Monday, September 15, 2008

Manitoulin, Birthday, Travel

We will soon be on the road driving to board the Chi Cheemaun ferry which will take us from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. We have booked a bed and breakfast for two nights in South Baymouth at the South Bay Inn and from then on will play it by ear. I am not sure how long we are going to be away, but probably at least a week. The island is supposed to be worth exploring. It is actually in Lake Huron and forms one edge of the area known as Georgian Bay. For some reason, although we have been here since 1975, we have never been to the island before. I am not sure how much posting I will do whilst we are away, obviously I have no idea of the availability of internet connections. So its a case of expect me when you see me. Yesterday was my birthday, I was 70 would you believe. I mentioned this to my foot nurse the other day and she was 'gob smacked' (I love that expression) which I found very flattering. On Saturday night we went to a friend's house in Hespeler (mentioned in a previous blog) where eight of us got together for dinner and of course drinks. We had a wonderful meal, comprised of great salads, corn on the cob, excellent potatoes, a German tomato salad (hoping to get the recipe for that) my Jambalaya, see below, taken after it had been attacked and the wonderful salmon I talked about the other day, again I hope to get her precise directions for doing the salmon too. They then produced the cake as shown above, just had my name on it, but actually we were celebrating a couple of other birthdays as well, however, I got to blow out the candles. It was a carrot cake and I lurve carrot cake. What don't I love, I hear you asking, well true, not much. Sunday morning we were still full, but it didn't stop us eating bacon and eggs for breakfast cooked by our hostess. Sunday night supper was all planned, Chateubriand with maybe French beans and Portabella mushrooms with, what was most important, one of the two bottles of Malivoire Pinot Noir that I have been look forward to for months. Tragedy, I was not prepared to drink it. I really wasn't interested in wine, or, come to that, much interested in food but, I have to eat, so we ate and had a glass of a mediocre wine and saved the Malivoire for our Wedding Anniversary. What a pity, too much of everything Saturday night. I have been reflecting a bit on my life to date. Unfortunately, a lot of it I cannot recall. I wonder if a good hypnotist could bring forth all the events. I have had a pretty good life and some times a very interesting one with all my travels and the people I have met and still continue to meet even if not face to face. The internet has opened up a whole new world to all of us (well other than people like Matt who hardly know it exists and apparently Senator McCain too). I find it absolutely wonderful how many friends I have made through cyber space, some of whom I am lucky enough to have met, many more I hope to meet in the future. Although for those who live in Oz, I am afraid that is somewhat unlikely unless I win a lottery or something. How many people have lived a number of years on a boat which travelled to ports in Europe. Not many. I didn't appreciate it at the time, I always wanted a book to read, but looking back I can see why many people envy me my later childhood and teenage years. Admittedly I got seasick a lot in those days, but I loved it when we arrived in France or Denmark or any of the many countries we visited. It was also great when my parents moved to the Mediterranean and I could join them on the boat and travel around there instead. Even when they sold the boat and moved into a delightful villa in Spain, it still made for a great vacation spot. Today of course, when we travel, it is often to destinations which used to be exotic to us. Places like The Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and so on. Although we have still gone back to Europe on occasion. Our trip to Portugal being an example. When we lived in North Carolina, Florida was almost in our backyard and yet that was almost unheard of as a possible destination when we lived in the UK. In recent years, the British have made Florida a regular destination. Maybe not now with the gas prices how they are and with airlines feeling the pinch all round. Canada lost Zoom Airlines in August, Britain have just lost XL and other airlines have been in crisis lately too. Maybe the world, which had shrunk so much due to air travel , will start to enlarge again as costs become more and more prohibitive. Well we are hoping the forecast and most of next week will be good weather. I have just discovered that son-in-law #1 reads this blog, I had no idea, so especially for him, bearing in mind he complained about the cold soups, I am including an Indian recipe which I found at Recipes Indian.

Dry Mutton Assamese Style

500 gms mutton 1 cup curd 1" piece of ginger 8-10 cloves of garlic 2 bay leaves 1 tbsp garam masala powder 1 cup mustard oil 1 tsp turmeric powder Salt to taste

Whip the curd. Marinate the mutton pieces with salt, turmeric, curd and 1tbsp of oil and leave aside for 2 hours. Grate the ginger and crush the garlic. Heat the remaining oil in a kadhai (A wok-like cooking utensil with circular handles on either side, used for frying, tempering and cooking vegetable dishes. The best kadhais have thick, heavy bottoms) and add the ginger, garlic and the bay leaves. Fry these for one minute and add the marinated mutton pieces. Lower the flame and cook over a low flame for at least half an hour or until the mutton becomes tender. Mix in the garam masala and stir well. Once the mutton becomes tender and absolutely dry, remove from fire and serve.

Have a great day and maybe a great week.


  1. I hope you have a fantastic trip, Jo and Matt! I'll miss reading your recipes:-)

  2. Have a great trip you both !
    ahhh i want bake a carot cake !!! i've never tasted such thing !

  3. Hi Jo --

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Hope you will celebrate many more. And enjoy the holiday.


  4. Thanks for your good wishes everyone. I am now back in harness but had to install a new motherboard so not sure when I shall be updating blogs.