughan.

The Blomidon Inn, Main Street in Wolfville, Nova Scotia was built in 1882 by Captain Rufus Burgess.  This imposing inn features exotic woods, plaster cornices, dados and marble fireplaces that were fashioned by Italian craftsmen.   The inn has 26 beautifully appointed guest rooms and two dining rooms.  

Open year round: breakfast and afternoon tea for guests, lunch and dinner for guests and the general public.  Web site:  www.blomidon.ns.ca