Cask & Barrel

The Wreck of the Bavaria

Mar
22

South Marysburgh

The Bavaria was a three-masted timber drogher under tow by a steam barge, when it ran into mountainous seas near Point Petre. The Bavaria’s tow line parted and the ship, unable to gain any steerage way, quickly drifted off. She wasn’t found until two days later on Great Galloo Island, southwest of Main Ducks. The ship was intact, ropes in place and sails stowed. The Captain’s papers and freight money were in his desk; there was a batch of bread in the galley oven, and a pet canary was found chirping cheerfully in its cage. The disappearance of the crew of the Bavaria remains a mystery to this day.

 


Source: Kellough, Janet. The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County. Picton, Ont.: Kellough Productions, 1994.

Bolla Valpolicella Classico 2015

Mar
20

Maple in the County

Mar
19

Maple in the County is the annual celebration of the maple harvest, featuring sugarbush tours, pancake breakfasts, and more at venues all over Prince Edward County. Check out mapleinthecounty.ca for a detailed list of activities and an interactive map of venues. Highlights include:

maple in the county

  • Nyam Gway at Trail Estate Winery serving Maple Bacon Mac & Cheese, paired with Chardonnay Musqué. Preorder tickets here.
  • Maple smoked salmon crostini served fireside at Norman Hardie Winery with wines by the glass.
  • A maple-themed menu prepared by Chef Neil Dowson at County Road Beer.
  • The Grange winery hosting a 5-course winemakers dinner in their Century Barn. Chef Scott Royce has created a maple-inspired menu that will be thoughtfully paired with estate wines by winemakers Caroline and Maggie Granger. More information available through Seasoned Events.

American Brioche

Mar
17

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Milk, 1 cup
Butter, or margarine, 1/2 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Yeast, 2 packages
Water, warm, 1/4 cup
Enriched flour, sifted, about 5 cups
Eggs, beaten, 3
Egg yolks, beaten, 2
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon extract, 1 teaspoon

Bring milk to a boil. Add butter and sugar; cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. After 5 minutes, stir and combine with cooled milk mixture. Add 3 cups of the flour; beat until smooth.

Combine beaten eggs, egg yolks, salt and lemon extract; add to yeast mixture; beat 10 to 15 minutes by hand or 4 to 5 minutes with the electric mixer, using medium speed; add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Place dough in a warm greased bowl; brush surface with melted fat; cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Stir down, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.

Turn out on board. Roll 1/4 inch thick into an oblong about 18 by 24 inches. Brush with melted butter or margarine. Fold lengthwise to make 3 layers; cut into 1-inch slices. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Twist ends of each piece. Place on greased baking sheet and shape each into a coil or figure 8, 3 or S. Brush with melted fat; cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk.

Bake in a moderate oven (375 F.) for 15 to 20 minutes.

Brush while still warm with confectioners’ frosting; sprinkle with chopped nuts if desired. Makes 20 to 24 brioches.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

The Schooner Picton

Mar
15

South Marysburgh

One of the strangest stories of shipwrecks in the vortex is the tale of the schooner “Picton” which, along with two others ships, the “Acadia” and the “Annie Minnes”, was carrying coal back to Canada.

The three ships were lying in harbour in Charlotte, across the lake in New York. There had been a storm the night before, but the day dawned fair.

Captain Jack Sidley of the Picton was known as a skilled and daring skipper and the Picton had the reputation of running “like a scalded cat”. Sidley had his young son, Vessey, on board with him and he was anxious to get home, so the Picton headed out of the harbour first with the Acadia about ten minutes behind her and the Annie Minnes a half an hour behind that. An hour out into the lake eye witnesses among the crew members of the Acadia and Annie Minnes reported being surprised when they saw the topsails of the Picton coming off. They thought that Sidley had decided to reef, but all of a sudden the Picton just went out of sight, “like she’d fallen into a bottomless pit.”

The two following ships dropped their sails down, looking for survivors, but all that floated by them were a few loose gratings and a sailor cap, with not a sign of the crew. The Annie Minnes and the Acadia searched for some time, but no bodies were ever found.

Months later, near Sackett’s Harbour, New York, a fisherman’s son saw a bottle bobbing in the water for three days running. Curious, he finally rowed out to pick it out of the water. Inside was a note, written in pencil that said:

“Have lashed Vessey to me with heaving line so we will be found together.” — Captain J. Sidley, The Picton

Nobody to this day has been able to explain how the Picton went down so fast, or what happened to the wreckage, or how Captain Sidley had time to write a note, or lash his son to him.

 


Source: Kellough, Janet. The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County. Picton, Ont.: Kellough Productions, 1994.

County Road Beer Marzen

Mar
13

Bill Wightman: A Life Remembered

Mar
11

When I found out my Grandfather, Bill Wightman, had passed away February 28 I was shocked. It wasn’t completely out of the blue; he was nearly 88 years old and had been battling pneumonia for the last few weeks. But anyone that knew him knew he had a lot of living left to do. To me he was a man of great dignity, integrity, and heart. It wasn’t until his passing that I realized how much he meant to so many people outside of our family. For a thorough recollection of his life I refer you to the obituary posted at Ainsworth Funeral Home here. For a more detailed look at the cause nearest to his heart in his later years, there is an excellent article from the Wellington Times available here.

I can’t think of a better way to memorialize him than through his own words. The following is from a letter he gave to me one Christmas, along with the book “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton.

Dearest Kirstyn,

Among other things, this book has been described as thought provoking. I am certain you will find “State of Fear” both thought provoking and a good story.

I hope to live many more years to proudly watch and encourage you. Even if I do not have much longer to go before I die, this book will help you to understand why I have often worked for causes which were unpopular in the minds of many people.

I do not like to see people coerced, therefore I have opposed the coercive aspect of compulsory unionism.

I do not believe politicians, no matter how well they are motivated, can make better decisions than those which individuals should be allowed to make for themselves, therefore I have opposed when it monopolizes such personal matters as health care and education.

I do not like those who use fear rather than fact as a means of motivating people to accept a point of view, therefore I have opposed what has become conventional wisdom whether it related to the “science” of eugenics or, more recently, global warming.

Shakespeare wrote wisely when he had Polonius say to his son, Laertes, “Above all, to thine own self be true, and it will follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man”. That advice, along with Victor Hugo’s story of redemption, “Les Miserables” and a poem by Leigh Hunt, title “Abou Ben Adhem”, have informed my thinking since I was twelve years old. The poem goes as follows:

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”

“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

Kirstyn, whatever you decide to do in life you will do it well. Just follow your heart thoughtfully. Not long after you were born your Grandmother, Chow Soon, looked at you and said to me, “There’s a baby who knows she is loved”! Wherever you go, whatever you do, I pray you will always know my love goes with you.

I love you Grandpa.

French Brioche

Mar
10

This recipe is transcribed from one of my Grandmother’s old cook books, given to her by her mother. I’ve written it down here as a way to preserve it, and also because I strongly believe that some dishes are best in their simplest form. When learning to cook anything new, I like to begin with the traditional method before experimenting with my own take on things. All ingredients and instructions are as written in the original text.


Milk, 1/4 cup
Butter, or margarine, 1 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Grated lemon rind, 1 1/2 teaspoons
Yeast, 2 packages
Water, warm, 1/4 cup
Eggs, beaten, 6
Enriched flour, sifted, 4 1/2 cups

Bring milk to a boil. Add melted butter, sugar, salt and lemon rind; cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle yeast over warm water. After 5 minutes, stir and combine with cooled milk mixture. Add beaten eggs.

Add 3 cups of the flour; beat for 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes using the electric mixer set for medium speed. Then add the remaining flour and beat until mixture is smooth.

Cover and let rise in a warm place (80 to 85 F.) about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Stir down, cover tightly and chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Take from refrigerator, form quickly into an equal number of large and small balls, making the large balls 1/3 to 1/2 the size of muffins pans, and the small balls about 1/2 the size of large balls. Place large balls in greased muffin pans; flatten down. Top each one with a small ball. Brush with diluted slightly beaten egg white. Let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake in hot oven (400 F.) 12 to 15 minutes. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen brioches.

 


Kirk, Dorothy, ed. Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book. New York: P. F. Collier & Son, 1953. Print.

The Marysburgh Vortex

Mar
08

South Marysburgh

So many ships have gone down in the stretch of water around Main Duck Island and Point Traverse the area has become known as “The Graveyard of Lake Ontario”. In these waters compass readings are unreliable, shoals and sandbars lie treacherously waiting, and fierce storms blow up with no warning. The number of tragedies that have occurred rivals the infamous “Bermuda Triangle”. Local lore refers to the area as “The Marysburgh Vortex” and any strange events are automatically attributed to its effect.

Also, Prince Edward County sailors will never paint their boats blue. The colour is considered very unlucky. The only boats that are blue belong to yachters and that’s because “they don’t know any better” according to the sailors.

 


Source: Kellough, Janet. The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County. Picton, Ont.: Kellough Productions, 1994.

Descendants Harbinger American Pale Ale

Mar
06