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Henderson Digitization Project Launches at HCM

15 Apr

by Diva Claire Carter

After a year of scanning, digitizing, formatting and researching, the Henderson Digitization Project is online!  The project shares over 850 photographs taken by Goderich photographer, J. Gordon Henderson, at WWII Air Training Sites in Huron County.

No. 4 Sky Harbour Class, about 1940-1943

No. 4 Sky Harbour Class, about 1940-1943

If you don’t know about this part of Huron County’s military history, here’s a quick backgrounder.  The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) aimed to quickly increase the number of pilots, navigators, bomb-aimers, wireless operators, air gunners and flight engineers able to fight in the war.  The agreement was signed by Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia on December 17, 1939.

Commandos at Sky Harbour, 1943

Commandos at Sky Harbour, 1943

Under the BCATP, over 90 training schools were opened across Canada, graduating more than 130,000 people between 1940 and 1945.  Four of these training schools were established in Huron County, No. 9 Service Flying Training School (Centralia), No. 12 Elementary Flying Training School (Goderich), No. 31/ No. 5 Radio School (Clinton) and No. 31 Air Navigation School (Port Albert).

Instructor and Student, about 1940-1944

Instructor and Student, about 1940-1944

The Henderson Digitization Project tells the story of daily life at these training sites.  Photos are varied and capture group and individuals in both posed and casual settings.   Daily life is also captured, including weddings, funerals, parties, training and flight.

Heard Wedding Party, 1944

Heard Wedding Party, 1944

I find it really exciting that these negatives have been turned into photographs and are now easily found online.  A quick flip through gives a sense of who the men and women were that worked at these air training sites and may have travelled to Huron from the other side of the world.  The Huron County Museum has been contacted by individuals from as far away as the UK who have ties to the base.

I find myself partial to the portraits of the young airmen.  The details in the different uniforms and gestures tell a story.  We don’t know the fate of each of these men, but can imagine the charisma, humour or sense of duty they brought to their jobs based on their facial expressions and body language.  This photo of F/LT Simpson is one of my favourites:

Simpson

F/LT Simpson, about 1940-1945

The photos can be accessed at http://digital.huroncounty.ca, and can be searched by keywords, categories or as a whole collection.  The Museum is asking for help from the public to identify some staff and trainees or provide additional details.

There is also a blog that provides additional details and stories behind the project and photos.  It can be accessed here, http://blog.huroncounty.ca/museum.

 

Signs of spring in Goderich

13 Apr

by Diva Susan Pye

Signs of spring-

FirstSaltBoardDepartsApril9 2014

first salt boat leaves Goderich Harbour, April 9, 2014

LakeHuronSpring

Canadian Geese at the Beach, Goderich SpringThawGoderich

thaw at Cove Beach, Goderich theCove Goderich in Spring

Spring morning at the Beach, Goderich

Loving Spring Sunrises

7 Apr

By Travel Diva Jenna

The past three mornings along Ontario’s West Coast have been absolutely glorious! Bright sun and warmer weather is the best.April Sunrise

Ah, sweetest taste of Spring – Fresh Maple Syrup!

7 Apr

by Diva Karen
Saturday was the perfect day to take a trip ’round Huron County to pick up some fresh, organic maple syrup.  I visited Robinson’s Maple Products in St. Augustine and learned all about modern maple syrup production.  With 20,000 trees in five separate bushes, Bill and Susanne have built a business that provides fresh organic products not only to much of southwestern Ontario, but also to a large market in Japan and emerging markets in China and the Ukraine.

Read the full story at HERE at www.tasteofhuron.ca.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

This equipment, called a PIG (it looks like one, eh?) churns thickened syrup for smooth creamy maple butter.

Saps contains 2% sugar,  After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it's at 16%.

Saps contains 2% sugar, After processing through this Reverse Osmosis System it’s at 16%.

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Holding tank on the second floor for the 16% concentrate … will flow down to the evaporator

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

Evaporator on the left side uses steam coils to boil down the sap to 66.5 degrees Brix*

This filtering system removes the impurities

This filtering system removes the impurities

Dinner on Saturday night included Tangy Maple Meatballs – a recipe that Suzanne shared with us.

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Tangy Maple Meatballs (Recipe below)

Robinson Maple Products
84548 St. Augustine Line
Auburn, ON  N0M 1E0
Phone:  519-527-7857
www.robinsonmaple.com

SUZANNE’S TANGY MAPLE MEATBALLS

Meatballs
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 egg
2 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350.  Combined above ingredients and form into 1 1/2″ balls.  Please in 8″ square pan, bake for 20 minutes.

Sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 c water

Combine cornstarch, mustard and salt in small saucepan.  Gradually stir in vinegar, maple syrup and water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Drain fat from the meatballs, pour sauce over meatballs.  Bake 20 minutes.

 

A DIFFERENT WAY OF COLLECTION
While the Robinson’s operation is automated – sap is suctioned via vacuum on those blue plastic lines strung through the bush the local Amish were tapping trees along the roadside and rather than the traditional pails (shown in last year’s story HERE), they’re using Wine Skins as shown in the photo below.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

Amish in the area are using WineSkins for sap collection.

 

*Degrees Brix (symbol °Bx) is the sugar content of an aqueous solution.  One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution  and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by weight (% w/w). If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content.

Winterlicious Getaway at Brentwood – Part 2

24 Mar Entrance to Brentwood
Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Peter & Joan with Sof & Olga (seated) (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

by Diva Trista Russell

Earlier this month I wrote about my overnight stay at Brentwood on the Beach, and I promised another post with some stories about the interesting guests I met. Well here it is!

Betty & Pat: These two ladies were from the Harriston area, and I had a chance to chat with them during dinner on the Sunday night. They found Brentwood online, saw pictures of fellow quilters on the website that they knew, and decided to make a reservation! These two lovely ladies enjoyed manicures, pedicures, and massages during their stay. Their praise for Brentwood was recently posted on Brentwood’s Facebook page: “What a great winter getaway we had at Brentwood. The Winterlicious dinner was awesome and the brunch the next morning was wonderful. It was so relaxing and soothing to be pampered and cared for by your staff. We had a lovely time and will certainly be back again.”

Guests relaxing

Guests relaxing

Gwen & Don: This couple was from Stratford and I sat down to talk with them during brunch. This active couple loves to run and won a stay at Brentwood as door prize from the Pinery Provincial Park Road Race.

Andy & Michelle: From the Kitchener-Waterloo area, this couple enjoys outdoor activities and were excited to head to the Pinery Park to do some cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

 

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Gwen looking out at Lake Huron

Anthony & Daphne: Anthony is Brentwood’s computer expert and he and his family lives in London. After they were married, they spent their honeymoon at Brentwood!

Sof & Olga: This has to be one of the craziest stories! This couple from Toronto were repeat Brentwood guests. Sof said he booked the Winterlicious getaway after he saw the picture of the Rouladen dinner on Brentwood’s newsletter. Before their stay, they decided to spend some time cross-border shopping. On their way back from Michigan, their truck broke down in Michigan. After a 1.5 hour wait, they were towed to the border, but the driver had no passport so they were left at the border. Another tow truck driver arrived almost an hour later to tow them. After a long and stressful afternoon, you would expect they would have headed home and cancelled their stay. Instead, this couple was focused on heading to Brentwood! The tow truck driver towed them over the boarder to St. Joesph’s, where they arrived after dark when dinner was just finishing. When Peter and Joan heard about this, they invited the tow truck driver in for dinner. While it was a bit later then they would have liked, Sof and Olga enjoyed some dinner and some Brentwood hospitality. Such dedicated guests!

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood's FB page)

Joan feeding the tow truck driver (Photo courtesy of Brentwood’s FB page)

Entrance to Brentwood

Entrance to Brentwood

Winterlicious at the Black Dog in Bayfield

5 Mar

By Travel Diva Jenna Ujiye

BlackDogWinterlicious10

Before I tell you about my most recent Winterlicious I wanted to make sure that you all know that there are only 4 days left to try out these amazing 3 course meals for $29.00. To find menus and information visit: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Last Friday I headed out to the Black Dog Pub in Bayfield to try out their Winterlicious menu. My three friends Ang, Nisa and Nat joined me and it turned out to be a wonderful evening! I was the only person to order the specific Winterlicious meal and it was yummy!

One of the great things about this facility is the bar offereings, many choices in liquors, beers and wines. Now there was a confusion with the first course, I read the cheddar and ale portion of the menu and thought it was soup. Well I think I need a lesson in reading, cause the first course was actually Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread. So it turned out to be cheese and bread. The cheese was very strong and had a unique flavor and the olive bread was nice.

Cheese and Bread

Traditional Potted Cheddar with Mill Street Organic Tankhouse Ale and Toasted Olive Bread

Best Beet Salad

Best Beet Salad

Village Salad

Village Salad

Nat ordered the village salad and Ang got the beet salad, both of which I have had and I must say that the beet salad is one of my favourite courses at the Black Dog.

The second course that I had was Pan-Seared Metzger Smoked Pork Chop with Herbed Stuffing, Mustard-Cider Cream, Braised Red Cabbage and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes where so creamy and even with all of the food on the plate I wanted more!

Metzger's Pork Chop

Metzger’s Pork Chop

We joked about having favourites and Nat and Ang both got what they normally get. It’s great to try something new, but if you love something it is sometimes what you have to go with. Nat got the curry, which is a favourite of many and Ang got the weth’s mushrooms on toast with brie, which looked super scrumptious. Nisa tried something she had never had before the pasta e verdure, which comes in a lovely cream sauce and has weth’s mushrooms in it as well!

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Weth’s Mushrooms on toast with brie

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

Pasta E Verdure

Pasta E Verdure

For the final course my mouth was exploding with love for the Apple Fritter with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce. My friends Selena and Meighan were both trying out the Winterlicious the same night and both stopped by the table before leaving to pump me up about the Apple Fritter. It really was a treat. Nat and Nisa both got the sticky toffee pudding, we’ve had it before and it is amazing! Overall we had a wonderful evening with superb food!

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Apple Fritters with Vanilla Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

The Black Dog Village Pub and Bistro

5 MAIN STREET N., BAYFIELD ONTARIO – PHONE (519) 565-2326

http://blackdogpubbistro.ca

Eddingtons Winterlicious

1 Mar

By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

The Divas at Eddingtons

The Divas at Eddingtons

This week has been a perfect week to get to a couple more Winterlicious events. On Wednesday five of us divas went for a wonderful meal at Eddingtons in Exeter. Karen, Claire, Christine, Trista and I had a marvelous time!

Trista, Karen and I all decided to go with the Winterlicious menu. Eddingtons had two choices for the starter and main, here is the menu:

Starter – Local atibo white bean and root vegetable chowder. Or Late harvest kale and beet salad. Parmigianino, hardboiled egg, sunflower seeds and sundried cranberry, tossed in a local garlic dressing.

Bean Soup

Bean Soup

Kale and Beet Salad

Kale and Beet Salad

Main – Local Pork shoulder braised in an apple cider vinegar served on a caramelized onion and blue cheese tart accented with a Grand Bend potato and root vegetable medley. Or  Supreme breast of chicken stuffed with fresh herbs, roma tomato and flavorful Italian sausage glazed in a Chianti red wine and shallot reduction. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and market vegetables.

Pork Shoulder

Pork Shoulder

Chicken Supreme

Chicken Supreme

I had the  soup to start and the pork as my main and they were both great. The bean chowder had a nice mild flavor letting the beans and vegetables show their true flavours. The pork was super succulent and tender.

Claire and Christine both decided to get their courses off of the menu. Christine started with the Thai Chicken Salad and Claire had the martini scallops, both starters looked yummy! They both got the gourmet macaroni and cheese, and my the silence at the table you could tell they liked it!

Thai Chicken Salad

Thai Chicken Salad

Martini Scallops

Martini Scallops

To end the meal Karen Trista and  I had Sticky toffee pudding cake with a coastal coffee caramel sauce, Christine had and apple dessert and Claire had the flourless chocolate cake… Wow, it was amazing!

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

Sticky Toffee Cake

The Taste of Huron Winterlicious dining program is running until March 9 at various restaurant around Ontario’s West Coast, if you want more information, visit here: www.tasteofhuron.ca

Eddingtons of Exeter:

Address: 527 Main St S, Exeter, ON N0M 1S1

Phone:(519) 235-3030

Website: http://www.eddingtons.ca/

Cabin Fever? Get Outside!

18 Feb

 

Heidi Martin from Outside Projects leads us on a snowshoeing adventure!

Heidi Martin from Outside Projects leads us on a snowshoeing adventure!

by Diva Trista Russell

A long time ago I tried snowshoeing during a class trip to Quebec. It involved large hefty wooden snowshoes that made you waddle back and forth like a penguin in the snow. Thankfully, when I booked a guided snowshoeing tour during my stay at the Little Inn in Bayfield (more on my Little Inn experience in a later post!), the snowshoes were nothing like I remembered. The were much smaller and made of light weight metal…so no more waddling and tripping over my own feet!

Outside Projects offers guests at the Little Inn an opportunity to book guided snowshoeing tours ($20 per person) including snowshoe rentals ($15 per person). Heidi Martin from Outside Projects led a group of 10 of us “snowshoers” through a 2 kilometre hike on the Sawmill Trail just outside Bayfield. The entrance to this Bayfield River Valley Trail was about 2 kilometres from the Little Inn, just a short drive over the bridge on Bluewater Highway (No. 21) to Old River Road and Sawmill Road. Tyler Hessel from Outside Projects greeted the group at the trail entrance and provided an overview of what to expect and also helped those who needed some assistance (yes, that would be me) with putting on our new shoes.

Enjoying my new winter shoes!

Enjoying my new winter shoes!

The trail started with a lookout point donated by private owners where you can overlook Lake Huron. Then we proceeded with a descent down what Tyler called “Heartbreak Hill”, which I realized why it was named so when going back up the never ending hill! There is no doubt that snowshoeing is a great form of winter exercise. The trail is rated as moderate difficulty, but even with the snowshoes on, I never felt wobbly or unsure on my feet. As long as you walk sure-footed, snowshoes are very safe and an easy way to walk in the snow.

The tour lasted a little over an hour and was very peaceful as we hiked through the clearly marked trail along the Bayfield River. There were interpretive signs throughout about local plants (such as ferns) and animals (such as wild turkeys). Bridges and benches also lined the trail, and Heidi said that about 1,200 volunteer hours were involved in constructing this specific trail, which was opened in 2009. The Sawmill Trail was made available with the permission of various landowners, so it was great to see the results of a community coming together to make this trail happen. Snowshoeing was more fun than I expected, and I would definitely do this again!

Sawmill Trail leads to the Bayfield River, where you can see the remnants of the old mill dam and bridge at the river's edge.

Sawmill Trail leads to the Bayfield River, where you can see the remnants of the old mill dam and bridge at the river’s edge.

IMG_4538

Embrace Winter, Escape to a Country Cabin

3 Feb
Cabin in the woods offers a great escape all year round …

Cabin in the woods offers a great escape all year round …

Winter-time in Huron County can be brutally cold and stormy or the sun can shine through and make for a spectacular canvas.    But whatever the weather, nothing is more comforting than a roaring fire in the wood stove and a rustic cabin retreat. The A-Frame Cottage on Currie Line just outside of Blyth contains a full kitchen, 3-piece bathroom, 2 bedrooms, satellite television, a wood stove, a barbeque and a fire-pit. Linens are provided. To really enjoy winter, get the whole family involved!  This cottage sleeps six and there are plenty of options to suit all ages and fitness levels.   The snowmobiling trail is just 1/4 mile away; hiking, snow-shoeing or skiing trails meet the property line, and – if all else fails – enjoy a friendly snowball fight! Then after-dark curl up by the wood-stove with some of your favourite family games or a good book.

A-Frame Cottage
83248 Currie Line
Blyth, Ontario  N0M 1H0
519-441-1475
wharton1475@icloud.com
www.cottagesincanada.com/aframecottageblyth

spectacular scenery to enjoy at this time of year.

spectacular scenery to enjoy at this time of year.

Comfortable spaces to curl up in!

Comfortable spaces to curl up in!

Sleeps Six:  two regular beds in separate rooms in the loft area, and a queen size pull-out in the Living room.

Sleeps Six: two regular beds in separate rooms in the loft area, and a queen size pull-out in the Living room.

“No. No no no. Never….”

28 Dec

IMG-20131219-00893by Diva Sophie Jefferson

“YES. HARD. HURRY HARD. OFF OFF OFFFF!”

This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but there are skips (captain) who yell a lot… and sweepers that aren’t that good of listeners!  When the sweeping occurs is very important-reducing the friction on the ice not only maintains the speed of a rock, but it can also maintain its current trajectory.

I started curling more than my hair this year.  Most of the time, I curl in Guelph (where I work during the week), but this week I also played as a spare in the Belgrave league at the Wingham Golf and Curling Club.  Curling is a great indoor winter sport – a little bit of exercise and a lot of socializing.  Tradition also states that the winners buy the losers a drink, so in my opinion, there are no losers!

the curling stone … sometimes called the "rock"

the curling stone … sometimes called the “rock”

The Maitland Country Club hosted a couple of opportunities to try out curling over the holidays!  It was a great time with family and friends to get some fresh air and exercise in between all the devouring of food!!

It you get a chance – you should try it too!

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