If you ever saw the movie Elf, you know that Santa’s elves live on candy. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup,” Buddy the Elf explains.
Don’t you think Santa’s kitchen must run low on supplies before Christmas Eve?
Not if the Candy Fairy can help it. She’s a sister of the Tooth Fairy, and she works for Santa Claus.
If, and only if, your parents are well connected, she will come to your house while you sleep on Halloween night – if you can sleep after eating all that sugar – and in exchange for a BIG pile of candy, she’ll leave you an early Christmas present from Santa’s workshop.
She’ll let you keep your favourites – maybe you want to keep the chips and the chocolate bars. You decide. She’ll take the rest and leave you a cool toy.
Having been in the thick of it, I had forgotten a lot of the details. Reading how the weather evolved from month to month, from a green Christmas to the repeated onslaughts of March that left us feeling post-traumatic well into summer, brings back a lot of memories.
It’s a real tribute to the Maritime spirit of good humour and making the best of the weather. Stephanie Domet gets a cameo for coining the word – and hashtag – #stormchips. Collections of photos featuring drifted-in doorways, prospecting for cars, and sunbathers in shorts with beer against a snowy background, highlight some themes of that record-breaking winter.
There are serious photos, too: of buckled barns, stuck ships and the plane that slid on its belly when landing in Halifax on March 29.
The pages are filled with full-colour photos taken by Maritimers from all over. I had seen some of them on Facebook or in the newspaper. One of the photos is mine, thanks to this very website. A researcher for the book contacted me and I sent him a high-resolution version. In return, a copy of the book arrived in the mail last month.
Now that summer is over, and the next winter is lurking just around the corner, it’s good to remind ourselves of what stuff we are made, while we brace for hurricane season and the unknown adventures to be had just by living here.
It’s an old recipe: Mix cream, sugar and flavouring with fresh snow and stir it up to make a yummy dessert.
We have lots of the main ingredient since Snowmageddon hit Nova Scotia on March 18. It tickles me pink to have some of the stuff in the freezer, waiting for the day when I can give summer visitors a literal taste of this winter.
Today, before rain turns the fluffy snow to slush, I made a couple of batches. I chose a drifted snowbank on the shady side of the house and removed the top crust that has formed since last week’s big snowfall in order to get at the fine-grained powder beneath. I filled a big bowl with it. I had already combined the other ingredients, and stayed outdoors to mix them with the snow so it would stay cold.
For freezing, I made a light fluffy product, not creamy like ice cream. In a previous batch, I used more cream and less snow. It was more ice cream-like at the time, but after being in the freezer it froze hard and wasn’t very scoopable. It would be fine if you eat it right away. I think we’ll be very happy to eat fluffy sweet snow in the heat of July. If we really want ice cream, we can always buy some!
Recipe below photos.
Snow Cream Recipe
All measurements are approximate. You really can’t go wrong.
1 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar or honey
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 large mixing bowl full of fresh, fine-grained snow
Combine everything except the snow until smooth. Drizzle over the snow, then mix it all together gently. If possible, do this outdoors so the snow crystals don’t melt.
Serve immediately, or put in plastic containers to stay frozen until summer.
Maple: omit vanilla and use 1/2 c real maple syrup instead of sugar. If you can get amber (dark) maple syrup, with its rich flavour, use it! Incredible.
Chocolate: Add 1/4 cup chocolate syrup.
Mocha: Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon instant coffee.
Strawberry: Add 1/2 cup frozen strawberries and blend well with the milk before adding to the snow.
Get creative! The possibilities are endless.
You can use milk substitutes: soy milk, almond milk etc.
One of her tunes, “Stone and Sand”, from the Rose Vaughan Trio’s 1993 Fire in the Snow album, is featured in this video:
Rose’s songs have been going around in my head lately, as well as on my DVD player, because she recently hired me to get her songs online so people could buy them digitally.
I was delighted to be asked, as I’ve known Rose since the 1990s and even played a little accordion on her Winter Rose album. Cathy Porter, a consummate musician who did most of the Trio’s arranging and has gone on to be a sought-after side performer with some of Nova Scotia’s biggest stars, also enhanced the sound of bands I was in back then – much smaller stars in the firmament, I assure you.
Their music was part of my life in the years after I returned to Nova Scotia and before I had my family. They’re lovely human beings whom I feel privileged to know.
Each of Rose’s songs paints a story. The music is gentle and melodic, and the lyrics thoughtful and introspective. I can’t claim to be objective because of the nostalgia factor, but I’m truly enjoying listening to the albums again.
An iconic sight in the waters of Mahone Bay and beyond, Dorotheahas taken hundreds of young people on maritime sailing adventures as part of the Nova Scotia Sea School.
It’s the kind of intense, group adventure that teenagers crave and need for their development, and that schools don’t usually provide.
Lives have been changed.
Dorothea needs an overhaul. Compare the $30,000 they’re looking for to the cost of rebuilding Bluenose II! Small projects like this are very satisfying to support as they can have a huge positive impact on individual lives.
The Tidal Bore in South Maitland had passed, and we were ready for lunch. Heading northwest to Maitland, we stopped at Bing’s Eatery and Socialhouse, expecting a typical “greasy spoon” with various deep fried offerings.
We were surprised to find a cozy interior painted in a deep colour that set off the original paintings on the wall.
We split a Harvest Wrap with turkey and a Caesar salad. The lively, organic veggies were wrapped in fresh herbs and a tasty dressing, and the generous Caesar was as crispy as could be.
The pièce de résistance was the dessert, a bumbleberry (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry) crumble with vanilla ice cream that lingered delightfully on our palates long after we left the building.
Choice of beverages included a variety of local and Canadian beers and other drinks. Propeller Ginger Beer, made in Halifax, is a very refreshing non-alcoholic choice for a hot day.
The paintings on the wall were the work the owner, Bing himself. He used to run a tidal bore rafting outfit nearby, and opened the restaurant two years ago.