Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday at the Market

Yesterday's sunrise from the Halifax Seaport Farmer's Market. Wonder what ship that wee tugboat is going out to fetch? George's Island on the left. The picture below is Jenna, wearing her mitts because it was a bit cool. She owns a wonderful little company called Red Kitsch'n

Serving up ready-made meals to take home, soups and sweet treats. I often get soups from her to have for lunch. Yesterday's was Thai Chicken and rice. She uses local ingredients from the vendors at the market. Jenna is not there on Saturdays but can be found Friday and Sunday!

One World One Heart 2011


It's back, the magical blogosphere giveaway tour that circles the world. This is it's last year.

"World One Heart is a worldwide event for bloggers only. It gives all those who blog a chance to meet and mingle and form connections with those they may not have otherwise met from all over the world. In the past 4 years this event has grown to over 1,000 participants with lasting friendships(and even one love connection) formed along the way. Think of it as a GIGANTIC open house allowing you to travel without ever leaving your home........going from blog to blog in various countries, and meeting all the fabulous people behind them. As a bonus each blogger participant will offer up a "door prize or prizes"....just for dropping by, saying hello and seeing their world." Click on the picture to see the blogs participating or if you would like to participate.

For those of you that don't know me, my name is Shelagh, I am an artist and mom who lives in Nova Scotia. Odd how that differs from my blog name huh? Alice is my grandmother's name, she was a amazing thrifty resourceful woman. Paris is a beautiful city full of wonderful possibilities. Art and Tea I love (and photography but that would have been a bit TOO much to add). Have fun exploring.

My doorprize this year is a cookbook and

a packet of postcards:) Just leave a comment saying hi before Feb 17th.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter blues

Take one cold snowy day. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup water and 4 cups of frozen blueberries.

Put them on to boil. Then measure two cups of flour, 4 tsps baking powder, 1/2tsp salt, 1 teaspoon sugar and cut into it 2 tablespoons of butter. Then add 1/2 cup of cold milk. Mix to make a biscuit dough. Drop spoonfuls on top of blueberries. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. No peeking.

And ta dah! Blueberry Grunt.

Recipe from Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens:) Got it for Christmas. I added a pinch of cinnamon and some orange zest. mmmm. Great antidote for a winter day.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Valentine Kiss

Awww. Just dropped off some cool vintage Valentine cards at Love, Me boutique.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A trip to Persia

Fifteen minutes from the center of Halifax on the Bedford Highway there lies beautiful Peresopolis. I was taken there for another birthday lunch! A lovely wee Iranian market and cafe.

Inside there is a wealth of foodstuffs and interesting items to be had. I had fun looking around. Gorgeously displayed.

Shisha/ ḡalyān/ hookahs( they have many names) and supplies, dried figs, fruits, seeds, packets of biscuits, tinned goods, tea sets, something for everyone.

Camran and Vida Khandan are the owners and rebuilt the place themselves using no contracters. Really a labour of love. They will be offering Persian cooking lessons soon too.

Stepping beyond the shop, there is an open rustic cafe. Pillows and backgammon games invite one to while away the afternoon, sipping tea and having some fun. You can see the snowy scene outside. In summer it will be lovely with sides open.

The menu is small and features delicious kebabs done by traditional charcoal cooking and panini sandwiches but there are also a few warm dishes to be had. This is the Aash soup, with parsley, dill, coriander, chickpeas, black eyed beans, lentils, onions and rice noodles. Wow. Stick to your ribs for sure! It was tasty and very filling. Look at those crispy fried onions on top!

We also ordered the stews, which come with a simple crunchy salad.

The star was the fesenjan, a dark fragrant stew cooked for ten hours!Usually for special occasions. In it are ground walnuts, pomegrante paste onions and chicken. We also ordered the gheymeh, with chicken, split peas, tomato paste and dried limes. All served over Persian rice.

So good! Yes, we had dessert too. Not quite as good as the mains but nice to finish off with something sweet.

Cardamom tea. Really yummy. You can also bring your own wine here and there is NO corking fee.We had a lovely relaxing time. Spent a few hours here.

And as a special treat, my friends ordered a shisha. I've never tried it.These are normally only available at night but there was no one about on this snowy afternoon so as a favour the owner let us try it. There is no nicotine in the mixture that burned, it was flavoured with fruits and a most delicate perfumed wafting permeated our table. I think there are 24 flavours to choose from.

Monday, January 24, 2011


She's here. The last week of January is always the coldest of the year and the tradition is playing out. -18 without the windchill. This is my bedroom window. Good day to get a pot of soup underway!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Market Sunrise

Brr it was cold this morning. Hard to get up and out so early in the morning but look what I was rewarded with! Another glorious dawn. A small fishing boat motored past heading in from sea. There were some gulls swooping about. Only me out there on the balcony enjoying the view. It was a great start to the day. I'm tired now, always tired on Saturday after market. Will be back again tomorrow:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Blythe Spirit

Last night was another Neptune Theatre night. Blythe Spirit was on the menu, a Noel Coward play. It is a fun wordy drawing room comedy featuring a bit of ectoplasm and some marital strife. Noel wrote this in 5 days after his flat had been bombed in London 1941. Amazing I say. This is what the Chronicle Herald had to say. I enjoyed it. Love the verbal repartee. Gorgeous set and great atmospheric lighting. The actors were grand. Madam Arcati was classic! An entertaining way to spend a cold winter's night. Here is a view from the balcony while waiting for the theatre to fill.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

18 reasons to be cheerful in January

1. The extra light in each day is becoming a little bit more noticeable.

2. We can wear our favourite socks and woolie sweaters every day.

3. Soups and stews taste better in this weather.

4. We can hide our extra lumpies under winter clothes.

5. Skating, skiing and snowmen.

6. If you have an Amaryllis, I bet it is blooming.

7. The One World One Heart event starts soon.

8. No guilt about not getting outside more.

9. January is the best time to buy:
- Air Conditioners
- Gas Grills
- Homes
- Bicycles and Sporting Goods
- Furniture
- Linens and Bed Sheets
- Carpeting
- Digital Cameras

10. You can enjoy flannel sheets

11. For those who enjoy whiskey, poetry and things Scottish, Burns night!

12. If you are reading this, you have a computer with internet access and with that, you can travel the world and learn about things that interest you, definitely something to be cheerful about:) Cyber escape!

13. Great for games nights and getting together with friends and watching old movies and eating cheese fondues and warm chocolate chip cookies.

14. February is next and it is a short month and then it is March!

15. Perfect month to visit museums and galleries, get in out of the cold. Here in Halifax you can go visit Sue at our Museum of Natural History.

16. Good time to dream about the summer. Planning fun things chases the chill away.

17. Hot water bottles

18.When the sun is out, the sky is REALLY blue.

19......any more?

Don't wait for the storm to pass, dance in the rain, or snow, or wind....

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Been a while

Look what I managed to get done at the market today! It was very quiet this morning so I worked steadily away on it until finished. It has been a few months since I've done a painting like this. The original is available for sale HERE and prints can be found HERE.
I'm feeling accomplished but very tired now:) Wonder what's onTV tonight.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday Sunrise

Today's sunrise from the market.
What you are looking at off in the distance is called Hangman's Beach (originally called Maughers Beach) jutting out from
McNab's Island in the Halifax harbour. You can see the tiny lighthouse at the end of the spit. The beach has a gruesome if not interesting history.

This was taken from a pirate fact sheet ...our local museum put together
Around the 18th Century, law required that the pirates be executed with their bodies displayed in public as a warning to other sailors. The body was covered in tar and hanged from chains in an iron cage called a gibbet. The Royal Navy used the same treatment on mutineers. Two pirates were hanged this way on George's Island in 1785. Another, Jordan the pirate, was hanged at Point Pleasant Park, near the Black Rock beach in 1809. At the same time, the Navy hanged six mutineers at Hangman's Beach on McNab's Island, just across the Harbour. Any ship entering Halifax Harbour in 1809 had to pass between hanging and rotting corpses.

The lighthouse you can barely see also has an interesting story.
The light at Maughers Beach ( Hangmans Beach) was used in 1851 by Abraham Gesner to test out the new fuel he had invented, kerosene, to replace whale oil. Although lighthouse officials were skeptical, the careful recording of the efficiency of kerosene by Maughers Beach keeper David George helped establish the fuel for standard use.

And in other totally unrelated vein , the winner of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar is Sara Harley of Dream Big! #15 drawn by the number generator at Congratulations:)

So I'm back at the market tomorrow. I wonder what adventures await!

Friday, January 14, 2011

market day

Up early and off to the market! Have to be there at 6. I don't have a permanent spot so it's an early arrival to secure a spot and get all set up. Love driving through the dark quiet city and suddenly arriving at the bustling seaport building on the harbours edge. Trucks being unloaded with pallets of produce, bakers goods, meats , cheeses and fish.... Artisans and farmers getting ready for the customers that start arriving with the morning light. Yep, better get to bed.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Escape to the Mediterranean

That's what I did last week!

Liquid Gold is a lovely wee olive oil/balsamic vinegar tasting bar found in the Hydrostone Market on Young street. Yes, a tasting bar! For those reading from"away" they have online ordering for some varieties.

The oils and vinegars here are top quality and are kept in metal containers called 'fusti". They are grouped in flavours from very mild to strong. One starts with the softer ones and works up to the more robust flavours using small spoons or tiny cubes of bread to sample them. You can even mix the various oils and vinegars in tiny cups to make dressings.

The oils come from all over the Mediterranean. Spain, Greece, Italy, France...and the vinegars hail from Modena in Italy. The oils are pure, single fruits called cultivars or are cultivars that have been flavoured with yummy partners. In spring/summer, the oils come from the southern hemisphere where the winter crop is harvested between May and July. In the fall & winter, they come from the Mediterranean. I was in heaven!
Myrna Burlock opened the business with Bill MacArthur in September and business is booming. We had a lot of fun with her as she helped us choose what to buy.

Each oil has a card describing where it came from and the flavour profile (very much like a wine) as well as the IOCC standard for it.
IOOC Standards. FFA: Measure of free acidity that indicates decomposition. EVOO must be less than 0.8 OLEIC ACID: A monosaturated Omega-9 fatty acid. It makes up 55-83% of EVOO. PV: Peroxide value. A measure ofrancidity due to oxidization. Must be less than 20,less than 10 for high quality extra virgin olive oil.

People were popping in and out during our visit and Myrna told a story of a husband who brought his foodie wife here for her birthday. He brought a bottle of wine which they opened and a lovely afternoon was spent here sampling all the combinations of flavours. I mean...look at them and those are just some of the oils!

I adored the balsamic vinegars. One of my all time faves was the chocolate balsamic! Really! Remember I said you could mix? I tried blood orange olive oil with the chocolate balsamic, amazing! The vinegars almost taste like liqueurs. There were organic varieties to choose from too.

So what did I choose? It was difficult but I figured it out.

I went for the Koroneiki , a strong green olive oil from Greece

It was one of the robust flavours near the end of the line.

The balsamic vinegar I chose was the Pomegranate balsamic. It was SO hard to choose. I wanted to take them all home. I guess that's why they are doing well:)

So the exciting part of this post is that a local reader or anyone that can physically make it to the store is going to get a bottle each of vinegar and olive oil. Just leave a comment here (before midnight on Sunday, Jan16) and if you are interested, you can follow Liquid Gold on facebook. Oh and if you are lucky, you might get to meet Riley, the resident napper.

Monday, January 10, 2011

a bit of my story.....

The bold Monty trying to catch some zzzzzs in a tiny patch of sun but somebody with a camera keeps pestering him.

Guess what? I've been interviewed by La Salonniere. Want to know how I started painting?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

good things

My pre-birthday lunch:) So glad I was taken out for this treat because on my "real" birthday I worked ALL day. Thanks Cathy:) Mmmm, pasta with all kinds of yummy things and a green pea tarragon soup.

For dessert....a Meyer lemon pie with vanilla ice cream. The pie had sliced lemons in it with rind and all. Melt in your mouth citrus-y wow. I didn't get a birthday cake this year but had this wonderful concoction and a delicious wee cupcake at the market.(Thanks Michelle)

and now.....ta dah! The winner of my birthday present giveaway according to the random number generator is ....#15! Karen of This Old House 2! Thanks to everybody for your lovely birthday wishes! I'm a year older now and looking forward to the next one!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Birthday GIVEAWAY!

My birthday is TODAY January 8th and I share it with.......

David Bowie....... a genius

Professer Steven Hawking........ a genius

Lawrence Alma Tadema, one of my favourite painters........a genius... Click on his pic to see some of his work.

and......a hunk of burning love, Elvis....... another genius!

Still working on my genius:)

I will be at the market all day tomorrow starting early in the am. Pop by and say hello on Saturday. Because it is my birthday, that means GIVEAWAY time! Nice to give as well as receive! I would love it if you might follow me:) Leave a comment for me and your name will be entered into a draw for $100 worth of goodies from me! I need an email address to contact you. If you don't have a way for me to find you easily, I cannot send you your gift.
I will close down my birthday party at midnight January 8th Atlantic time. Feel free to share:)

Oh and 1 week from today, my photo course starts again. Why not join in the fun:)