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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Prizes and Beautiful Pictures

We had a rather stunning sunset the other night.  The day had been humid, with showers off and on; every once in a while the sun would come out, just to tease us a little, but the result was an amazing evening sky.

But I know what you really want to find out is who won the book????   The winner is ASHLEY!!!  Thanks for your input, it was really helpful (so was everyone else's!).  Contact Ron with your info and we'll send it out once we get our copies.    I hope everyone enjoys the Canada Day long weekend.  The day has turned out rather fine so far and Ron and I are enjoying the sunshine, if not the black flies!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

How the Cake was Done!

I thought our Newfoundland odyssey was an adventure, but nothing like making a wedding cake. Just to give you an idea of the undertaking, I'll give you some stats:
5 pounds of butter, 8 pounds of icing sugar, a baker's of egg white, two cups of coffee, 4 cups of water (2 hot, 2 cold) 2 cups of cocoa, heaps of sugar, glycerin, white corn syrup, a little vegetable shortening, 1.5 litres of whip cream, two packages of cookies and 15+ hours of work
This created 6 cakes, 10 pounds of fondant, 18 cups of butter cream & 12 cups of filling. All we had to do is put it all together. (How hard can that be?)

Start with chocolate/vanilla marble cake (six of them, one of each size cut in half
- that makes 3 tiers with three layers each)

Two five pound batches of fondant

One very large bowl of buttercream.

First layer, ringed in buttercream, just waiting for filling.
Add cookies and cream filling

Next layer...make sure it's level.

And repeat (you'll hear a lot of that)

Repeat the previous steps and then coat the whole thing with buttercream.

And repeat!
One more layer of buttercream and then roll out the fondant.

And repeat

And repeat!
Dowels to support the upper layers and ensure the cake doesn't crush.

Add the glue (royal icing)

And stack.


Decorate - add bands to cover the joints and "bunting"

A personal little touch - the bride and groom's first name initials.

Add flowers and VOILA!
Sorry about the picture, I took it a little bit to the side in the press to get out of the resort kitchen.  See how easy that was?  (Three days later!)  I won't even bring up the 50 kilometre drive to get it to the resort.  There was only a minor incident, which is barely worth mentioning, except it adds drama to the story.  Ron and I are wishing the happy couple a wonderful journey together.  (I also hope that they love the cake!) The resort staff had a bit of a taste when we added the flowers and they seemed to enjoy it.  That's it from our little Island for now.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Wonderful World of Newfoundland

It wasn't much of a secret that Ron and I headed off to Newfoundland last week.  We stayed in St. John's, rented a car and had a look around.  It's really a beautiful place and we were extremely lucky with the weather, as we never got rained on (just a bit of drizzle the evening we arrived and one night walking home from dinner) and even got sun and warm temperatures for several days!

I DO NOT like the maps they provide to travellers, nor some of their wonky intersections where three roads sort of meld together in a haphazard way that leaves it unclear who has the right of way, where it's safe to cross for a pedestrian and whether the car across the way from you means to take the left, right or middle fork.  You would think that those sort of intersections are rarities, but alas, they are not.  The maps have the horrible habit of neglecting to tell you that a road splits off, or is one way, when on paper it looks like it goes exactly where you want to go, with little fuss.  We actually did better just GUESSING where we wanted to go, than using the street maps.  (Some of the tourist walking maps don't provide street names so you just have to hope that you're heading the right way.)

Besides all that, we had a wonderful trip.  We saw the "holy trinity" of sights: icebergs, whales and puffins (admittedly the puffins are hard to see, as my zoom is limited).

Our First Iceberg!  Ferryland, NL

Our Second Iceberg - Harbour Grace, NL

Bits of Broken Off Iceberg

Mama Grey Whale - her baby is playing with our boat

Mom's Tail - going "deep"

Lots of Auks!

Lone Puffin - click to enlarge the photo (I think!)

We climbed up Signal Hill, of course and went to the most easterly point in Canada (which used to be a WWII bunker...kind of eerie and interesting all at the same time!)

The perfect dogs for Ron!

Eddy and I on Signal Hill

Look out bunkers from WWII

Cape Spear - the most easterly point in Canada

We also took a drive out to a place named Cape St. Mary's, where there's an Ecological Reserve for seabirds & various types of flora.   You can just walk out on the the cliffs and hang out with thousands of nesting birds.  It was truly spectacular!  We took some video, so you could hear the sound of the birds, to give you a real sense of being there, but I can't upload it for love nor money, for some reason.  You'll have to visit to see it, I'm afraid.

Aptly named "Bird Rock"

Fields of Ferns

Are you starting to "get" why they call NFLD "the Rock"?
We also ate at famous places, that perhaps shouldn't be famous anymore and we ate at unknown places that should probably move up in the ranks.  We went to a little town named Brigus that seemed a bit like the movie "Brigadoon".  The town had little wending streets and colourful houses along a rather breathtaking bay.  There was an interesting attraction called the "Hole".

The "Hole" - a tunnel in the rock to a little viewing platform of the water (this picture is looking from the platform back to the road)

Little Brigus, the photo doesn't do it justice.

Rolling hills at the crest of Brigus
Some of you may want to ask about Eddy.  His mom let me take him with us to Newfoundland, as he'd never been.  He's a very well travelled monkey and seemed to have a good time while with us.

Eddy taking tea in Brigus

Eddy and the icebergs

Having a pint at the Duke of Duckworth

Kicking back and watching TV in our suite

Eddy spots the iceberg!

Lunch at Ferryland...yum, hot turkey sandwich!

Checking out the view from Signal Hill

In lock-up at Cape details, please.

Admiring a replica puffin egg.

Eddy getting "Screeched In" - Step one - shot of Screech

Step 2 - kiss a puffins cod to kiss this time.

Eddy finds a girlfriend.
Drowning his sorrows once the relationship falls apart.

Finding that he CAN go on!

Hanging out at Ches's Fish & Chips - famous, but not that great.

Last meal in NFLD, but what better than a latte & croissant?
We can't leave out the amazing painted row houses that St. John's in known for. Here are some final photos from our trip:

We're home safe and sound, and just a little bit sad that our adventure is over.  Back to the grind tomorrow, but isn't that the way of it?  There's a whole 7 days before the next Monday, that at least is something to be happy about!