Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Hidden Gem: Friends United Gallery in Richmond County, Nova Scotia

Friends United Culture Centre’s Gallery is a hidden gem in the landscape of Richmond County, Nova Scotia. This gallery is nothing like you will find anywhere else in Cape Breton, maybe not even in the rest of Nova Scotia, maybe not even in any of the Maritime Provinces. This gallery is state of the art, housing the incredible artwork of our first nations artists.
Friends United came about because of one man’s insight and dream of bring the art work of our indigenous people to the world. Giving the First Nation’s amazing artists a platform to present their work. German born, Rolf Bouman, immigrated from Germany to Canada in 1986, in his opinion the first nations people were impoverished and underappreciated. He also felt that there was still a prejudice attitude towards first nations people, which cause hard feelings between the first nations and the rest of North Americans. So he set out to work towards correcting this, and giving these talented artists a place on the world stage, drawing attention to their art work and culture.
After many years of determined work and efforts, he secured long term funding to establish the Friends United Initiative in 2009. Through this initiative First Nations artists have been able to present their works to the world and gain well deserved exposure and recognition. This has enabled them to become ambassadors for their people and role models in their communities. Many have become very successful entrepreneurs through the business education programs and funding that they have received through the Friends United Initiative.
Rolf Bouman and Friends United desire to see the elimination of misconceptions and prejudice towards the First Nations people and to promote equality, and respect among all people, cultures and races, by sharing the spiritual and deeply meaningful stories of the artists displayed through their work.
But don’t take my word for this, come to the Friends United Gallery located in Richmond County and view the amazing display of art work, created by some of the most talented artists in Nova Scotia and Canada. Let the work touch your soul and gain a whole new appreciation and insight into the art of our First Nations Peoples.
The directions to the Friends United Cultural Centre, from St. Peter’s is take route 4 through River Bourgeois and on to Grand Anse and continue until you see a sign for Holgers Lane, turn left onto Holgers Lane and the Centre will be on your right. This hidden jewel of Richmond County is the glimmering light that shines on our native culture, and needs to be shared with the world.

Friday, 23 August 2019

One of our Best Traditional Desserts of Summer - Blue Berry Grunt

If you asked by husband what was one of Nova Scotia's best summer time desserts he would say  Blueberry Grunt. Coming from Blue Berry territory in Cumberland County, I wouldn't expect him to say anything else. Growing up with the blue berry fields in your back yard, blue berries were an easy and delicious choice of berry to use in desserts. Here in Cape Breton, we would go out as children and pick a large dish full of blue berries. One of the kids in the area, always knew where the best blue berry field were. So this gave us something to do and got us out of the house, so our mothers could do their house work. I would say Cape Breton Blue Berries were just as good and those on the mainland of Nova Scotia. But that is just me!

For this dessert you will use the following items.
1 quart blueberries or 4 cups of berries. (We are lucky in our area, to be able to buy local grown berries from a farm in Grand River.)
1/2 cup sugar ( if you like your dessert a little sweeter, you can add up to a cup of sugar)
1 teaspoon lemon juice. 

1/2 cup water.

 In a pot put berries, sugar, lemon juice and water, cover and boil gently until there is plenty of juice.

2 cups of flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar ( you can use up to 2 tablespoons depending on the sweetness you like)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon shortening
Sift dry ingredients ( flour, baking powder, salt and sugar) in a bowl. Cut in the butter and the shortening and add enough milk to make a soft biscuit dough. Drop a spoon full of dough onto the hot blueberries in the pot until you have covered the blueberries. Cover pot tightly and do not check it for 15 minutes. Serve hot in a bowl or on a dessert plate. I like to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Eat and enjoy. You can try mainland berries and Cape Breton berries and see which you like the best. Either one will be delicious.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

My Favorite Dessert Home Made Butter Scotch Pie

Butter Scotch Pie
1 cup packed light brown sugar...
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

Over Medium heat, combine brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. Make sure to watch closely.
Whisk in egg yolks; continue to cook and stir until filling is thickened.
While pudding mixture is cooking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Remove filling from heat, and stir in butter and vanilla.
Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Bake in preheated oven until top begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Served with a serving of fresh whipped cream, then sit back and enjoy 

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Harbour Wars Come to Richmond County

Fishermen Compete to Claim the Title of Best Fishing Harbour.
Harbour Wars- Challenge of the Fishermen- August 24, 2019 :

Do you enjoy eating delicious fresh fish? Have you ever wondered what skills it takes to be a great fisherman? For the answers to these questions make sure to come to the Richmond County’s newest event, “Harbour Wars”, held on August 24th, from 10am to 6pm, at Little Harbour in L’Ardoise, Cape Breton.

This exciting new one-day family event will feature a friendly skills competition among Richmond County fishermen and women. This event was established as a fundraiser, in hopes of raising money for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation Cancer Patient Care Fund. Fishermen have been invited from around the county to raise to the challenge of proving their fishing area has the most skilled fishermen and best harbour. Come to Little Harbour and see how the competition unfolds and who will be hailed the top team in Richmond, taking home $1000 and bragging rights as the top fishing harbour in Richmond County.

The Harbour Wars competitions are the crown jewels of the event. Be prepared to witness some great battles. The event has five competitions for which the competing teams of four will receive points for their performance, in each meet. At the end of the day, the points will be tallied and the team with the most points will be declared the winner.

Gather your team and get set to take part in the Cod Fish Shuffle, a filleting competition,

an old fashioned dory race, an obstacle course jammed with all things nautical with lots of challenges along the way, will see teams race to complete the obstacle course in the fastest time, and finally a fishermen’s Tug of War. Which team will have the skill and endurance to complete all these challenges and obtain the most points, and win the sought after title of “Best Fishing Harbour” in Richmond County for 2019.

In addition to the skills competition, there will be a silent auction, a 50/50 draw, and amazing entertainment. There will also be a beer tent, and for those who love seafood, a concession stand featuring fresh local seafood and hotdogs for the kids will be on site. There will also be Harbour Wars Logo T-shirts and hats for sale.

This is a great fundraiser for a very worthy cause, so make sure to come out cheer on these hard working and highly skilled fishers of the sea, and join in the fun of summer in L’Ardoise on August 24.


Friday, 28 June 2019

The Canal Landing offers Rentals and Tours for Summer 2019

The Canal Landing is new this summer to Richmond County on the beautiful island of Cape Breton. In conjunction with the 150 Anniversary Celebrations for the National Historic Site, the St. Peter's Canal.
Looking for something different while travelling around the island, check out these events scheduled to take place at the Canal in St. Peter's.  
The Canal Landing in St. Peter’s- Hours 9am to 8pm.
Stop in at the St. Peter’s Visitor Centre at 10259 Grenville Street, St. Peter’s (Sydney side of St. Peter’s Canal Bridge across from the Natural Resource Office, to get more information and a schedule of events for this event and all other events taking place throughout the summer.
10am – 1pm: - Sweet Grass Excursion – Cost $40.00 per person. Tours run Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If you are interested in hiking, history and learning about nature, please join us on our Sweet Grass Excursion. We will begin with a moderate hike through the trails, will visit historic landmarks and will learn how the Mi'kmaw people harvest Sweet Grass. TO BOOK, PLEASE CONTACT US.
10am – 1pm: - Traditional Medicine Demonstration Cost $40.00 per person. Tours run Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Mi'kmaw people have used traditional medicine for thousands of years.  We will show you a variety of different plants and what they are useful for.  You may even have some growing in your backyard. TO BOOK NOW, PLEASE CONTACT US.
By appointment -Kayak Tours
We have a varying array of kayaks. Here at our site, we are unique in that you may access the ocean, or the lake. We are equipped with the right kind of equipment to ensure that we can accommodate the journey you choose. TO BOOK, PLEASE CONTACT US. 
Call 902-631-5850 to book your tours.
The Canal Landing will be offering Rentals for Kayaks, Peddle boats, Eclipse Board and Bikes during the summer. Below you will find the price list for the rentals.
Kayak Rental: Last Rental for the day is at 6pm.
Hour - $20
1/2 Day - $40
Full Day - $80
Double Kayak Rental:
Hour - $25
1/2 Day - $50
Full Day - $100
Pedal Boat Rental:
Hour - $20
1/2 Day - $40
Full Day - $80
Pedal Board Rental:
Hour - $20
1/2 Day - $40
Full Day - $80
Bike Rental:
Hour - $15
1/2 Day - $25
Full Day - $40

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

KitchenFest to Coinside With Lobsterfest For a Double Dose of Fun!!!

Yes folks, St. Peter's is in for a double dose of Fun and celebrating this year as KitchenFest and Lobsterfest dates coincide, which can only mean "you have to be here". Double the food, double the entertainment and double the fun, make sure to plan your vacation around these dates. KitchenFest will run from June 30 to July 7 and Lobsterfest runs from July 2 to July 7. Can't get much better than this folks, check out some of the photos of some of the entertainers and events which will be taking place above.
For a full list of scheduled events, stop in at the St. Peter's Visitor Information Centre at 10259 Grenville St., across from the Natural Resource Building. If you are approaching the Village of St. Peter's continue across the St. Peter's Canal Bridge to our Visitor Centre on the Lake or if you are coming in from the east along #4 we will be found on your right.
We have all kinds of great events planned for the summer,  so stop in and get the list of festivals, entertainment and community meals and outdoor activities. We also have a full variety of your travel needs such as maps, and Provincial and Regional N.S. guides as well as guides for New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.
We look forward to welcoming you to Richmond County on the Southern Coast of Cape Breton

The Seaside Lobsterfest Is Almost Here, Come Check Out The FUN!!!

Image result for Lobesterfest in St. Peter's C.B.

The count down is on for this years Seaside Lobsterfest, only 13 days until the start of the festivities. But event before we start the celebrating, the organizers of Lobsterfest are asking all residents and businesses to assist them with Paint the Town Red in conjunction with this year’s festival. Join in the fun, get the kids to help, let your imagination go wild and let’s show visitors coming to our area that there is something big happening right here in the historic village of St. Peter’s.
In the spirit of the festival and to highlight our beautiful seaside village, organizers are asking that residents and businesses decorate their homes and store fronts using Red as their color, with a preference highlighting a nautical theme. To ensure your property is included in the judging, please post your civic address in the comment section of the Lobsterfest Facebook page and feel free to post pictures of your completed project.
Prizes will be awarded to the best-decorated in each division at the Marina, during our Grand Opening, on July 3rd, at the Marina. Displays should be up by June 28th, at the latest, and they are asking that you leave your decorations up throughout the summer to help promote our village until the next festival.
Check out some of the events happening during Lobsterfest, listed below. A full list of events which run from July 2 to July 7, can be found on the Lobsterfest program on line or pick one up at the St. Peter’s Visitor Information Centre, at 10259 Grenville St, St. Peter's.
After the decorating is all done, come out and take in some of the fun filled events. If you enjoy Lobster, you are in for a treat One of the event to mark on your list is the Lobster Crawl starting on June 2 at 6pm, check out the Lobsterfest schedule on Facebook for dates, times and locations. Enjoy signature cocktails and lobster dishes at each of the participating venues:  Bras D'Or Lakes Inn, Louie's Cosy Corner, Jiggs, MacBouch Restaurant and Lounge.  Let your voice be heard,vote on Facebook for best cocktail and lobster dish.  Winners will be announced on Sunday at 3 pm at the canal.

On July 3 as part of Lobsterfest make sure to take in the opening celebrations, come see what the organizers have in store, and take in the Mixed Media Paint Night, hosted by Seaside LobsterFest and Kiss Me Arts - A Cape Breton Gallery. Come and join the Kiss Me Arts gang for a mixed media paint night from 6 to 9 pm.  The cost for this colourful event is $28.75, which includes hst and all materials are provided.  Please pre-register at the gallery at 14 Toulouse Street, or email or buy an advance ticket through eventbrite.

On Saturday, July 6, from 12pm to 4pm, come and drop by the St. Peter's Canal to see the car show.  Free admission.  All entries welcome.  Trophies for "Best Paint Job", "Oldest Car", "Furthest Travel to Attend", "People's Choice". To register arrive by 11:30.

Dine in style on Sunday, July 7, at the Seaside LobsterFest Dinner on the Canal, from 5pm to 7pm. Come celebrate LobsterFest and the 150th anniversary of the St. Peters Canal. Fine dining on the banks of the St Peter’ Canal, a National Historic Site, what could be more enjoyable.  Enjoy a Full course lobster dinner, including your appetizer of Homemade Buttermilk Biscuit. Honey Butter (See Bee Honey, Grand Greve) Fresh Nova Scotia Mussels, sauteed in Jost Chardonnay (Malagawash). Shallots and Garlic.
Entree:1 1/4 lb lobster from Little Harbour, Melted Butter, Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, and Coleslaw.
Dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake, Homemade Cheesecake with Pictou Strawberries, Rhubarb from our back yard, & Scottish Shortbread Crust
Entertainment: by Leona Burkey. Cash bar available. Advance tickets required.  $50.00. Available online.
This is a festival you will definitely want to attend, there is lobster dinner, lobster boat tours, music and laughter and much, much, more, all rolled into one amazing festival, so come to St. Peter's and join in the fun.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

2019 Schedule for the Seaside Lobsterfest Announced. If You Love Lobster Come to St. Peter's

2019 Seaside Lobsterfest Schedule. Come to St. Peter's and enjoy one of your favorite Atlantic products, Lobster. From drawing in the catch to sampling some amazing lobster dishes.

Monday, 11 March 2019

St. Patrick's Day is quickly approaching, and I love listening to Irish music. Being of Irish descent I grew up listening to the Irish Rovers, Tommy Mekem and the Clancy Brothers and always wore green on St. Paddy's Day. But one of my favorite things about this Irish celebration was the food. So I would like to share some of the recipes that were cooked in my home here in Cape Breton. I hope you enjoy them. And Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.


READY IN: 25mins

YIELD: 16 potato cakes




1 lb boiling potato, peeled

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 eggs, beaten

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

2 tablespoons flour

2 -4 tablespoons unsalted butter


Line a large bowl with a piece of muslin or cheesecloth, or a clean linen towel.

Using the large holes of a box grater, grate the potatoes into the bowl.

Squeeze the cloth to extract as much of the starchy liquid as possible.

Discard the starchy liquid, return the potatoes to the bowl, and stir in the onion, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add the flour and mix well.

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.

Drop the potato mixture, 1 tablespoonful at a time, into the skillet; do not crowd the pan.

Flatten each cake with a spatula and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and crisp.

Bangers and Mash With Onion Gravy



2 lbs pork sausage, of good quality

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

2 lbs potatoes (start mash)

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)

1⁄4 teaspoon ground pepper, to taste

1⁄3 cup milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter (now gravy)

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 red onions, halved and finely sliced

1 1⁄2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 cup red wine, full-bodied, such as Shiraz

1 cup beef stock

1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt, to taste

1⁄4 teaspoon ground pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400.

Place sausages in a roasting pan, drizzle with sunflower oil and toss to coat.

Spread sausages out in single layer and bake, turning after 15 minutes, until evenly colored, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the mash: Peel potatoes and cut into large chunks. Place in saucepan with water to cover, salt water and bring to boil over medium heat.

Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes.

Drain, cover with a kitchen towel and let stand until dry, about 5 minutes.

In same pan over medium-high heat, combine milk and butter and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Place potatoes in a bowl and mash. Add milk mixture and beat until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make gravy, in a wide shallow saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add onions and cook, until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until lightly colored, 2-3 minutes. Stir in vinegar and cook until evaporated. Stir in red wine and stock, increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until a rich sauce forms, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve and enjoy.

Colcannon Irish Potatoes

In the following colcannon recipe, we mix the mashed potatoes in with chopped cooked spinach, green onions, milk or cream, and lots of butter. Colcannon

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutesYield: Serves 4 as a side dish

For a variation, sub out half of the potatoes with parsnips. Can add chives, leeks, or bacon too.


4 russet potatoes (2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into large chunks


5 to 6 Tbsp unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)

3 lightly packed cups of chopped spinach, cabbage, chard, or other leafy green

3 green onions (including the green onion greens), minced (about 1/2 cup)

1 cup milk or cream


1 Boil the potatoes: Put the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, and bring to a boil.

Boil until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain in a colander.

2 Cook the greens and the green onions with butter: Return the pot to the stove and set over medium-high heat. Melt the butter in the pot and once it's hot, add the greens.

Cook the greens for 3-4 minutes, or until they are wilted and have given off some of their water.

Add the green onions and cook 1 minute more.

3 Mash the potatoes with milk or cream and greens: Pour in the milk or cream, mix well, and add the potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium.

Use a fork or potato masher and mash the potatoes, mixing them up with the greens.

Add salt to taste and serve hot, with a knob of butter in the center.

Irish Stew

3 pounds lamb shoulder cut in 2-inch chunks (or use thick shoulder chops)

Salt and pepper

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 pounds onions (about 6 medium), cut in wedges

1 pound carrots (about 6 medium), cut in 3-inch lengths

4 cups chicken, veal or beef broth (or water)

1 large sprig thyme

3 pounds russet potatoes (about 12 small), peeled and halved, or cut in 2-inch thick slices

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Pat lamb dry and season well with salt and pepper. Put oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat on all sides, working in batches.

Set meat aside and add onions and carrots to pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook vegetables, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Return meat to pot, add broth and bring to a simmer. Put in thyme sprig and arrange potatoes on top (it’s fine if potatoes are not completely submerged). Season potatoes, cover pot and transfer to oven.

Bake for about 1 hour, until lamb is quite tender when probed with a skewer or paring knife. Remove fat from top of broth. Ladle stew into shallow bowls and serve.

Traditional Corn Beef & Cabbage


3 Pounds Corned Beef Brisket with spice package

Water to cover beef

2 Tbs. Old Bay Seasoning

3 Cloves Garlic crushed

1 Tbs. Mustard Seeds

2 Bay Leaves Whole

2 Tbs. Black Peppercorns whole

2 Tbs. Vinegar

1 Cup Onions

1-1/2 Pounds Potatoes

6 Large Carrots cut into 2inch pieces

1 Large Head of Cabbage cut in wedges


Cover the brisket with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to simmer. Skim off any foam.

Add all of the spices and vinegar and simmer until tender. About 50 minutes per pound. Remove the brisket when tender and keep warm.

Reduce the broth and add onions, carrots and potatoes and cook until tender.

Add the cabbage wedges the last 15 minutes and cook until just tender. Do not overcook.

Put the brisket back in and heat through.

Slice the brisket against the grain.