Thursday, September 25, 2008

Manitoulin - Day 2

This is me on the ferry, did you guess? below we have the pictures of South Bay B & B and Gallery. South Bay is very close to where the ferry docks so it is very convenient when you don't know where you are or where you are going.
Went to bed quite early on Monday night as both Saturday and Sunday nights were not blessed with much time in the land of nod and luckily had a very sound sleep, the bed was actually very comfortable. Helps that in fact there was no-one else staying in the house at the moment although we anticipate there will be on Tuesday, but its nice, we have the bathroom to ourselves. It’s normally shared. Breakfast at 8:30 which I know will contain fruit salad and quiche, can’t remember what else Brenda mentioned. It turned out to be very good. We started with the fruit salad, to which I added yoghurt, had small quiches which were very good, then tried some chocolate bread toasted, had lumps of chocolate in the bread – I loved it. Followed by multigrain toast. There were all kinds of jams and jellies if required, extra fruit, cereals, coffee and juice. Plenty to eat. Later went to the Internet café and they gave me the name and phone number of a guy, Rusty, who does computer repair. Having phoned him, we headed off for Mindemoya which is where he hangs out. He checked out my laptop and the problem was no IP address which he corrected and lo and behold, the internet. He also showed me an absolutely darling little laptop, about the size of an evening purse, which has more power than my desktop at home. It was, with tax, about $500. I wanted it, I wanted it. I don’t have $500 to spare though. Upset me for the rest of the day that did. Later when I tried it I still couldn’t connect. Problem with the connection maybe. We headed for Providence Bay and found a delightful B & B where we booked in for Wed. and Thurs. nights. This time we have an en suite bathroom and somewhere to hang our clothes. Matt will be happier. There is also a nice lounge with a TV if wanted plus ice etc. where we can sit. Actually it’s a delightful house and pretty big. (Found out later that the original house was burned down and this is a brand new one built last year). It is also right on the water plus they have a friendly dog called Peter.
We had been recommended to Mum’s in Mindemoya for lunch so went back there. It is very popular with the locals. I had Italian Wedding soup and a BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich Matt just had the BLT. It wasn’t bad although too much rather sweet mayonnaise for my taste. Our waitress was Miss Congeniality, talk about a misery. Didn’t get another coffee, never got our bill, we stood at the cashier’s desk waiting to pay and she looked right through us. Eventually someone else found our bill and took our money. Needless to say, no tip. We then went to M’Chigeeng to look at a particular Catholic Church which is supposed to be worth a visit, it goes underground apparently. Wouldn’t you know it was locked, also a quill work exhibition which was closed for the day. They had a lot of quill work for sale in the store, it really is quite clever and beautiful. Done by the Indians of course. There is also an Ojibwa Foundation exhibition which wanted $10 for us to go visit. By this time I was feeling stroppy so didn’t go in. We decided to drive on to Little Current which is where there is a bridge to the mainland. Quite a nice boardwalk, unfortunately the weather started to look extremely threatening so that put the kibosh on spending much time there. Started to head back to South Baymouth and on the way stopped at the Garden’s Gate restaurant to make a booking for dinner. Had to wait for about 10 mins as they weren’t open. However, we booked for 6:30 and then want back to the B & B. Once there I tried out the laptop on the net. Brenda says the ferry often knocks out their phone and/or net.- lets hope I can connect at the new place as I saw (when at Rusty's) I had 47 emails to check out. We had a drink outside and I started getting bitten by mosquitoes. So went inside and played cribbage. Can you tell I wasn’t having a good day. I’m afraid I am not very impressed with the island so far. We were told it was beautiful and so far it looks like any other part of Ontario. However, there is one area we have seen from a distance which they call mountains, I don’t think they really classify, but they are certainly quite impressive looking hills. Also we did miss a lookout point although at that time it was still dark and threatening.
Set off for supper and were pleasantly surprised to see it was very busy. The service was leisurely, none of this slapping one plate down before you have finished the other. We had an excellent Caesar Salad, we had previously been served a hot roll with herb butter. Then we both had the Whitefish which came with – in my case – a risotto cake, shaved carrots and a kind of cabbage in a sauce. It was all delicious. There was a fruit salad type of dressing for the fish, I enjoyed it, Matt said the fish didn’t need it so I ate his as well. I guess it didn’t really, it was a very nice piece of fish. We had a glass of wine with it, forget what it was called. Matt had oven roasted potatoes, Matt could teach them a thing or two about roast potatoes. We finished off with apple pie and ice cream for Matt and a Coffee Cup a la Crème for me which was light and a perfect finish. They had a decadent chocolate cake which had a description followed by a sentence assuring the customer that it contained all the four food groups, dark chocolate, white chocolate, damn, I can’t remember the next, and chocolate crème. The bill, considering I had two glasses of wine, came to $80 and that included the tip. Very reasonable.
Back at the B & B and more cribbage – at least it was a lot warmer this evening. I didn't mention that the previous evening it was very cold in the B & B and Matt, who never has temperature problems, froze. We ended up going to bed to get warm. The next day we complained and they put the heat on. Of course it got warmer anyway. There were no chairs in the bedroom, nowhere to hang our clothes, not a very big room but it had a single bed crammed in to it as well as our Queen. Matt was not too happy. There was a kind of kitchen with a table downstairs where we could sit and play cards, but it wasn't very comfortable, nor, the first night, as clean as it should be. This is where the internet connection was located even if it wasn't working. There were seating areas outside, but it was mostly too cold in the evening, especially that first evening.
Thought you might like to know what Italian Wedding Soup is, I must admit I had never eaten it before.
Italian Wedding Soup
Meatballs: 1 small onion, grated 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley 1 large egg 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon salt 1 slice fresh white bread, crust trimmed, bread torn into small pieces 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 8 ounces ground beef 8 ounces ground pork Freshly ground black pepper
Soup: 12 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 pound curly endive, coarsely chopped (1 pound of escarole would be a good substitution) 2 large eggs 2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish Salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the meatballs: Stir the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Stir in the cheese, beef and pork. Using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each, shape the meat mixture into 1-inch-diameter meatballs. Place on a baking sheet. To make the soup: Bring the broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and curly endive and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the curly endive is tender, about 8 minutes. Whisk the eggs and cheese in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the soup in a circular motion. Gradually drizzle the egg mixture into the moving broth, stirring gently with a fork to form thin stands of egg, about 1 minute. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve. Finish soup with parmesan cheese if desired.
Have a great day.

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