Monday, September 30, 2013

Prince Edward Island, Canada--Gentle Natural Beauty and Anne of Green Gables

     Besides enjoying Nova Scotia in August (see an earlier post about a gorgeous Canadian National Park there), we also spent four nights on Prince Edward Island. Many people know Prince Edward Island as the setting for a series of classic children's novels from the early 1900s, beginning with Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, on which popular movies and television specials have been based. The author lived near Cavendish on the island's north shore as a child and chose her friends' nearby house as the home which took in the imaginative, fictional orphan Anne. The house and grounds are restored to the late 1800s as in the stories and are fun and interesting to visit (more so than I expected). 

     The first photo above shows the Wood Island Lighthouse as seen from the ferry as we approached. Built in 1876, the lighthouse still operates as well as housing a museum. For fun and variety (as well as convenience, given our planned touring route in Canada) we used the ferry going to Prince Edward Island and the impressive Confederation Bridge leaving the province. Two photos from the Green Gables site are followed by other island scenes.

     Prince Edward Island claims to have the warmest salt water north of the Carolinas (it felt wonderful) and has a variety of lovely beaches, some with white sand; others rimmed with red sandstone cliffs producing reddish sand. Our central location on the south coast in the provincial capital, Charlottetown, allowed for easy exploring. Lazy drives and detours onto unknown gravel side roads led to a surprising range of sights, from lush farm land (often planted right to the edge of a seaside cliff or nearly to a beach area) to gentle forests and meadows. 

     Prosperous towns and villages, with thriving fishing, shell fishing, and tourist services all seemed to have lovely historic churches and other buildings, not to mention delightful cafes and shops. St. Augustine Catholic Church, built in 1838, is the oldest church in the province. Many Protestant churches also grace the towns and countryside, including a number of United churches, a merger that includes Presbyterian, Congregational, and other denominations.

St. Augustine Catholic Church
Interior of St. Augustine 
A typical country United Church

     More details, both from Prince Edward Island and continued exploration of Nova Scotia, will follow in future posts. Happy travels!

Question of the day: Have you heard of the Anne of Green Gables story or movies? I have been amazed at the number of people who have mentioned knowing her story.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Recipe index for this blog--Healthy, Homemade Food

     Providing you with an index for all the recipes featured in this blog seemed like a good idea. For one thing, the extent of reader interest in my recipes has surprised me since it is not the main focus of the blog. You have commented and emailed me about them, and even recipes posted many months ago continue to pop up in blog stats as among the most often viewed and most popular posts. I call cooking my other art form and love to plan and make healthy meals and treats. Hope you continue to enjoy the recipes and ideas, too.

     Often, I realize--only as we are eating--that blog readers might like a recipe for one of the dishes on our table, but by then it's too late. Since I personally much prefer cookbooks with color pictures, I don't want to write about food without a photo of the dish. Notes to self: first, more often think about a photo/possible post before digging in; second, post about food and recipes more often.

     The following index lists previous posts by type of dish and creates a link to each of the recipes or food-related tips. I hope it will be useful for you. Please let me know if any of the links fail to work for you or if I have made a mistake anywhere. And in the future, look for a link to this post each time a new recipe comes along.

Appetizers and miscellaneous tips:

Black bean pinwheels
Ginger root tea 
Holiday weight-control trick
Homemade hummus

Main dishes:

Hearty mixed-bean soup
Italian Sausage and White Bean Casserole
Lean pork stir-fry
No sweat ("cool kitchen") cooked chicken
Pumpkin black bean soup
Noodle vegetable stir-fry with peanut butter sauce


Eggplant cooking tips
Health spa ratatouille
Make-ahead cabbage salad
Mixed baked beans
Pea and carrot salad
Turkish stuffed eggplant


Applesauce spice cake
Holiday Hungarian pastry
Lemon ice cream


Question of the day: Is this index helpful to you? Are there any other blog topics you'd like me to summarize or to index?