Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

Day Tripping in NB – Cornhill Nursery

This summer we are going to be jumping in our car and day tripping around the province. Today’s Day Trip is Cornhill Nursery, in Cornhill, NB; it’s located 40 min outside of Moncton near Havelock.

It’s the perfect weekend drive if you like seeing lush rolling green hills, expansive corn fields and sprawling dairy farms? If you’re into those sorts of beautiful, freaky green landscapes, then this is the perfect day tripping excursion for you!

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I had never been here before, I saw my friend Chantille post a few pics from her recent visit and it looked really cool. Today, I didn’t have much going on so I decided take a drive and check it out and I am happy I did. Also, I think the fact that I didn’t know much about this place made it seem more exotic, lol.

My nephew made a comment that the grounds of the nursery looked like the movie Narnia; I half expected some sort of magical fairy to fly past us. It felt like we were in a children’s fairy-tail storybook. I kept looking over my shoulder for some sort of wicked witch to jump out and offer me an apple or something? lol

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They have overgrown leafy arches that lead you from the parking lot to the nursery grounds. We could smell something delicious as soon as we got out of our car.

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It was an outdoor wood fire pizza oven; like of course it was? Having an outdoor pizza oven in the middle of a fairy forest is totally what you’d expect right? Lol

Since we were hungry, we’re pretty much always hungry, we decided to give their pizza a try.

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We were seated under this green canopy, see above; here’s our view from our picnic table, below.

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Each table had large stone vases with the sweetest smelling roses in them and the staff were super friendly and attentive.

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Here’s a close up of the rock vases.

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The pizza was delicious!! Even their water jugs were beautiful. It’s not fancy, they bring out your pizza in a white pizza box, which is perfect if you want to take your leftovers home.

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Even our picnic table neighbor was adorbs and very well mannered.

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There is also an indoor cafe, but if the weather is nice, eat outside. They sell those stone vases in the cafe, they are beautiful! A bit pricey, but certainly one of a kind and made right here in the Maritimes.

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It’s a full nursery, with beautiful plants and trees.

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Does anyone know what kind of tree this is? It was the strangest funky evergreen I’ve ever seen, maybe this place is magical after all?? There was a storm rolling in as we were leaving that just added to the other worldly feel of this place. The gray skies seemed to make everything look even greener, all of these pics were taken with my iPhone.

Even though the Atlantic provinces are open to each other, (for my none Canadian readers, Canadian travel within the country has been limited in order to get a grip on the spread of Covid, the four Atlantic Canadian provinces are now open to each other, because we are awesome: we listened to directions.) there are so many gems right here in New Brunswick that we need to explore and visit!

This day trip was spontaneous and awesome! Where should we go next and who wants to come with us?

muah!

Liette

Thanks for reading!!

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There is also a bunch of grape vines next door.

Summer in Bloom – Bucket List

Summer in Bloom! Bucket List

If you live in Canada, you know how precious and short our summers can be. Before you know it the leaves will be changing and fall will be upon us. In order to make the most out of summer, let’s make a list of all the summer things we want to do and then let’s get out there and do them!

Here’s my list, let me know what’s on yours.

1. Camping or Glamping

So camping hasn’t historically been my thing, but I just went on my first glamping trip and I loved it! There is some sort of camping for everyone, some like roughing it, some meh…not so much, lol. Whatever your preference, get out there and do it!! Even better, do it locally so that you can help support your respective communities that have been hit hard by the shut downs. Also all the cool places that are usually booked a year in advance may now have some openings, as less people are able to travel?

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2. Beaching or Laking (yes, I make up words, deal with it).

I’ve discovered that my soul needs to be immersed in large bodies of water; it’s my happy place. True story, when I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be a mermaid.

I’ve been to the beach several times and I hope to be many more before the summer is over. I’ve expanded my horizons a bit lately and have been to a river and a lake.

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We are so fortunate to live so close to amazing beaches, rivers and lakes, yet some don’t make time to enjoy them. Get out there! Live a little.

3. Picnic

Here is my recommendation, I am going to call a friend and make a date to do it too, since weekends can be so busy, let’s make a date to meet a friend for lunch in a local park. You bring the sandwiches and have your friend bring the dessert or drinks, so it’s easier. It’s a great way to catch up, reconnect and get some fresh air. It’s also a great stress reliever and break in during a busy week.

Another option is lunch at a Food Truck, this can technically count as a picnic! And it’s supporting a local business.

4. Drive in

Drive ins are just plain fun and they’re the perfect way to socially distance. We have two drive ins in my area, one of them have been showing retro scary movies on Thursday nights. My friend Dawn and I are scary movie friends, we both like watching them, usually through our fingers that our covering our eyes, lol. We have just made plans to go this week, the are showing the original Amityville Horror movie…yikes! I’ll post some pics on my oui-liette Facebook page of our movie night.

5. Day Tripping

For this goal, get in your car and drive. Drive to the city or town closest to where you live, go for lunch, walk around, browse local shops and markets; take pictures and just explore.

The four Atlantic provinces have just opened up to each other, which is perfect for day tripping. I have a few day trips planned for the next few weekends, I love road trips! Go out there and make some family memories.

6. Farmers Marketing (the act of visiting a farmer’s market)

This one is so important; I feel like our collective goal should be to visit farmers markets at least a few times a month. This could be a traditional farmers market with a bunch of local vendors or go to the an actual real farm!

We just spent the weekend in Waterborough, NB and shopped at a local strawberry farm market, I got the yummiest jams. I’ve also recently been to The Green Pig and bought a bunch of fresh stuff there.

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Go to local u-picks, buy direct from farms! I am already planning my apple picking trip to Verger Belliveau Orchards… ok my mini shop local rant is over, moving on.

7. I Scream for Ice Cream!

This is an easy summer goal that doesn’t have to be super complicated or cost a lot of money. I’ve been doing maybe a bit too much screaming for ice cream lately?

On the next hot day, find an ice cream partner and go to your neighborhood pop up ice cream hut. You may as well splurge for an extra scoop. Or go buy a tub of locally made ice cream and make a fancy Sunday at home; either option will be good enough to check this one off your list.

8. Bonfire

There is a theme to all my bucket list goals, it’s to slow down and take some time to relax and spend time with your loved ones or just alone time. This is a perfect excuse to do that.

Put your phone down, but keep it close tough, because you’re going to want to take a pic of your bonfire, obviously, lol. Take time to sit and look at your roaring fire, sing some cheesy campfire songs and roast some marshmallows!

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Before you bonfire, make sure that your area is green enough to safely do so. We’ve been under a strict fire band for most of the summer, but we just had some rain, so we able to fire it up!!

9. BBQ but make it fancy!

This one is super easy, so I am adding a level of difficulty to it; make your next BBQ a bit fancy by dressing up your table.

Here’s an easy and inexpensive idea, use fruits and greenery as a centerpiece. I am going to try this at my next BBQ. I’ll post my photos on my oui-liette Facebook page, like my page for updates.

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Another easy way to fancy it up is to add a big bouquet of wildflowers to your patio table, send me your pics!!

10. Be a tourist in your hometown

I try to be a tourist in my own region at least once a summer. I try to visit all the touristy places that people come here from away to see, but locals rarely go.

It’s fun to explore your local region and pretend that you’re a tourist, you can even buy a tacky t-shirt, live a little!!

I recently climbed up the giant lobster in Shediac, NB. I hadn’t done that in probably 20 years or more, it made me laugh, which is the whole point. What giant thing is your town or area know for? Whatever it is, go take a touristy pic in front of it; I dare you!

 

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Thanks for reading! I am currently working on revamping my Instagram page, go check it out! And I’ll add additional pics on my Oui-Liette Facebook page once I check off more items off this list; so go like my page and gram page if you haven’t already!!

Thank you! Muah!

Liette

If you want to read more, here is a link of a funny one; Funny Things A Maritimer Misses When They Leave, I wrote this one when I was living in Las Vegas.

https://oui-liette.org/2019/04/28/funny-things-a-maritimer-misses-when-they-leave/

 

Girls Who Glamp!

Girls Who Glamp!

Although I love being outdoors, I’ve never been a big camper. I really don’t see the point of sleeping on the ground in a damp tent, lol. But it turns out that I love  glamping!

If you aren’t aware of what glamping is, it’s camping without roughing it, which I’ve discovered I’m really good at.

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I just got back from my first glamping weekend. We stayed at  a place called Glamcamp; they’re located a little over an hour outside of Moncton, in Waterborough, New Brunswick.

They currently have ten domes plopped in the forest across the street from a spectacular lake. We had the most amazing and relaxing weekend; there’s something to be said about exploring what your own province has to offer and finding amazing spots.

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Let me take you on a quick tour of our dome; we rented the Hashtag Millennial. Each dome has a unique decor, but they all have the same features. To see what’s included in the domes check them out on Instagram at: glamcampnb.

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This was our dome, I didn’t ask for the pink dome, it was the only one left, it was obviously meant to be mine!

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Behind the wallpapered wall is the kitchen to the right and the bathroom on the left. Our dome was so cleaned when we arrived and smelled fresh! Clean is important, especially these days, so wanted to add that fact.

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We arrived around 5pm on Friday; my bff Stacey was in charge of keeping the cedar hot tub heated. She’s pictures below with one of the owners giving her tips, while social distancing. The bottom right is her stoking the fire before a late night dip. Each dome comes with 2 comfy white robes, which she is modeling for us over her bathing suit.

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When you’re soaking in the tub, you can smell the cedar. 

While the water was heating up, we prepared for our first glamping meal, which was lobster!
We had the most amazing Bay of Fundy lobsters from the Moncton Fish Market. It’s funny how things taste better while “roughing” it.

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Yes those are cloth lobster napkins, this is glamping after all!

Since this is our Annual Canadian Girls Summer Trip, OK it’s technically our first, but you have to start somewhere, our desert needed to be Canadian and what’s more Canadian than Inukshuks?

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Turns out they didn’t know we were here for long as this chocolate one got eaten pretty quick. If you don’t get that reference, look up Inukshuk. 

While checking in we were told not to miss the sunsets on the lake; with our bellies full of lobster, we headed across the street to watch the sunset.

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It was so peaceful with multiple shades of pinks, oranges and purples reflecting off the lake. Omg so pretty! It’s a must, the photos don’t even do it justice.

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The hot tub was ready for us when we got back from the beach; Stacey’s fire abilities were on point! It was so relaxing.

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When the sun goes down, the domes take on a magical appearance.

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Each dome sleeps three people, there is a queen bed and a pull out single bed. I would recommend bringing a sleeping mask if you want to sleep in a bit.

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When you turn the lights of the dome off and your eyes adjust to the darkness, you can see fireflies outside. It sort of feels like you’re underwater and the fireflies are fish swimming by. There is also a skylight above the bed for star gazing.

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I didn’t plan this either, but my pajamas matched the decor perfectly!!

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After our morning coffee, bacon and eggs, our friend Jacqueline joined our Canadian Girls Glamping Weekend; our main goal for the day was lots of quality beach time.

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I am an ocean girl, but Grand Lake has me re-thinking my preferences. And since this was our Canadian themed weekend, Bernice the Beaver, was out and about with us. We floated, had a picnic and floated some more.

Our Saturday night dinner was from a caboose that has been turned into a takeout. We had the fish and chips and we need to know the secret to their batter; it was light and crispy with a sweet taste. If anyone knows what makes it sweet, please let me know.

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As we waited for your food, we watched a storm make its way towards us. Luckily it had passed by the time we finished eating and were ready for our nightly hot tubbing.

No glamping weekend would be complete without a group shot, with matching hats; hey I don’t make the rules.

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Stacey and I obviously don’t share Jacqueline’s Spanish heritage. I filtered this photo a bit to make us less glow in the dark white.

Our cool hats are from: Made by Monique, check her out on Facebook. I bought the hats and she printed them, but she can order hats, shirts, hoodies…for you and design and print for you. She’s great for smaller orders, she has no minimum quantity requirements. For corporate larger amounts, I’ve got a guy for you. (Gilles from Kadopromo)

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Jacqueline was our glamping mixologist, our signature weekend drink was a fresh raspberry mint mojito.

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Here are the ingredients that you will need. 

Go to my Instagram account: Oui-Liette, for a short video on how to make this yummy berry drink. The mint was fresh from her garden, but you can use store bought.

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This drink smelled as good as it tasted.

It doesn’t matter what your summer vacation plans are or where you decide to go, your experience will only be enhanced by getting out there and exploring your surroundings. Find out where the locals go and where they eat. I have two approaches, the first is I ask an actual local and the second is that if I see a busy spot, chances are it’s good.

We stopped at this local strawberry place on the main drag and brought home strawberries that were picked from the fields behind the store. They also had fresh snap peas, jams and a bunch of other things. I asked an older lady in the shop if their jams were good? She said yes, that she made them herself. Can you imagine going to a large grocery store and running into the person who made the jams on the shelves? Of course not, lol.

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She was so cute, explaining that they had just put the labels on the tops of the jars, but should have put them on the fronts. Her daughter was trying to convince her to switch the social distancing enter and exit doors to enhance the flow, while her granddaughter, who may have been 7ish, was asking customers to sanitize their hands before entering.

Get out there support the small local businesses that you stumble upon; if you see something cool and interesting stop, shop and be polite!!! Ask questions and learn about the places you are visiting. It’s actually an excellent idea when traveling this summer with your kids. Get them to do a bit of research before your road trip, they will be more interested and invested while there and it will keep their brains from turning into mush. Oh and BTW, that ladies jam was amazing!! We went back on our way out of town so that Stacey could stock up.

Thank you for reading! Stay safe and healthy, explore, support local…that should cover it for now, lol.

Here is how to find a video tour of our Glamcamp dome and Jack’s Raspberry Mojito tutorial. And while you’re on my Instagram page, you may as well follow me.

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muah!!

Liette

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New Brunswick is such a beautiful province, here is a past NB post of mine that got tens of thousands of views. Technically it’s my only post to get tens of thousands of views, lol, so it must be good, you may as well read it!

https://oui-liette.org/2018/07/15/new-brunswick-canada-youre-going-to-hate-it/

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Canada D’eh!

Happy Canada D’eh!

This is just a fun post of memes that will remind you how great and funny it is to be Canadian!

In Canada spring is either a tease, an urban myth or a big fat lie!

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If you’re Canadian these guys don’t need any introductions.

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We have snow and ice in our veins.

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Our wildlife

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The most feared creature in Canada and every Canadian knows this to be true!

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I hope you all have a great Canada D’eh!! Do your country proud and be nice, kind and most importantly, be polite…please and thank you!

muah!

Liette

Here’s a bonus Canadian post from last year… you’re welcome!

https://oui-liette.org/2019/06/26/you-know-youre-canadian-when/

 

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

The Inspiring Story of the Birdhouse Lady

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Last weekend I was driving down Mountain Rd in Moncton, minding my own business, when something caught my eye; I saw the most colourful and unique birdhouses strewn across a parking lot.

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After picking up my friend Mary Helen, we went back to the parking lot to meet the birdhouse lady.

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Two funny things; the first is that the birdhouse lady’s name is Blanche, which in French means white; her birdhouses are pretty much every colour but white (except for her Acadian houses). The second thing is that I had just shared a blog post about colourful Maritime houses and then, bam! More colourful houses!

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Mary Helen made the observation that they looked like houses from Whoville in the Grinch.

 

I posted a few pics on Facebook and got inundated with questions of where people could buy them. Someone introduced me to her daughter who shared where her mom would be this weekend.

Weather permitting, on Saturdays Blanche is usually in Moncton on Mountain Rd, across the street from Rosario’s Restaurant. And on Sundays in Shediac, on the corner of Main St and Pointe du chêne Rd, in the parking lot across the Irving.

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Blanche is a true folk artist with a warm and welcoming personality who creates beautifully colourful houses; they just making you smile when you see them. I went back to see her this morning to buy a few houses for one of my cousin’s and had the opportunity to chat with her for a bit.

Blanche was kind enough to share a bit of her background with me. Her story is both heartbreaking and inspiring; at 13 she found herself homeless and sleeping in a car. She experienced many traumatic events and hardships in her young life. Unable to read or write she turned to carpentry and has been working in construction all of her life.

First of all; how bad ass is it to be a woman who makes her living in construction? It’s super bad ass!! Lol. She shared that she is able to do pretty much everything except for brick layering. She owns a small house in Moncton and updated her plumbing on her own; once done she had a licensed plumber come check her work. He confirmed everything was up to code and done perfectly. She said that she made him turn the water back on and there were no leaks!

She started making and painting these little houses and sells them on weekends. After knowing more about Blanche, I believe that the reason that so many people are drawn to her houses is because it’s a reflection of her spirit and joie de vivre. It may sound corny, but I believe that when something is created with love people are unconsciously drawn to them.

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Dawn also drawn to these colourful houses!!

To contact Blanche you can leave her a message on Facebook (Blanche Young) and I encourage you to post pictures of your birdhouses once you get them home and tag her. Her daughter helps her with her Facebook page and will be posting updates on where she will be selling her works of art.

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Thank you for reading! Like Blanche’s Facebook page: Blanche Young. Let’s support our local artists and let’s be thankful for all the bad ass woman out there, they are an example for us all!

muah!

Liette

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The Special Class of 2020

The Special Class of 2020

Who are the kids of the class of 2020? I assumed they were millennials, but they are the generation that precedes the millennials. The class of 2020 are Generation Z, born in the mid to late 1990’s to 2010, most are the children of Generation X.

Generation X turned out to be helicopter parents; which is the polar opposite of the way they were raised. Gen Xers grew up without bike helmets or seat belts, by parents who smoked in the car…while the kids were in the car without seat belts!

The perception of Generation Z is that they are all snowflakes and maybe ill prepared to take on the world? But I think the truth is that this generation is the one that will change the world…finally!

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They are perceived as having a sense of entitlement. I think they do feel entitled; they feel entitled to have clean water; they feel entitled to be free to love who they want to love. They feel entitled to have justice and equality for all. They feel that they should be entitled to go to school without the fear of being shot. Let that last one sit with you for a moment; we had fire drills, they had active shooter drills. Oh and just for fun, let’s throw in a plague that will screw up their graduation and their lives in general.

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Are they withering away? No, they are proving to be the most resilient generation since the Second World War and the most socially conscious since the 1960’s.

With all that they have had to deal with, they appear to have a very simplistic view of the world. The planet is on fire, so let’s fix it! It’s all very black and white for gen Z, which is so refreshing. They seem sick and tired of our complaisant culture of thoughts and prayers; this generation are ready for action!

They have a very clear view of what is right and what is unjust, with very little patience for those who tell them that the status quo is working. As they reach that magic age of being able to vote, they have the numbers to change things and to change them quickly.
This generation has inherited a mess, a freaking huge mess! But I have a feeling that we are in good hands and that they are up for the challenge.

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In these crazy times it makes sense that this special class, the class of 2020, would have a special graduation. A graduation unlike any other graduation in the history of all graduations. It’s not what you had planned and it’s not what we wanted for you; it is what it is and like everything else, you are making the best of it.

Know that you are the special generation; the generation that the world needs right now. And not that it makes it easier, but think of all the stories you will be able to share with your grandchildren someday.

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On behalf of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, we want you know that we are so proud of you! You’ve showed such grace under pressure. Get out there and change the world, we’ll do our best to keep up with you.

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Oh and not to put any extra pressure on you, but the fate of humanity and the planet are basically in your hands…but no pressure!! Happy special graduation to you.❤️

Thanks to all the parents who shared pictures of their very special grads with me for this post.

muah!!

Liette

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Défi Best Lobster Roll in le sud-est du NB

Défi Best Lobster Roll in le Sud-Est/South East NB

Lobster is serious business in these parts of Atlantic Canada; the Bay of Fundy has the best lobster in the world! It’s a fact, look it up.

I grew up eating lobster, my grandfather’s family were lobster fisherman, as was my father’s favorite uncle on my grandmother’s side. His name was Livain and he used to take us out on his fishing boat and let my brother and I help him pull up his “special” lobster trap. Looking back, it now seems a bit fishy that there were always a few lobsters waiting for us.

I am sharing these details of my childhood to demonstrate that I am more than qualified for this special challenge; to find the best lobster rolls dans le sud-est du Nouveau Brunswick! We also mix our French and English in these parts, so try to keep up! Lol

**I obviously didn’t try every place in le sud-est, but I did my best. Feel free to leave a comment if there is a place that I need to try.

Shediac

For our first lobster roll we went to Shediac, pronounced: shed-dee-ack, for my none Maritime friends. Why was Shediac our first stop? Because it’s the lobster capital of the world, that’s why.

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Here’s the proof in case you didn’t believe me.

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Golden Fry, Shediac

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Golden Fry is located on Main St in Shediac

I’m not going to lie, when I opened my bag and saw that the mayonnaise wasn’t mixed in with my lobster, I was a bit worried; I like it all mixed together, but it was really yummy!! The lettuce, which I don’t love in a lobster roll, I prefer celery, was fresh and crisp, so I didn’t mind it. There was enough mayonnaise and most importantly the lobster didn’t taste frozen!!! I am giving Golden Fry a solid 8 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Chez Léo, Shediac Bridge

Chez Léo has been open since 1961 and reminds me a lot of my dad; he used take me there for fried clams. Here’s another fun fact, it’s on the other side of a bridge that only has one lane. It has no lights or stop sign, yet people instinctively take turns going across; three cars will go and then the fourth car will let a few cars from the other side cross. That may not sound abnormal for my fellow Maritimers, but in Toronto or the US that would cause anarchy, lol.

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Back to lobster rolls; the lobster was fresh, they asked me if I wanted with or without mayo, which I appreciated. It was tasty, giving it a solid 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Moncton

It’s funny that Moncton, even though it’s exactly 15 minutes from the ocean, isn’t considered a coastal town by the locals and not the place to go for a great lobster roll; like Monctonians are way too far inland to know anything about lobster, lol.

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Hynes Restaurant, Moncton

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Hynes restaurants is probably Moncton’s oldest dinner; it’s been around longer than I have.
Their lobster was lightly mixed with the mayonnaise, which I like and they didn’t have lettuce, which I appreciated. Some places add lettuce as a filler, I am not down with that trick! Lol. The lobster was most likely from a lobster pack, which is frozen, but that’s fine, most places do use lobster packs for their lobster rolls.
Giving Hynes a respectable 7 claws out of 10.
🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Skipper Jacks, Moncton

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Skipper Jacks apparently has a new menu, according to my mom, who had lunch there recently; she had the lobster chowder and raved about it. I got a lobster roll to go and it was delish!! The bun was toasted extra crispy the way I like; they didn’t have their lobster mixed with the mayo, but I am starting to change my point of view regarding this important aspect of lobster rolling.
The lobster tasted fresh and not frozen and it’s one of the few rolls so far that had pieces of tail and not just claws and knuckles. I am giving Skipper Jacks 9 claws out of 10!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

Euston Park, Moncton

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This was my first time at Euston Park, which is an outdoor eating/bar area. It’s so cute!!! But how was their lobster roll??

It looked really pretty, the bread was fresh and crunchy, the lobster was overflowing out of the bun and it was tasty. The curveball is that it included Tarragon; it wasn’t a traditional lobster roll, it was a fancy lobster roll. My first bite was like oh!! I wasn’t 100% sure about it, but my second bite was like, ok, I could be down with this?

I am going to give it 8 claws out of 10, but if you aren’t a fan of Tarragon then this isn’t the roll for you; roll on. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Alma

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You can’t be on the hunt for the best lobster roll without rolling into the Bay of Fundy.

Fundy Take-Out, Alma

Our first stop is the little shop on the right of the entrance of Fundy National Park, it’s appropriately called Fundy Take-Out.

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This lobster roll was ok, I can imagine how good it would taste after a long hike in the park. There could have been a little more mayonnaise, but the bun was the best to date; it was nice and crispy. I found it a bit bland and had to add a bit of salt, which is fine. I think the more lobster rolls I eat the pickier I am getting? I am going to give Fundy Take-Out 7 claws out of 10; which is still a solid score. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Cape Pelé

Our next two stops are in Cape Pelé; Fred’s and L’aboiteau.

Fred’s Restaurant, Cape Pelé

I had options at Fred’s, with or without mayo and with or without lettuce. I’m not going to lie, having the mayo just drizzled like this looked weird and plain, but it was yummy, the lobster was fresh and the bun was crispy. Giving Fred’s 8 claws out of 10. 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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L’aboiteau Wharf

L’aboiteau has a restaurant in the beach area and a small place right on the wharf; we ate at the wharf location.

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This lobster roll had pieces of tail; it was fresh, crispy and super tasty! I am giving this roll a 9 of 10 claws!!!! 🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞🦞

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Doing my best to show the lobster roll and my earrings.

I obviously didn’t get a chance to eat at all the lobster places, sadly. A few places in Alma were closed when we went, due to COVID. We didn’t make it to Bouctouche, where in the past, I’ve had the best lobster rolls ever. That’s why none of the lobster rolls on my list got a 10 out of 10; I was saving some room for Bouctouche. So please when doing your own taste test, do not forget to go to Bouctouche!

Of the 8 places I visit, two places got 9 claws out of 10; Skipper Jacks in Moncton and L’aboiteau Wharf in Cape Pelé. They both had juicy pieces of tail, oh that sounds odd and mildly inappropriate, Lol. What I meant is that most places only had pieces of lobster claws and knuckles; that’s what made the difference for me and why they scored higher.
Let’s be real, it’s really hard to make a bad lobster roll in these parts, but these two stood out from the crowd.

Thank you for reading, I hope you get to try a few of these places on your own this summer. It’s a tough job, but I am willing to keep eating local lobster rolls until I’ve tried them all…you’re welcome!! Please shop local and tip your server a bit extra! Especially the seasonal places.

Feel free to recommend a place I should to try, here in the comment section below, or on my Facebook page.

muah!

Liette

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Hey check mes pen d’oreilles de homard!!! 🤣

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Behind the Scenes Extras

Fun fact, I thought that others added celery to their lobster rolls, but turns out they don’t, but they clearly should! Try it.

I created a fun side list; here are the winners!!

Best View – Alma!! To be eating your lobster roll on a wharf or beside an actual fishing boat is pretty awesome. The boat, pictured here, will be completely submerged at high tide; FYI for my readers that aren’t aware of our crazy tides.

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Best view runner up was L’aboiteau. This view is not too shabby either.

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Most Impressive Lobster – Shediac, it wasn’t even a competition, it’s ginormous. I invite locals to climb up on it and take tacky tourist pics; live a little. I hadn’t climbed up in….mmm a decade or two?

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Cutest Lobster Accessory

Torn between my Sex, Drugs & Lobster Roll t-shirt and my giant lobster earrings. I chose not to wear them together as that would be too much; yes, I guess that’s the line! Lol

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I bought this at the My Home Mercantile

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Cutest Lobster Shack – It’s a beautiful shade of purple, so it wins! Sadly it wasn’t open yet for the season, but it still wins as cutest and I will be back!

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Colours of the Maritimes

Colours of the Maritimes


One of the things that struct me when I first moved, to the west coast of the US, was that all the houses were the same colour, a light beige ish, they also all looked the same. They were all Spanish looking, at least they looked Spanish ish to a girl from the east coast.

I would go to my friends homes and have to look up the house number because once on the proper street, I couldn’t remember which house was theirs, even though I had been there before.

I moved to the desert in the summer when everything was brown and dried up. I remember how green everything looked on my first visit back to Canada. I had never noticed how freaking green New Brunswick was; I was seriously amazed.

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I’d love to live in a green house with a lilac coloured door.

The same was true with the houses; who knew that Maritime houses were so exotic? Growing up here exotic was the last word I would have used to describe anything about us.

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Since I’ve moved back, I’ve been unconsciously  taking pictures of colourful houses. I am always taking pictures of random things. I notice my new obsession with brightly coloured houses when I happened upon this pink house, below, during a Covid sanity drive; as I drove past it I had an uncontrollable need to turn around and take a picture of it. I physically had to stop, turn around, and take a picture.

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I want to live in a pink house.
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This is a house in NS, don’t let the US flag fool you.

My hope for this post is that my fellow Maritimers will look at the pretty pictures and be like; she’s right, these are pretty funky. And that my American desert friends will enjoy looking at exotic homes from where I grew up.

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One of the ladies who lives in this house is from les îles de la Madeleine, they are famous for colourful houses.

These houses just make me happy! These are anything but mellow yellow!

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Yellow seems to be the most popular colourful house colour around here.

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I know that colourful houses are not unique to Atlantic Canada. I did a bit of research and the most common explanation is that it ties back to fishing villages. Fishermen would paint their homes vibrant colours in order to see them as they sailed into the harbour. I’ve always loved colour, as a Maritimer, I guess it’s in my DNA.

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I love the purple houses the best…I think? Which is your fav?

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Once we are allowed to roam between province, I am going to add to my colourful house pictures to my collection; ouff I can’t wait to roam!

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This post could have been called Colours of Atlantic Canada in order to include Newfoundland and it’s beautiful row houses, I’ll do a dedicated post to them on my next trip to the rock.

Thank you for reading this cheery post, I felt something light, fluffy and pretty was called for.

muah!

Liette

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The Other Vegas – My love letter to this great city!

The Other Vegas – My love lettre to this great city.

It’s already been two months now since my big move from Las Vegas back to Canada; and although I am happy to be back home, the past three and a half years there were a great adventure!

A common reaction when people find out that you live or lived in Las Vegas is always; oh I could never live there. Or, it’s fun for 3 days, but I couldn’t handle living there.

Yes it’s a party city if you’re visiting and staying on the strip; but for those who live there it’s a normal town with lovely people…ok, sort of normal.

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In this post, I would like to give you an insight of what it’s like to live there and what makes Las Vegas so special; aside from the casinos, amazing entertainment and world class restaurants. But before we get started, let me just say one thing; I didn’t leave because I didn’t like living in Las Vegas. My master plan was always to stay 3 to 5 years. I came for an adventure and to further my career; done and done!!! I am very much a Canadian and a Maritimer down to my soul, so there was never any question in my mind that I would stay in the US permanently.

Where will you live?

Ok, let’s move on! When you decide to move here all the locals want to know if you will be living in Henderson or Summerline? It’s very serious business; each side tries to convince you to move to their area.

Driving from one area to the other is maybe 25 to 35 minutes? Which doesn’t seem very far right? But the weird truth is that once you move to one area, you rarely venture to the other side; and when you do, it’s a big deal, lol.

Las Vegas is the most convenient city ever! It doesn’t matter what area you move to, everything you need can be found within a 5 mile radius; everything!!! Your hairdresser, doctors, grocery store, pharmacy….most everything you need is literally a 3 min drive; so there is no need to leave your hood.

Full disclosure, once I settled in and had a friend from Moncton moving to Las Vegas; I too became one of those people who tries to convince new people to move to their area. I believe my exact words to my friend Sean were; “you can move to Summerline if you want, but I won’t go visit you; you’ll have to come to me in Henderson!”

Get back to nature!

When you think of Vegas, I bet that enjoying nature isn’t the first thing that comes to mind? But there are amazing, like freakishly amazing, things to see and do there. Most people that visit and stay on the strip don’t even notice that Las Vegas is in a valley; it’s surrounded by mountains on all sides, which means that there are lots and lots of hiking trails!

The hills are not exactly alive with the sound of music, but they are beautifully colorful! There’s plenty of reds, whites and sometimes pinks and purpleS. Red Rock is a 20 minutes ish drive from the strip; it has amazing trails for hiking and rock climbing.

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But my personal favorite spot to bring friends when visiting was The Valley of Fire; which is approximately 50 minutes from the strip. It really feels like you’re on another planet. There is a zen vibe that you will feel as soon as you arrive. You can even see petroglyphs; how many of you have seen petroglyphs??

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Henderson, where I chose to live because it’s way cooler than Summerline, 🤣😆, is 20 to 25 minutes from the Arizona boarder. My friend and I discovered some amazing and really challenging trails on the Arizona side of the boarder.

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Our first hike was to Liberty Bell, truth be told, we got lost on that first hike so it took us a bit longer than planned. It’s amazing to walk up and down, and up and down the trails to eventually happen upon this enormous rock formation!

The main trail eventually splits into two; one leads to the Libert Bell and the other leads you to the hot springs. Again as you walk these trails, you feel like you’re on another planet; especially if you’re from the east coast where everything is green.

Water fun!

I am from Atlantic Canada, my house was a 15 minute drive from the beach. When I moved to the desert I never imagined that I would be buying my very first kayak there…in the desert.

Like most of my activities, I discovered Willow Beach via Pinterest; I would search fun things to do in and around Las Vegas and go do them.

Willow Beach is less than an hour’s drive from Henderson; and like The Liberty Bell, its on the Arizona side and it’s the most amazing place that I’ve ever experienced.

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Full disclosure the water is cold, that being said, it’s never stopped me from jumping in! It’s in a valley surrounded by mountains; so while kayaking we’ve seen grazing mountain goats and bald eagles flying overhead. The water is so crystal clear that you can see fish swimming under your kayak; pretty big fish.

There’s an area called Emerald Cove where the water is the prettiest color of green. There are a few areas that you can beach your kayak and enjoy a picnic and swim.

I bought a kayak, but you can also rent them; it’s actually easier to rent them. You can also rent pontoon boats, which I haven’t done yet, but it’s on my list.

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No kayak? No problem! In July and August, it’s actually too hot for a lot of physical activities. But if you leave early in the morning before it gets too hot, you can float.

In honor of my Canadian heritage; I bought an inflatable beaver instead of a unicorn or swan. If I am being honest, the main reason I got it was to be able to say that my beaver and I went to the lake, when asked what I did on the weekend. Come on, that’s pretty funny!!

Anything is possible in Vegas!

A few years ago, I made a bucket list; one of the items on my list was to ride a camel. Since Las Vegas is in the desert, I figured there should be a place nearby where you could ride camels? And I was right!! An hour and twenty minutes from the strip is a place called Camel Safari.

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I brought my nephew with me and we had so much fun! I had heard that camels can be assholes, so I was a tiny bit apprehensive; but the camels at Camel Safari were very well behaved. Now I am not a camel expert, but I think that they were so chill because they are happy and well taken care of; they have lots of room to roam with their camel friends when not on safari.

Funny story, some of my coworkers, who have lived in Vegas for a long time, would see my Facebook posts and ask me on Monday morning; where the hell were you this weekend? Lol, I did a lot more activities in my first year there than most locals have done ever.

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Another activity on my bucket list was to go up in a hot air balloon, and guess what? You can do that there too! Please note that they don’t go up during the heat or the summer because of the crazy winds; Las Vegas is freakishly windy…who knew??

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I was a bit nervous that this would be scary, but the feeling of floating was very peaceful and the views were spectacular!

Don’t bet against Las Vegas!

I feel that Las Vegas is like your friend who has super high self esteem and thinks that he/she can do anything; so they basically figure out a way to do everything!

Outdoor skating in the desert sounds ridiculous right? Well never bet against Las Vegas, because they will figure it out.

My friend Lynn asked me if I knew how to skate one cool day in November? Hello! I am Canadian, of course I know how to skate. We ended up skating on the roof top of the Cosmopolitan Hotel overlooking the strip.

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And Vegas doesn’t do anything half assed, the skating rink included fire pits for roasting marshmallows and for making s’mores; chocolate martinis, mini grilled cheese sandwiches with hot tomato soup and snow!! It was pretty magical!

Turns out there are outdoor winter wonderland villages throughout the city that pop up in November and stay open until January.

People laughed when Vegas announced that they would be getting their own NHL hockey team; yeah, they didn’t laugh for long!

I attended the second home game and it was wild! I’ve seen NHL games in Montreal, Boston and Florida; I also spent most of my childhood in rinks, so not to brag, but I know hockey. Believe me when I say that there is nothing like seeing a game in Las Vegas!!!

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Can the opening “show” be a bit tacky? Yes, but it needs to be, it’s Las Vegas Baby! Each game is a party! As mentioned above; I attended the second home game against Detroit and I would say that 65% of the fans were Red Wings.

People come to Vegas to see their team play against the Knights; they actually plan their trip around the hockey schedule; and just a warning that every game ends up being pretty much sold out, so plan accordingly.

As that first season progressed, more and more of the locals began showing up in their Knights jerseys, myself included. But it’s still very normal to see a lot of visitor team jerseys in the stands; and what I love is that there are no crazy cat calls or rude behavior between fans. If you don’t know what I am talking about, try wearing a Habs Jersey to a Bruins game! Let me know how that works out for you, lol.

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That first season the Knights made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. I had to remind some of my friends that expansion teams don’t make it to the finals their first season…like ever! It’s like Vegas didn’t know that it was hard? Lol.

It was an amazing thing to see and experience everyone embrace the Good Ol’ Hockey Game…in the desert.

Hockey’s not the only winter game in town; do you ski?? Guess what? There is a ski hill 50 minutes from the strip. You can ski Mount Charleston in the morning and sit by the pool in the afternoon…ok the only ones sitting by the pool in the « winter » are Canadians.


You name it, you can do it!

Can you partake in a fancy high tea in Las Vegas? Yup! How about some dim sum in Chinatown? Not a problem!

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I seriously don’t think there is one thing that I’ve googled that hasn’t been doable in Las Vegas. It’s like each activity you search, Las Vegas says; yes, challenge accepted!!

The very best part!!

The absolute best thing about Las Vegas, by far, are the people who call it home.

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I’ve never experienced a community so inclusive and inviting. Maybe it’s because the majority of residents aren’t from here? So they know what it feels like to move here and get settled? Or maybe it’s because a vast majority of locals work in the hospitality industry? Whatever the reason is, they are as friendly as the people back home!

I knew a handful of people there when I moved, but not that many; two of my now closest Vegas friends worked at the same company as me, but I didn’t know them prior to moving there.
Lynn W invited me out for dinner my first week there and flat out told me that we were going to be friends; turns out she was right!
I met Shondra during a dinner with a bunch of service technicians; she also pretty much decided we would be friends forever; and I am blessed that she did!
My friend Staci and her husband, Aaron, took care of me as soon as I landed. They helped me get my huge king size bed home and quickly became my family away from home.
I had one close friend there when I moved; Claudia and I had been work partners for over 10 years prior to my big move. Who knew our bond could get even stronger? We got promoted together, visited NY and Paris together and celebrated our birthdays together.
And then there is Travis, Lynn D and Barney who I love and miss already!

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Thank you Las Vegas for welcoming a Maritime girl from the other side of the continent and making her feel right at home in the desert!!

And for those who visit and wonder who would want to live there? Awesome, fabulous people live there; that’s who! ❤️

muah!!!

Liette

 

Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

Real Poutines! An Acadian Tradition.

(The original idea for this post was to have a fake beef with Quebec, then the direction looked like it was moving to show my American friends one of my family traditions. I think it turned into a sneak peek into what it’s like to be part of a huge Acadian family? Like most of my posts, I just let them be what they want to be. And like all of my posts, I hope it inspires you to make an effort to do things with your family; may it be the family you’re born into or the one you create for yourself).

When I was growing up no one but Acadians knew what a poutine was. Fast forward a few decades and poutines are now a global thing, but those aren’t real poutines.

Sure french fries, gravy and cheese curds are delicious, but they aren’t what we call poutines.

I am not going to accuse Quebecers of high jacking the name poutine from the Acadians; oh wait, yes I am!! Do Acadians have a beef with Quebec for stealing our poutine name? We do!! Have we ever made a fuss over this theft?? No, no we have not! It’s just not in our nature.

Could our Acadians poutines  compete with Quebec poutines in the global market? In a word…no! Our poutines, the real poutines aren’t…how do I say this diplomatically? Let’s just say they aren’t pretty!

What is an Acadian poutine? It’s basically a slimy boiled potato ball with pork in the middle. Am I tempting you yet?

Poutine or poutine acadienne are a staple for French speaking Maritimers (from the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). Although you can now buy them throughout the year, they have traditionally been made for the Christmas holidays.

Before we dive into things, I do need to share a few key words, so my none-Acadians can follow.

râpures  – grated potatoes

poutine – a slimy grayish boiled potato ball

poutine râpé – Acadian poutine, we have had to add the Acadian part since we were ripped off by Québec, lol

râper – verb to grate potatoes

râpe – a home made machine used to grate potatoes. Pronounced rawwwp. This word has an unfortunate pronunciation in English

Épurer – verb to squeeze the water out of grated potatoes

My family has made poutines for generations, there is no recipe per say; you have to “intern” for decades before you can become the top baller. Ok top baller isn’t really a thing to anyone but me, I am hoping it catches on.

I have an un-scientific theory why Acadians originally made poutines and English speaking Maritimers didn’t. I think they just didn’t have the proper manpower needed. Historically, French Catholics had large families while English Protestants had smaller families. I suspect the real reason may have been that the Acadians were poorer and potatoes were cheap and readily available?

My theory is based on the fact that it takes a village to make a batch of poutines. I think the rule is that you need a minimum of 3 aunts, 2 uncles and a combo of 2 nieces/nephew or 2 cousins. One doesn’t just wake up one morning and decide; hey, I think I am going to make poutines today, it takes planning and a team.

In this post I am going to share with you how one Acadian family, mine, keeps the tradition alive.

Most large extended families would have had one or two râpes in the family; yes this word sounds horrible in English, so please refer to my keywords above.

So here’s how it worked in my family growing up. It gets complicated, so please try to follow.

My mother’s father was the top baller because he owned the râpe. He decided when he would make his poutines and the others would plan accordingly. The râpe, again it’s a machine that grates potatoes, would go from house to house to house.

Example: pépère DesRoches, my moms father, would make his on the 21. My mom would make hers on the 23, in the morning. As soon as she was done, she would call my fathers mother and tell her to send someone to pick up the râpe. Once they were done, they would passe it down to my dad’s sister, who would then drop it back off at our house.

I should note that not only were Acadian families large, once you married into another Acadian family the two families often merged to create a super family.

Eventually my moms sister, tante Irène, and my mom got their own râpes, which made our family super fortunate to have 3 in rotation!!

Example of the Acadian super family; my moms sister, tante Irène, who lived across the street from us, wasn’t actually related to my cousins from my dad’s side, who lived next door to us, but she was automatically called ma tante Irène by everyone, related by blood or not. Side note, Acadian families also tended to cluster together. I had 7 cousins living on my street; my brother and I made 9 of us (kids). Needless to say, no one picked on us. The older cousins would look out for the younger cousins; sure the older cousins would beat the shit out of us from time to time, but no one else was allowed to.

Getting back to poutines; you couldn’t just go to the store and buy a râpe, you had to know someone who would make one for you. It was a small motor with a circular thingy that was pierced and would spin quickly and grate the potatoes. It was usually made by someone who worked at the CNR, Canadian National Railway. Ok don’t ask why someone who worked with trains would be making these on the side; it’s too complicated for this post.

Now, let’s fast forward to the present and get to making poutines.

After my moms father passed away, my mom became the top baller. You need a top baller to test the texture and taste the potatoes. The top baller title will make sense, just keep reading.

Today we went to my uncles,  my moms brother, with our râpe in hand to help him make his poutines. Because her little brother and his wife, who are both in their sixties have not yet achieved top baller status. She was needed to oversee everything. I guess it’s a bit like the mafia, there can only be one top baller and once top baller status is achieved, he or she rules for life.

The ingredients are very simple, you need potatoes, porc and porc fat. Peeling the potatoes is a pain in the ass.  I think that 50 pounds of potatoes will make 47 ish poutines. I am not a top baller, nor do I aspire to be, so I don’t need to know the correct potato ratio.

You also have to cut the meet and fat into small cubes. So far I have avoided having to help peel and cut. When the knives come out, I volunteer to run errands, no one has caught on as of yet!!

The next step is to start passing the potatoes into the potato grating machine, la râpe. Now you maybe wondering if you could use a food processor? You can’t.

Here’s were it starts to get weird, once all the potatoes are grated, we call that la râpure. You have to go through la râpure and remove any chunks of potatoes that weren’t liquefied; does it look yummy yet??

That isn’t the weird part, the Râpure is very liquidity, we use a large measuring cup to scoop some of the râpure into fabric square and we squeeze out the liquid, that is the weird part. And it’s at this stage that the top baller comes into play. The raw squeeze potatoes are mixed in with mashed potatoes. This mixture can’t be too dry or too wet. You need to adjust how much liquid you are squeezing out. The top baller also needs to taste the mixture to make sure it’s salted enough. It looks gross, but remember these are just cooked and raw potatoes.

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This next step of making balls is where the baller and top baller names come from. I’ve been calling my aunts and mom the ballers for years, I think it’s funny.

The photo below shows my ballers, my aunt Claudine and my mother, she’s in the red apron. She let me wear my grandfathers white apron this year, which is an honor, she is so happy I am back home. She may also be grooming me to someday be the top baller, but I don’t think I can handle the pressure!

The potato mixture is flattened and the porc is added in the middle. If you put too much meat or your ball walls are too thin, they will bust once dropped into boiling water; please note, ball walls isn’t an official poutine term. Poutines are made in French or Chiac, I am doing my best to translate in English.

As a child, this is the part that you begged to get in on because it’s basically like making snowballs.

The balls are gently dropped into a pots of boiling water. The pots need a constant slow boil. The poutine balls will float to the top and then sink to the bottom of the pot as they cook.

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It takes 3 ish hours for them to cook, all the while you need to keep checking to make certain they aren’t boiling too much or too little.

And voila!! They are ready to eat!! The photos above are why our poutines will probably never go global, but trust me they are delicious!

Once my uncle and aunt’s poutines were ready to eat. That evening there were 11 of us for dinner, you don’t have to be invited, you can just show up. It’s also acceptable to show up with an empty pot, because as soon as we make them, we start giving them away. An Acadian will share their poutines freely, but they won’t share their pots, so you have to bring your own!!

As mentioned above, they look slimy, but keep in mind that they are just potatoes and porc, so not so exotic. We eat them with salt and pepper, others add brown sugar, which seems odd to me, but who am I to judge what others put on their slimy potato balls.

We made my uncles poutines on Dec 21, we made my moms poutines on Dec 23. My mother’s sister, came over to help. My brother and I now have more responsibilities since my father has passed. My mother’s brother joins in for the squeezing part.

This process will go on in several of my families homes around town. Once done and the families come together on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the first thing you are asked is: combien de poutines avez-vous fait? Which means how many poutines did you make? The bigger then number the bigger the bragging rights. They will also ask if any have busted, this makes a mess in the pot and is a sign of bad ballers.

Fun fact, the pots are so big that if weather permitting, if it’s cold enough, they are usually stored outside. From the 23 to the 26, there is always a warm pot of poutines on the stove ready to eat. Anyone who enters is offered a poutine. And anyone who is leaving is asked if they want to bring some home.

And this maybe hard for some to wrap their minds around, but we eat these on Christmas morning. Even now my brother, nephew and 3 cousins show up at my moms house Christmas morning for a poutine or two!

That’s my sneak peek at our Acadian tradition of making poutines. I hope you are enlightened and if you are brave enough to want to try one, hit me up next year and I will hook you up!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and I wish you and your families a Happy New Year! May your hearts be happy and your bellies be full!

muah!

Liette