Random header image... Refresh for more!

Search Results for "deer lake"

Wednesday dinner at Deer Lake

I know I said I’d post the recipe for the salad we ate the night before last, and I promise to get to that soon, but we had such a fun day yesterday, that I’d rather talk about that for now.

It was cloudy and foggy over the lake when I awoke. Then the thunder rolled in and the rain began. The lake house was so cozy and dark, it felt like fall for a moment and I was in heaven. Summer drags on when you live in the desert, so even a few moments of what feels like fall is a complete joy.

Our morning plans to paddle board was put on hold. Kim knows how and Debby and I were eager to learn.

photo credit: Pinterest

Oh, before I go any further, I should mention that I was a bit tentative about being the first person to get up and leave my room. And for good reason, the first night here we saw that we had another resident in the house with us. A mouse. Granted, he was little and even, dare I say, cute. We tried to shoo him out the door with a broom but he wasn’t having any of that. Kim set out a no-kill trap but it didn’t work. We saw him again the next night, Debby set four mousetraps with peanut butter and placed them around the kitchen. So, the first person up was going to have to deal with a dead mouse and I didn’t want that to be me.

But I was getting sore from sitting in bed and typing my post. I had to get up so I could sit at the table to type. I quietly crept out and peeked around the corner … no mouse. All the peanut butter was gone but thankfully, no smashed mouse.

Yay for me. Yay for the mouse. But then again, we still have a mouse in the house, so no bueno!

The rain stopped. Kim and I went running errands and grocery shopping in the little town of Ripon. Two of the things at the top of our list were more mousetraps and Snicker’s bars, which will hopefully work better than the peanut butter. Debby stayed behind to read and hold down the fort.

When we returned, Kim taught us to stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). She may also have given us a short lecture on the details of SUP. Though practically, it wasn’t that easy to paddle. For me, the hardest part was going from the kneeling stage to the standing stage. I had to do Lamaze-style deep breathing and talk myself into being brave and just doing it.

After much hesitation and nearly psyching myself out, I did it. Debby did too. We were quite pleased with ourselves. The Howards have two paddle boards. I came to shore and Kim took that board out. Most of my pride washed away as I watched her pop right up and quickly paddle down the lake in the blink of an eye. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Next, we went out on the pontoon boat and took a tour around the entire lake.

It’s a long lake! You can’t see from one end to the other. It curves and twists and there are cute islands and peninsulas. Kim and Paul not only own the lake but also the 550 (approx.) acres of wooded land that surround it. This is a very special and magical place that has been in the Howard family for generations.

After our cocktail boat tour, I made another recipe inspired by a doctor’s office waiting room magazine find. The perfect end to a perfect day.

OK, not quite the end and not perfectly perfect. Kim and Debby set a total of 10 mousetraps with the Snickers. Without a doubt, I’m sleeping in this time.

[

August 16, 2018   4 Comments

Howards’ Deer Lake

deer lake sign

I am returning to posting about our magical trip to Paul and Kim Howard’s vacation home in Canada’s province of Quebec. A couple of days between posts were needed to format and compile all the photos required for the telling of this wonderful history…

In the mid-50’s Paul’s paternal grandfather either won the Deer Lake property in a card game or purchased it… or maybe a little of both… I was never quite clear on that matter.


Deer Lake includes about 600 acres, the crystal clear Deer Lake, cottages, bunkhouses, sheds, garages, a mountain with a shrine on top (a future post will be dedicated to that), and so much more.

When we arrived, we were welcomed by a full rainbow…


… and later in the week – by a baby snapping turtle!

Paul’s father was an only child, so the property was passed down to him. Paul is the third of five children – so now the property belongs to him and his siblings.

coon's house

Deer Lake was won/purchased from a Mr. Coon. When Paul and his family first started coming to Deer Lake, the Coon Cottage was the only residence. That cottage is now gone, all that remains from the structure is a stone fireplace. They call the area where the cottage once sat, The Grove. There is a lovely little creek that runs through it. Under the dock that still juts out into the lake, lives an otter. One day, while Dave and I were exploring the area, Dave saw the otter! Sadly, I did not.

le chateau

In the first couple years, 1956-57, Paul’s family would stay at The Seigniory Club of La Petite-Nation; now known as Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. The Chateau sits on a vast property spanning an area of 65,000 acres, including 70 lakes. We visited the Chateau, which is also called the “Log Castle”. Makes sense, when it was built in 1930, it was the largest log structure in the world. The original three buildings are constructed of more than 10,000 red cedar logs from British Columbia, and 500,000 hand-split cedar shakes for the roof.

I read that The Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming is now the largest log structure in the world. After checking out photos of the Inn, I have to say they are both places I’d love to stay someday.

Lake House

Beginning in about 1958, Paul’s family would stay at Coon Cottage, that is until 1962 when Paul’s grandparents built The Lake House …

boys bunk house

and the Boy’s Bunk House.

Lake house main room

The Lake House has a large living room, and several bedrooms, each with its own bath, a galley kitchen plus a butler’s pantry.

Lake House beavers

Plus a large basement/garage and a few secret places that look dark and musty.

lake house dock

The dock and hammocks are two of the best features of The Lake House. It’s where we spent most of our afternoons. Below, Terry is in the hammock, while Barb, Kim, and Dave are coming up the hill from the dock.


[

July 11, 2013   3 Comments

Canada 3.0

My fabulous vacation to the Howard’s Deer Lake in Canada is coming to a close. On one hand, I hate to be leaving so soon, but on the other, I can’t wait to get home to my kitties. That sounds like crazy-cat lady talk, I know, but I hate leaving them home alone for so long.

How about I share images from my trip in today’s post?

You’d like that! Yay, here we go.

2019 Sturgeon Moon

Seriously, this is the only photo I really need to post. So GORGEOUS! Kim woke up early last Friday morning and caught the full moon over Deer Lake. Absolutely Stunning!

The local market in the Village of Ripon had the cutest booth signs above each vendor

We visited a variety of markets during my visit, here are my favorite images.

These tomatoes were delicious and the flesh was so beautiful. The center flesh was blush and slowly turned to yellow.
These cabbages looked like huge roses.
I never see garlic scapes in Phoenix.
Such sweet displays in this little local market!

On another day we drove into Montreal and visited the Marché Jean-Talon.

The sights, sounds, and smells at this market rival any in Europe!
Can you imagine buying this $100 basket of blueberries and making pies and jams and cobblers? Wow!
So many baskets of berries!
Like a beautiful dream!
Eggplant of every variety and color variation.
Fresh summer sweet corn is available at every vegetable stand. Loved this stand of only corn. Look at the dump truck full!
Along with loads of fresh produce that we purchased from the markets, I picked up these unique items for future Harmony Boards.
We saw wild turkeys on most of our drives.

After one afternoon of being out for the morning, we came home to find that two birds had flown into the sliding glass doors along the back of the house.

I was able to save this little guy.
But sadly, this little hummingbird did not make it. Heartbroken!
[

August 21, 2019   1 Comment

blogiversary eve

Tomorrow is the 10th birthday/blogiversary of LesPetitesGourmettes.com. There will be a contest. So you really should come back and see what you could win!

In the meantime, I have a couple of random things to share. I am currently in Canada with Kim at the Howard family compound known as Deer Lake. It is situated between Ottowa and Montreal in the Province of Quebec. This time we flew into Montreal. The large structure on the left in the photo above is the Olympic Stadium from the summer games of 1976.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned that I would show you what I did with the bits and pieces of fruit, veggies, and cheese that were in my refrigerator before I left town. Here is a peek inside my carry-on bag.

We had to change planes in Minneapolis, so we found a little lounge table and chairs in the airport and put together our own mini-size travel Harmony Boards to enjoy on the second leg of our flight.

[

August 15, 2019   7 Comments

missed it

Guess what? While I was in Canada throughout the middle of August, I forgot all about my own blogiversary. I know! That’s crazy talk. It’s like forgetting to celebrate my own birthday, and I love my birthday! But forget it,  I did. August 16th was my 9th Blogiversary. I’ll have to make up for it next year when this blog has been around for a decade.

Speaking of my Canada trip, I want to wrap up a few things I’ve yet to tell you about. And then I want to share with you something I totally kicked butt at yesterday. The images above are of a couple of the fabulous vintage items in the Howard’s Canadian kitchen. Love the breadbox (more on what is in there later) and adore the cookie jar.

Although I did most of the cooking for Kim, Debby, and myself, Kim did make a yummy spatchcock chicken. I don’t recall what cookbook the recipe came from but it was delicious. The green goddess marinade is blended in the food processor. The recipe didn’t call for the chicken to be spatchcocked (which simply means poultry that is split open or butterflied) but that is what Kim did with the whole organic chicken she purchased.

Here it is going into the oven to roast.

It was delicious!

My favorite thing Kim made though was her Curry Lentil Soup. I need to get that recipe and post it here because… YUM!

The other items Kim purchased were the best peaches, corn, and tomatoes I’ve had in my life! I am not exaggerating!

I had to control myself from eating every last one of these perfect Ontario pêches. This was the second pack we bought, so maybe I did eat an entire package myself.

And the pink Ottawa tomatoes, it was as if I hadn’t eaten a real tomato before. But that’s not all. Things got really real when Paul arrived.

[

September 7, 2018   6 Comments

kale guac

I am typing this on the long flight from Philadelphia to Phoenix. The first flight from Ottawa to Philly was basically a puddle jumper, but this one is getting the best of me. It’s currently 10:00 eastern time (the time zone I’m now adjusted to) and I’ve been typing and formatting recipes for my spring cooking classes for the last 5 hours. I’m going cross-eyed. Actually, I can barely keep my eyes open. But I must! I can’t sleep on planes, so it’s either this or go cross-eyed playing solitaire on my phone. This seems more productive.

We still have 45 minutes left on this flight and then there is luggage to collect and an Uber ride home. My head can’t hit that pillow soon enough!!

That’s the end of my “woe is me” story. How about a yummy recipe? I made this guacamole knock-off on Sunday for our daily “booze cruise” on the pontoon around Deer Lake.

Many months ago, when I first tasted the Kale Guacamole at True Food Kitchen, my hopes were very high. If I remember correctly, someone else at the table wanted to try it.

Then it came and it was a revelation, so good! I looked up the recipe, expecting it to be mostly kale with maybe an avocado or two mixed in, but no, it’s mostly avocado with a little kale thrown in so that it can be called Kale Guacamole. No matter, it’s good and it sounds healthy. The poblano adds a nice little kick but the thing I love most about it is the addition of fresh citrus.

If you’re not sure what “1 grapefruit, supremed” means. Or if you have an idea, but aren’t sure how to supreme (or segment) citrus, go to this LINK and you’ll see how.

[

August 23, 2018   2 Comments

quinoa in Canada

photo credit: Cody Howard

If you’re like me, sometimes you look at your smart phone in complete awe. We walk around with a computer in our pockets. No longer do we need a watch, a camera, an encyclopedia, a dictionary, any array of how-to books, a landline, and the list goes on.

And no longer do I tear out pages from magazines in doctors’ offices. Yes, I’m sorry to admit that I was one of those people. Now, I just whip out my phone and snap a photo of that recipe or article I must have.

photo credit: Debby Gooding

The following recipe is inspired from one such photo I took during a recent visit to a doctor’s office. I don’t recall the magazine, probably a celebrity weekly or women’s monthly, since those are the magazines I usually gravitate towards in that situation.

I’m in Quebec Canada with Kim Howard and her dear friend, Debby Gooding, at Deer Lake, which is the Howard Family’s gorgeous Canadian retreat. Click HERE to read more about it in this posts from my last visit in July, 2013. One of my favorite things about this magical place is all the vintage vibes.

[

August 15, 2018   2 Comments

“Autumn Picnic” Dinner Party

deer lake sign

Do you remember my posts about Deer Lake in Canada? They were from July 2013. Deer Lake is a gorgeous property owned by our friends, Paul and Kim Howard. Barb and Terry Fenzl, Dave and I, and the Howards had a wonderful week at the lake that summer. Afterward, we talked about having a reunion dinner in our backyard. We were supposed to do that in the fall of 2013, but it didn’t happen.


When Barb, Kim, and I were at Rancho la Puerta in September, we were talking and realized we still needed to have our reunion dinner. On Saturday night, we finally did!


I decided on a Fall Picnic theme and then I asked Kim to bring the appetizer and Barb to bring the dessert.

picnic chalkboard

All of the recipes will be posted in the coming week, with decorating ideas to boot.  Today, we’ll start with the salad.

apple and celery root salad with horseradish dressing

[

November 17, 2014   2 Comments

the mountaintop shrine

I am feeling a wee bit melancholy, for today shall be my final post about Deer Lake. Even though we drove away from Deer Lake six days ago, I’ve enjoyed reliving it through these posts and photos.

the shrine

Once again, I will leave it up to Kim and Paul to correct or embellish any of the details I share about the shrine atop the mountain on their property in Canada.


As I understand it, the shrine was erected early in the twentieth century. It was placed atop the mountain after a father and son were lost there one freezing winter night. They survived the night and were rescued the next day. Soon after, the shrine was built and a large cross was raised next to it.

The Howard family first noticed it decades ago, from the road far below as they were driving to the lake when someone looked up at the mountain and spotted a cross on top. It was then that they learned the story of the father and son.

When they hike up to the shrine, they like to take a little offering to place at the feet of the Madonna. This time we brought a candle and some playing cards… including the queen of hearts. I noticed that others have left rosaries, religious medals, pine cones, a heart-shaped rock, a hairpin, and a little wooden angel.

the view

The view from the top is outstanding! The trees have grown and filled in, so the cross is no longer visible from the road far below.

side view

There was an order of priests known as Pères Blancs (White Fathers) who would hike up the mountain every year on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption, and say Mass. The order is no longer in the area, but the Howard family likes to make the hike up each time they visit. The ashes of Paul’s parents are scattered there now, so this is hallowed ground.

[

July 15, 2013   1 Comment

first fish… ever!

Have I ever told you just how much I hate camping?

hawley lake

Yes sir, I looked back, and not so surprisingly I have … in this post, and again – it was implied at the end of this post, and yep, again in this post!

I guess the word is out: I despise camping for a variety of reasons, one of which has to do with fishing.

Going back to the time, when I was a kid, our summer vacation was camping. First in tents, years later in a trailer.

All six of us packed into a station wagon or a truck, on the road, fighting like cats and dogs in the backseat which would prompt my mom would reach back, without warning and without even looking, and slap at us with a fly swatter. Have you ever been hit with a fly swatter? It hurts and leaves a mark!

Then we’d set up camp and settle into a campground in Northern Arizona or in Colorado for at least one week, two or three times each and every summer.

happy campers

Good Times… for some, but not for all!

When we camped, we also fished.

Well, they all fished – I just floundered.

My mom (the fly swatter-wielding mad-woman) was a great fisherman, she caught fish left and right. That might be attributed to the fact that she’d go downstream, away from the rest of us to fish. When she caught one, she’d walk up to Dad and he’d take off the fish and re-bait her hook, and away she’d go again.

My dad would have also been a great fisherman if he wasn’t always busy bating everyone’s hooks, taking the fish off said hooks, cleaning, and gutting said fish. He was constantly untangling all our tangled lines, unhooking the hooks we snagged in trees, on rocks, and in each other… as we were casting… all at the same time.

Poor guy, he never had a chance to actually fish for himself… but he never complained. Never!


My three siblings all caught fish at one time or another… but alas, I NEVER caught a fish in my life! All those years of camping and fishing and not a single fish for me. Only if my parents took us to the Tamarindo area, which is known to be the idle spot to go on Costa Rica deep sea fishing charters expeditions. I think I could have caught a fish or two there as the waterbody seems to be well-stocked with marine life. Alas, I never got the chance to visit the place as a kid!

But yes, I agree that if I had the skills, I could have caught a fish in my neighboring lake or waterbody. It might have had something to do with my natural-born impatience. I’d cast my line out, expect to immediately get a nibble… when I did not, I’d reel it in and just cast out again and again. With all that casting and reeling, I’d inevitably get my hook caught in a tree or bush, on a sibling, or even in my own mop of hair. Then, I’d say, “I hate fishing” and stomp off in a huff! Yes, I was the complainer!


So when I was at Deer Lake and Paul asked if I’d like to go fishing with him, I said that yes I would like to go fishing with him. I confessed that I’d never caught a fish before! Well, he was happy to take on the challenge and get me out on the lake with a pole in hand. He never had an ounce of doubt that I’d catch a fish on Deer Lake!

I’d only fished in a stream or standing on the shore of a lake, never in a boat. Here, we were in a motor boat and trolling.Trolling means slowly dragging a line through deep water. Most trolling is ­motorized — from a boat.” What a difference and how much less stressful and more fun!!!

So. Much. Better!

[

July 12, 2013   5 Comments