Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Autumn Bounty

While out at the apple orchards, buying apples, we came across these odd looking pink banana squash, which I have never seen before.  Very large and quite amazing. At only $5.00 each, I am kicking myself for not buying one to carve up for Halloween.  Oh well, next year!

There is something so jolly about the bright orangeness of traditional pumpkins though. They truly are one of the most powerful symbols of Halloween, along with witches and black cats.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Surprise Packages

It's such fun to surprise someone with a themed package, so now that I have a nephew who is away at university I thought it would be fun to create a Halloween-themed package to send to him. 

First place to start was with some baking: meringue bones and almond shortbread witches' fingers.

Then a selection of Halloween candies: salt-water taffy pumpkin faces and ghostly chocolates.

Added in a black cherry-flavoured skull lollipop...

and an elegant mask, a tiny pumpkin that can be turned into a Jack o'lantern by drawing on a face with black marker, salt-water taffy treats and candy sticks in Halloween colours.

Mustn't forget a pair of bloody eyeballs.

Those witches' fingers really are creepy...

 Best to hide them away in a box packed with black construction paper that I put through the shredder.  I've sealed the box tight and mailed it off!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mont Saint-Hilaire in its Autumn Finery

There is nothing nicer in the Autumn, than to hike up to the top of Mont Saint-Hilaire, a place that holds so many childhood memories for me. Just before you hit the highest peak, called the Sugar Loaf, if you turn around at a certain point on the trail, then you get a great view of Lac Hertel.

At the top, if the day is clear, you get a perfect view of the region and the Richelieu River.

Once down again, you can take a side trail to the picturesque Lac Hertel.

On this particular day there was a group of about six artists painting the scene in watercolours and oils.

And who could blame them? No matter which way you turn, the scenery is a picture.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Aged to Perfection

It is apple season once again.  Stopping off at a farmer's orchard to buy some MacIntosh apples, I was quickly drawn to this pile of apple baskets, their paint faded to lovely pastel shades.

The worn old crates have been softened  with age to a gorgeous patina. Evidently still very much in use.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Back to Cocoa Locale, Part 2

There are too many treasures to be found at Cocoa Locale to see at one glance.

Vintage cupcake and muffin tins, and an old seed package advertising roses, just like the petals that are Reema's signature garnish on all of her cakes.

A lovely display beside the cash.

Cake orders peek out from behind a pastel pink display.

Here's where the magic takes place.

There are lots of pretty vintage advertisements to catch your attention. Reading them is a pleasant distraction  if you find yourself waiting for your turn.

So many choices, what will I try today?

The perfect vintage hostess stands by the door, to wish you farewell as you leave.

Too avoid disappointment, get there as close to opening time as possible. You can find Cocoa Locale at 4807 Parc Avenue in Montreal.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Back to Cocoa Locale, Part 1

Time again for a trip to Cocoa Locale, my favorite cake shop in Montreal by far.  Even if the cakes weren't so delicious, which they are, the shop's decor is a treat in itself.

You know a kindred spirit lies within when you spot a line of vintage aprons in the window!

And tea cups on the window ledge are another clue.

And then, over the counter at the back, are all the adorable vintage cooking implements in such pretty pastel shades.

But let us not get distracted from the cakes... chocolate chai, chocolate lavendar, vanilla rose, pumpkin spice...

Oh, but just look how cute this vignette is!

And those wee cupcakes garnished with rose petals!

Oh look, more teacups!

Cocoa Locale, my kind of cake shop!