The Coast News December 2009 December 2009

Happy holidays and all good wishes for you for 2010!

Dear Friends & Colleagues - I hope that you have very happy holidays and all my good wishes for 2010. I hope the year brings you satisfaction, stimulation, and prosperity.

I am spending Christmas at home in Toronto and then going to The Beach House on Hatfield Road, in Nova Scotia, for a couple of weeks. As you know, I live in downtown Toronto and, on a day-to-day basis, work with my health and human services management consulting firm - Liz Yorke and Associates. At the same time, I own and manage the Beach House, which is, without doubt, the most beautiful vacation rental beach property in the province. I love its complete privacy and those spectacular panoramic ocean views, all day long, every day of the year - even in winter and, I must say, that winter visits there are just great.

I am going to do lots of creative things when I'm at the Beach House, including refinishing the head board from my grandmother's bed, which she brought to Fox River from Economy when my grandparents married in about 1903. This headboard is about 6 feet high and just lovely - I can hardly wait to get at it. Later, I'm going to use the wood bed rails for book shelves and make another headboard from its footboard. (My aunt, Gracie Winter, gave the bed to me last year when she moved into Parrsboro from the house my grandfather's built before he was married.) In addition to all that, right now, I'm busy planning for a New Year's lunch at the Beach House - with a sumptuous menu - for friends and cousins and for a few days visit to Halifax to catch up with other friends and see the sights.

This picture was taken at the top of Highway 209, towards the end of a winter day. You can see Blomidon and Cape Split (top left & across the Bay of Fundy) and the Beach House is just behind where the road appears to end. I'll see this view every day that I'm there when I walk up to the end of Hatfield Road & along the highway. As those of you who've visited the Beach House know, the air is very clear there - and, sometimes on a winter's day, you can actually see snow falling on Blomidon - it really is amazing!

For me, Christmas in Toronto will start with a dinner party with friends - I've done this before & we've always had loads of fun. This year, we're starting with Dragon's Breath Blue and a Baby Gouda from That Dutchman's Cheese Farm in Economy, Nova Scotia. I know that some of you have visited the Farm's shop and Café. While we munch on these magnificent cheeses, we're going to toast Rideau Hall and Willem's participation in the dinner held there for Prince Charles and Camilla when they were in Ottawa this fall. I don't know which of the Farm's cheeses they had at that dinner, but I do know that we will enjoy them as much as they did! To top off Christmas Eve dinner, I'm going to bake gingerbread cookies and use the cookie cutters we used when I was growing up in Halifax. I'm also going to do a blueberry pie - if you'd like to do one for yourself, have a look at my pastry and pie recipes.

My Christmas Day in Toronto will start with meeting a good friend for brunch and to exchange gifts - we've done this for many years and usually go to one of Toronto's very nice hotels. For dinner, I'll be going to another friend's house and celebrating with both people and Pizzo, her sweet little toy poodle. A couple of years ago, in a great burst of energy, I made a red winter coat for Pizzo and hopefully he'll wear it for part of Christmas Dinner - I'd like to see him in it again.

Best wishes for a wonderful, prosperous and satisfying 2010!

December 2009