The Great Adventure 2019: The Ovens Natural Park

I'm not sure where CH heard about The Ovens but this was one stop he definitely wanted to make. We spent 2 nights in the park. It was a nice break from trying to see everything. We relaxed, took a hike, and enjoyed ourselves as our time in Canada was rapidly coming to a close.

The Ovens is owned by the Chapin Family. If you remember the song "Cat's in the Cradle", you'll know who Harry Chapin is. That is just part of the history, though. "The Ovens" are actually the sea caves that can be found as you hike the sea cliff trail. They just aren't the kind you can walk in like the ones in New Brunswick.

There is a legend that a M'kmaq Indian paddled into one of the caves and came out 90 miles on the other side of the province. The real history is the Gold Rush of 1861. Sitting on this property was a town of over a thousand miners. Bank, hotels, and stores were in this town. Sadly, the town only lasted 6 years. There is a small museum on site. 

We hoped that our campsite would be right on the cliff, but we had to settle for being right across the road from it. Still, it wasn't a bad spot.
If I remember correctly, there was a water spout not far from our spot, but the campsites did not have electricity. We had a couple of fantastic nights' sleep, and the view when we woke up wasn't too shabby:

Something funny that happened: when we first arrived, I saw what I thought were a couple of people sitting in chairs on an isthmus:
See what I mean? Doesn't that look like 2 people sitting in chairs? Well, as soon as I had the chance I walked over because those people hadn't moved in a long time. This is what it actually was:
At least I provided CH with some comic relief! 
We opted to take the easy way out while we were there and take advantage of the diner that is in the campground. There was music playing (thanks to the Chapin family!) and the food was pretty good.
Overall, the campground was a little rugged. I have no idea what the shower places look like because I decided to really rough it and go without the full day we were there. I will say that the outside didn't look very welcoming! The toilets reminded me of the ones in the Great Smoky Mountains National know, the ones that don't flush? Yep, those are the ones that were there. Someone left the door open at night & I was a little concerned I was going to surprise some critter. Luckily that didn't happen!
Once again, the beauty of Canada just astounded me. The rocks weathered by the sea were captivating.
We only had one more stop in Canada. 2 more nights and then we would be heading back to East Tennessee. 

From My Kitchen: February 2021

This is more of an update than a new recipe. Last month I tried Flatbread Mexican Pizza. If you recall, I wasn't too crazy about the flatbread. I knew I could improve on it! The second time I made it, I still used Mama Mary's, but I used the thin crust pizza. It was much better, but when I used Boboli thin crust, it was even better.
Here's what I did differently:
  • Used 1 thin crust instead of flatbread
  • Used 2 packages of taco seasoning (This resulted in more of a taco taste than just 1 packet)
  • Added a layer of salsa over the refried beans
  • Used 1 pound of ground beef
  • Used Chipotle Ranch dressing instead of the salsa/sour cream mixture
I think I've found the right combination of everything. I probably don't need to use the entire pound of ground beef. The last time I made it (using the Boboli thin crust) it was piled pretty high and was more like a pie instead of a pizza! I didn't have any complaints from CH or YS, though! 

I'm also not sure how much the refried beans actually add, except to add more carbs & calories. I'm going to try to leave that off next time and see if it gets noticed. I have a sneaky suspicion it won't.

Do you have a recipe that you have modified that is a family favorite? If so, please share!

A Clean Hodgepodge

 1. Your favorite cleaning product? Do you clean your own house or hire out? Most disliked household chore? What one chore do you not mind so much? 

Favorite: "Robbie". He's our iRobot & he does a fantastic job! I've hired a cleaning lady a few times. My experience has been that they do great the first couple of times, but then slack off.
I hate cleaning the bathroom. I think it comes from my childhood: that was my "Saturday Chore". I really don't mind washing the dishes.

 2. It's Canned Food you use a lot of canned goods? What are the three canned items you purchase most often? Last thing you made using a canned ingredient? 

I buy more canned items during the winter. I mostly buy "cream soups" (cream of mushroom/chicken) or tomatoes. I just made Mexican Pizza last night that used a can of refried beans.

 3. Can of worms, anything can happen, can you imagine?, as best I can, kick the can down the road, more than one can take, no can do, not if I can help it...choose an idiom and tell us how you currently relate.

Anything can happen. I believe in miracles!

4.The last Tuesday in February is National Spa Day. Are you someone who enjoys a day at the spa? Last time you visited a spa? Do you have a favorite spa? Are salons open for business in your area? Have you made changes to your hair and nail routine since Corona hit? In what way? 

I've only been to a spa once, during a Sisters' Weekend. It was heaven! Salons are open here; I haven't changed a thing!

 5. Believe it or not this is the last Hodgepodge of the month. In one sentence sum up your February. 

I would very much welcome 2020 back.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

The mystery of the person who was parking in my spot has been solved...and resolved! I now have my spot back! :)

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