Welcome dear friends, to another epsisode of Weekend Coffee Share or If we were having coffee… hosted by the lovely Emily over at Nerd in the Brain. To join in on the fun, just click on the box above which will bring you to her site and the linkup!
If we were having coffee, cappuccino, lattè, tea or whatever your heart desires (we are quite accommodating over here at Casa Rogerson/MacIsaac) I would say, please do come in, make yourself comfortable and let’s get our chat on!
I would tell you my week started with a nice visit from Tonia who managed to get a weekend away from basic training (she started week 1o this week!) Kudos to this woman who joined the military at age 50 and is whupping a lot of 20-somethings’ butts!! Thank goodness for Facebook and me seeing her post Saturday night that she was waiting for one of her friends at the Starbucks – a whole two minutes from my house! I, of course, messaged her and made arrangements to pick her up the next morning. It was wonderful hearing about all her exploits of running with a bazillion pounds on her back and being considered one of the Bad Asses of Training!
I would tell you that following my coffee with Tonia, my friend Martin picked me up so we could join a bunch of his friends to partake in a fabulous Quebec tradition called the Sugar Shack or rather, Cabane à sucre, en français. Yes, I know they do something sorta similar in Vermont and such but over here, it is a feast. Not for the lettuce crowd is all I can say… Over here, you get to sample the down-to-earth true Québécois fare. Stick-to-your-gut eats made for the working man (and woman, of course!) This is a traditional spring-time affair. It’s time to celebrate when the sap from our sugar maples is flowing and maple syrup becomes the nectar of the gods (at least to us!)
The feast is basically the same, no matter which Shack you go to. It is a very traditional meal. Of course there are places like Le Pied de Cochon that are out-of-this-world-crazy and zero anything to do with tradition. The waiting list is ridiculous to get in, and yes, one day I will try it! But even there, the seating is always the same. Long tables that you share with other groups or families. Rustic decor – if there are no wooden seats, bare beams, wood walls… hightail it outta there! It’s not authentic! You do not want some place that is all shiny and white and pristine. Oh, and expect mud. Lots of mud outside. These place are always set deep in the woods to be close to their trees and definitely do not include asphalt.
That said, there is nothing like having the standards. We went to the Érablière Charbonneu, listed in the top five. Do click on the link. I stupidly didn’t take any pictures of the food. D’oh!
Side view of the Cabane
Cute hanging lamps
Cool bottle of maple syrup
My grandmother had chairs like this
They all start off with pickled beets and pickles (either sweet or salty) and coleslaw, cretons (a fatty, delicious pork spread) with hot bread, followed by delicious pea soup. Then comes the smorgasbord of stuff: fluffy plain omelette, ham (regular and/or smoked), sausages cooked in maple syrup, bacon, “oreilles de crisse” (deep-fried pork jowels), bacon, baked beans, meat pie, ragoût de boulettes (pork meatballs in brown gravy), roasted potatoes. And all served with the Cabane’s own maple syrup – poured liberally over whatever one likes. All very, ahem, “light” and “low-calorie” fare. NOT! This is obviously a once-per-year treat… or in my case, it had been over ten years since my last visit.
Now, that said, the BEST part – the reason Sugar Shacks came into existence, in the first place, was to boil down the sugar water until it becomes syrup. Boil it down further and it becomes super thick… pour it onto snow and it hardens and becomes taffy. Oh man… slurp! Most Cabanes will have their taffy station set up outside with a roof to protect the pourers from the elements. In this case, the taffy was in a separate little shack complete with fireplace. Lucky for the employees! I took a photo of my stick but didn’t realise it was totally out of focus… Must be a result of the overeating that you always promise yourself you will NOT do but cannot help yourself…
Pour the syrup
Monday’s coffee with Andrea turned into breakfast as neither one of us had eaten. That was a nice treat! We have determined that we are due for a girls’ get outta town something like a spa or a visit to Quebec City just for the day or whatever. That will definitely be something we’ll be planning.
Tuesday I had to go visit the accountant. Thank goodness for Raffi, my accountant. For years I used to do my own taxes. Then Mick started his company and things got too complicated for moi. So, thanks to Armen (Mick’s business partner), he was introduced to Raffi. And since he was doing Mick’s taxes, it was nothing to add mine. Now the company is finally closed though there are still a few issues to iron out. It is so long and complicated to close a company after death and I’m still getting invoices to pay taxes and stuff for Mick. More than two years later! Hopefully this is the last year to deal with this…
Wednesday and Thursday I worked at the golf club. The banquets themselves went really well but I swear, I feel like a part-time mover sometimes! We had to reorganise the room on Wednesday evening for Thursday’s event and then on Thursday, after the event, we had to move all the tables and chairs to line against the walls in the restaurant and all onto the dance floor in the banquet room. Somehow I found the energy to make not one but two chicken thigh meals – oops… forgot to take pictures to torment you with 😉 Needless to say, I deserved a nice, hot bath by Wednesday evening… A massage would have been nice but, alas…
Yesterday I managed to do all my laundry and vacuum the upper floor… the rest of the day, I must admit I pretty much faffed: read Friday Fictioneer submissions and comments to my own story, chatted on-line with friends, watched some boob tube… and then… oy! Besides, it was eldest’s 19th birthday party and he was expecting friends. Why the hell should I bother cleaning the floor BEFORE they come in? I escaped the house and caught the 10:10 viewing of Beauty and the Beast. Needless to say, I have a variety of tunes totally stuck in my head since… I figured if I caught the later showing, the party would have moved on to another venue by the time I got home.
It was in full swing at 12:30 a.m. And. I came home to THIS.
Needless to say, I am not pleased. I admit I may have snarled at him, grabbed myself a beer and gone up to my room, slamming the door (yes, I know, totally childish, but I figured it was better than taking a swing at him… 😉 ) to watch an episode of something on Netflix on my iPad…
After the quiet returned to my house, I’d say about 2:45 am or so, I also turned off my light and was asleep by 3-ish. Up and at ’em today as I had an appointment to have my hair dyed and cut. This short hair business is more work than when it’s long!! Not bothering to share a photo. First because, it’s basically the same thing, maybe a tad shorter than last time and second, because the picture I took, looks like shite!
I shan’t be playing with you next week as I shall be toasting my buns in the sun in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! I’ll tell all a ya’all about it the following week! Now, they said my passport would be delivered by Monday…. I am leaving on Wednesday….
Omigosh! I have just realised it is April 1st! Somehow I have to find a way to write as I’m participating in Camp Na No! Oh Lordy…
I think I’ve kept you more than long enough, eh? Time to turn the keyboard over to you! Do tell me, how have you been?
Have a marvellous week and we’ll see ya soon!