Cherylcan's Blog

Life and Literature

Archive for July, 2011

Berry Picking at lunch

On Route 2, just West of Charlottetown, you will see a Llama ranch on the North side of the highway.  On most days, you can see the llamas grazing. There is also a u-pick strawberry patch on the property.  We’ve gone there for a couple of years.

It is U-pick only. Today we asked to go to the sweetest berry patch. They are almost finished but the ones that are ready are divine! What a lunch … sun and strawberries. It only took 20 minutes with all five of us picking to fill our biggest Tupperware bowl.  I will post a few pictures tonight after work.

I love living on PEI.

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Review of Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue

All for want of a ribbon, beautiful clothes, and an ambition beyond her station, Mary Saunders begins her descent. Even though they are not well off and Mary’s half brother is the pride of her new husband; her mother, adhering to Mary’s dead father’s wishes, allows her to stay in school longer than most of her peers. Dismissing the respectable choices of going into service or being apprenticed to a dressmaker, she dreams bigger and better. The refusal leads to a fight with her mother and a night in the street where she starts making poor choices and lends credence to the title of the book Slammerkin. A slammerkin is a loose dress or a loose woman both of which play prominently in the conclusion.

Mary is a character who has such an independent streak, that you want her to succeed, but she continually sabotages her good fortune. She unable or unwilling to see a real chance at a better life, until she throws it away; she throws a number of chances away. Although she tries, and I want to believe she is good at heart, there really is no way she can allow herself to submit to her station.

I loved this insight into eighteenth century society with its limited roles for women. The characters and their society stay with you long after you finish reading. It is the authenticity of character and voice that moves the story along. I enjoyed the different viewpoints in the Monmouth. It really allowed insight into the confines of society in this period. Everyone trapped by their role, and the punishment to those who tried to move beyond their station or pushed the limits of the law.

Delectable Dining at Café Maplethorpe

Historic Café Maplethorpe, in Bedeque, is offering an amazing deal on Thursday nights in July 2011. If you are seated between 5 and 6 pm you can enjoy their three course meal deal two for the price of one! As if that is not enough they are also offering a special treat for parents with children 3+ by offering up to two hours of supervised complimentary, supervised child care while parents dine. Reservations are required so that adequate staff is available. Call 887-2909 or toll-free 866-770-2909. Thanks to the Island Family Magazine for advertising the deal in its July issue.

The Café was featured in “Where to Eat in Canada 2011′ and won the “Taste Our Island Award”. My husband and I went last night. I love that they offer gluten-free and locally grown food, so I can enjoy their food guilt free. It was a beautiful evening for the 30 minute drive from Charlottetown. I was so excited as my girlfriends and I had been there shortly after it opened and I have wanted to return ever since and could not wait to share this gem with my husband. We were seated quickly and poured over the menu. I cannot believe that they can offer such fare at the prices listed. Check out the menu at http://www.cafemaplethorpe.com

My gluten, cow’s milk and nightshade free diet can be a nightmare to go out to eat. After the usual what do you eat question, our server was extremely accommodating going to the kitchen a few times to ask about items I ordered. My first surprise was the gluten free bread before our appetizers. She even apologized that it was not fresh today! I love that I could have bread with my meal, and it was good, so good. All the appetizers looked good but I chose the spinach, raspberry and goat cheese salad while hubby had the Bacon and Chipotle stuffed mushrooms. Both of us loved our choices. My salad had such fresh pecans and melt in your mouth cheese. He raved about the mushrooms. We had the Pellar Estates Shiraz house wine to compliment our meal. We both went with the steak for the main course. I was able to modify to rice instead of potatoes. The steak was done to perfection with light seasoning but the fresh beets where my favorite part of the main meal. Poor Tim lost his serving too. For dessert I chose the plum pudding which is naturally gluten free without the ice cream. I loved it but not nearly as much as Tim loved the brownie sundae. The warm brownie with ice cream and whipped cream was a real hit. I had a coffee to finish up. There was no rush and we took our time over the meal. I cannot wait to go back.

Neverest rouses Summerside PEI

When my son started gushing about Neverest, I must admit, I had never heard of them. He was absolutely thrilled that they were coming to PEI. Two tickets and a few weeks later we were on our way to the Habourfront Festival in Summerside, PE.

Of course being me, I had to do some research before going to the concert. “We all have our own Mount Everest,” says frontman, Spyros ‘Spee’ Chalkiotis, “and we’re never going to rest until we accomplish the things we want to as a band.” Great message especially when it is your teenager that loves their music. Their first single “About Us” was available for me to watch on YouTube, after that the excitement for the concert was infectious.

Spee, Mike, Paul, and Brendon did not disappoint! They were upbeat and made each member of the audience feel special despite the small crowd, cold wind, and mosquitoes. Real showmen a natural rapport developed between the guys and the audience. Hannah got to go on stage while Spee sang “Everything”. They were reading tweets and answering questions from the audience. My absolute favorite part of the show was when Brendon came up front and the band did their acoustic songs. I did not realize what great vocals he has as well as highlighting his percussion talent.  I would have to say that my son’s favorite part was after the concert when the band came into the field to sign CDs, posters, etc.

Neverest displayed a zest and talent in concert that is not as evident in may more renowned groups whose concerts I have attended. Thanks for a wonderful bonding evening with my son Neverest. I cannot wait to hear more from you!