Friday, November 21, 2014

Foodie Friday- Strawberry Shortcake, Biscuit Style

Strawberry Shortcake, Biscuit Style
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 stick very cold butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups cleaned, sweetened, partially crushed strawberries
  • Whipped cream topping
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cream of tartar, soda, salt, nutmeg. Cut the butter into slices and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until a coarse meal forms. In a medium bowl, combine the cream, milk, orange zest and vanilla and add all at once to the flour mixture. Combine quickly, forming a stiff dough; don't over work it.
  2. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 6 parts. Flour your hands and quickly form the portions into 3 inch circles 3/4 inch thick. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are a light golden brown. To serve, place in a shallow bowl or deep plate and top with the sweetened berries. Dollop on the whipped cream topping. 
Kelsey Conway 
Backus-Page House Museum 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Remembrance Day 2014

World War Wednesdays: Remembrance Day 2014
     Remembrance Day is and always has been the most significant day of the year for me. Even as a child, I would put more thought into the time leading up to that day than I did my own birthday. I was that kid who glared at the rambunctious boys giggling during the moment of silence. In grade five I was chosen to co-host the annual assembly at Dutton-Dunwich Public School, and I considered that to be the highlight of my career.
     Now that I am almost twenty years old, very little has changed since then. One of the main reasons I came to university in Ottawa was to be a part of the  national ceremony at the War Memorial, not to mention the year-round landmarks and events for war commemoration. It is a great city in many ways, but for studying history it couldn't be better.
     When the first few poppies of the season begin appearing on peoples' coats in November, I always start feeling melancholy. What is already a major part of my life and daily thought becomes prevalent in the minds of most Canadians, and there is a feeling of shared reverence. But that's enough about me, I'll now talk about the day itself.
     This year especially has major significance for Remembrance Day and what it means to remember those who serve to defend us. With the tragic deaths of Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo just weeks prior, the feelings of sadness were magnified in Ottawa and the rest of Canada leading up to November 11th. The times were so uncertain, but it did not stop hundreds of people, myself included, from pouring into Ottawa's downtown core to be at the national Remembrance Day ceremony.
An OC Transpo bus the morning of the 11th with a special sign
     During my first time being at the ceremony last year, I was taken aback when I looked up and saw several snipers stationed on the roofs of the big office buildings downtown. This year, they were to be expected again, but for some reason seeing them that day added an additional sense of unrest and served as a reminder of what the area looked like on the day of the shooting.
     Before I discuss the ceremony itself, I must slightly digress onto the topic of Remembrance Day etiquette (it would not be Remembrance Day if I did not). There are two very simple things that I wish people would know about attending a ceremony and keep in mind when they do. The first, and most crucial, is that REMEMBRANCE DAY IS NOT A CLAPPING EVENT. There will be countless times during the ceremony where one would want to applaud a moving speech or entrance of a dignitary. It is so crucial that this does not happen. For one thing, clapping suggests a congratulatory gesture, one of appreciation. We do it at concerts and sporting events, but Remembrance Day is considerably different. Clapping undermines the solemn tone of a ceremony, making it seem as though it is a performance. It is crucial to remember what is being done during these ceremonies-- one certainly would not clap after a speech delivered during a funeral or when a priest walks into a church. It is of my observation that the majority of people in the crowd do recognize how inappropriate this is, but the few that do not will clap and the gesture will spread. They think that they are doing a grand thing of respect, but it is quite the opposite.
     The other thing which is a terrible mistake is for a man wearing a hat to not remove it during God Save the Queen and O Canada. People of the 'old school' way of thinking will agree when I say that there is nothing more frustrating to witness. If you are going to wear a hat to a ceremony (and this is only applicable to men in this case), then it is very important to remain vigilant and have that hat over your heart or at least off your head when standing and singing for your country among those who fought for it.
     I realize that these ideas may sound incredibly arbitrary and outdated. But, my goodness, if we can't even observe actions of respect on Remembrance Day, then what is there left to do it for?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Cow Bell

Cow Bells

     A cow bell is worn by a freely roaming livestock animal making it easier to locate them should they ever wander off. Although they are typically referred to as "cow bells" because of their extensive use with cattle. Bells as used on a variety of different livestock.
     The bell and clapper are commonly crafted from either iron, brass, bronze or copper and the collar used to hold the bell was mostly crafted from leather. Bells are made in different size and shapes and had different sounds to identify important characteristics of the livestock such as age, gender and species.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foodie Friday- Poppy Seed Cookies

Poppy Seed Cookies
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds 
  • Dash of vanilla

Instructions: Roll in small balls. Put in a greased pan. Press each ball with a fork. Bake in 375F oven for approximately 12 minutes.
Kelsey Conway 
Backus-Page House Museum

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

World War Wednesdays: A Humble Apology

Dear Readers,
       As I write this on the evening of Remembrance Day, I am filled with much emotion and many thoughts, which I have not had the chance to fully process. I feel as though it would not do justice to the occasion for me to attempt to write an entry regarding the day. I hope that you can understand this, that I have no intention of dramatizing or making this a personal issue. I want this to be done right, and for that I just need some more time to reflect. So please, look forward to next week's entry, where I will describe being at the National War Memorial during the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony. In the meantime, I have included a small sample of the photos I was able to take today.
        Thank you for reading and understanding,

Veterans arrive as part of the parade, with the guards in behind
The Memorial, with the trails in the sky from the flyover
The wreath placed by an extremely special guest... more on this next week (along with what the card says)
The Memorial as seen from the tomb of the unknown soldier during the public poppy placing ceremony

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Southwold Memorial Service Nov. 9, 2014

Here are some video and photos I took on Sunday at the Southwold Memorial Service in Shedden at the Keystone Complex.  I attended on behalf of the museum.  Steve Peters spoke about this area's involvement in the War of 1812.  There was a great crowd of people in attendance to honour those who have served.  Lorne Spicer was honored for his service in the military and to this community.  Angela Bobier, Cultural Manager
Southwold Memorial Service 2014  <
Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014 Southwold Memorial Service 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Behind The Scenes Sundays

from Angela Bobier, Cultural Manager

I wanted to make mention of three things we do from Backus-Page House Museum that you might not be aware of.  I call them outreach or community engagement.

On Wednesday, Melanie and I spent part of the day at Beattie Haven Retirement Home in Wardsville.  Approximately 40 people were in attendance for a delicious lunch and a guest speaker (me).  Melanie ran all the technical parts of the Power Point presentation while I talked for about 30 minutes at answered questions from the guests.
What we showed and spoke of was a brief background of the museum, and a slideshow tour of both the house and the barn so people had a taste of what they would experience when they visit in person.  We also took five of our kitchen and pantry artefacts plus the 20th anniversary society timeline of newspaper clippings and pictures as a small display.  Each guest received a small print of the Moorhouse Doll (artist Jenny Phillips), a copy of the doll's story, a membership/donation form, and some information about the museum and society.  Currently we don't have a set fee for talks like these, but a donation to the museum is always appreciated.  Our focus is to encourage in person visits.  Thank you to Beattie Haven for inviting us.

On our way back from Wardsville, we stopped at Bobier Villa in Dutton to take down the displays that Melanie had put up in July.  One featured our year's events and a reuse of last year's Accounts of a Hard Days Work photographs, graphics, and artefacts.  This showed actual prices of items that were purchased from the Wallacetown satellite store, Hockin and Poole in the 1890's.

The second display reused exhibit pieces and introduced a newer artefact for St. Peter's Anglican Church that is located just down the road from our museum and was built in 1827.  We appreciate Bobier Villa letting us fill the two spaces each year as a project for one of our summer student staff and I know they appreciate not having to come up with new ideas themselves.  I hope visitors, residents, and staff enjoy the historical information of the area.

Today my husband, John, along with Tyrconnell Heritage Society President Robert Ellis, Board Member Janice Ellis, and I will be representing the Backus-Page House Museum at Southwold's Remembrance Day Service in Shedden at the Keystone Complex.  I am very much looking forward to hearing Steve Peters' talk about St. Thomas being attacked by the Americans in November of 1814 during the War of 1812.

The committee who organizes this important annual service, contacted me over a year and a half ago for my assistance.  I was happy to help by asking the re-enactor friends and contacts I have made through hosting our past 1812 Events if they would attend.  Kim Lundberg, who re-enacts a First Nations warrior and Roy Winders who re-enacts a Captain of the British Indian Department are placing a wreath in honour of the veterans of the War of 1812.  The Goldsworthy family (who re-enact Americans) and other re-enactors will be attending as well and marching with the veterans.  They will also be staying afterwards to answer questions from the public.  Thank you to the committee for inviting us to participate and thank you to my re-enactor friends for agreeing to attend.  

While you are reading this post, please take a moment to thank all those who have served to protect our rights and freedoms, and those who remained to serve in others way on the home front.

If there is something we can do to assist you or your organization, I'd be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.  A community museum is successful when it contributes to the community as much as the community contributes to it.  Have a wonderful Sunday.