Category Archives: fall

The Leaves, They Are A-Changin’ (aka Thanksgiving Weekend)

HAPPY (belated) THANKSGIVING! Well, to all my fellow Canadian pals. I hope you had a great long weekend with friends and family and eating. Lots of eating. And everyone else, I hope you still had a great weekend with friends and family and eating. I love eating holidays, but I love eating anytime.

My weekend was pretty fantastic. On Saturday morning Evan and I headed downtown for his cousin’s baby son’s baptism.

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We clean up nice sometimes. We picked up Brotherman and Kelly on the way, which meant we got to hang out with our little chicken nugget nephew all morning. Landon just keeps getting cuter. I love having him around. He hung out on my lap for most of the ceremony and he was highly entertaining. They are such a cute family.

We had to miss brunch after, which I was sad about because I heard there was five different kinds of pork at brunch and I would have enjoyed that, but I’m glad we were at least able to make the baptism. Afterwards, we dropped off Brotherman and Kelly and then Evan and I drove a few hours east to Belleville to celebrate Thanksgiving with Evan’s mom and nana. It was just the four of us this year, so rather than cook a big meal at home Evan’s nana took us out to dinner. I can’t lie, I missed her usual curry, but I totally get it. It’s a lot of work. We went to Chuck’s Road House, which for all my Port Perry friends, I think is replacing all the Crabby Joe’s locations. It is like a pub/steakhouse and we all really enjoyed our meals. After dinner we hung out at Nana’s and watched the marathon of Dateline NBC on TLC, so that was pretty awesome.

On Sunday we had breakfast with Nana and then packed up and headed to the cottage for one last hurrah. Well, possibly second last hurrah. We might make it up there with Evan’s family one last time so we can all close it for the winter together, but I was excited to make it there for Thanksgiving. This was the latest in the year I’ve ever been up there and the leaves, they are a changin!

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Still not at maximum fall colours though. I know this because I looked up a fall foliage tracker in Ontario (I love that this exists). Apparently it’s at 40-50% in this area. Just an FYI Algonquin Park and Northern Muskoka are currently near 100%!

The weather was ridiculously amazing all weekend. In the afternoons it almost felt like summer. There is a trail next to the cottage that goes through a bird sanctuary and we have never explored it before, so once we arrived we hit that up.

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I use the word trail loosely. It was pretty overgrown.

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So it was an adventure, but it was pretty!

We spent most of the afternoon taking the dock out of the water.

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Which was was worse than I thought it was going to be and definitely my least favourite activity of the weekend. But we got ‘er done and rewarded ourselves with warm rum apple ciders by the fire.

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And that was awesome.

Evan told me earlier in the day to let him take care of dinner, so obviously I was all for that. He ended up making a Thanksgiving-esque type meal with chicken breast, roasted vegetables and beets and a quick stovetop stuffing with gravy.

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It was delicious. That stuffing may have been from a package but it was not too shabby at all. I think we need to do Thanksgiving at the cottage every year because it really is the perfect setting for it.

We spent the evening playing cribbage and listening to the Jays game on the radio while wearing our Jays t-shirts (GO JAYS!!!!!!).

Monday was another dream day.

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Evan’s nana had given us this apple cinnamon bread to take home with us and it looked like it would make the most perfect French toast.

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And it did. I don’t eat French toast very often but it was possibly the best I’ve had.

We wanted to get home yesterday at a decent time so we could watch the Jays game, so we packed up, said goodbye to this beautiful view, and got on the road.

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We were worried about traffic so we took backroads the majority of the trip and it was the most beautiful drive. So many colourful trees. Ontario is beautiful any time but it is exceptionally beautiful in the fall.

Along the way we stopped at Tyrone Mills, one of Canada’s oldest operating water-powered mill. Mainly we stopped because there was a sign that said baked goods and I wanted to eat all the things.

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The first floor was the bakery, canned jams and pickled things and all that good stuff, but they let you tour around the mill and the second floor was quite interesting.

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They had quite the workshop up there and Evan was totally in his element.

If you went outside from upstairs there was a beautiful pond at the back.

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And there was a blacksmith demonstration going on, we were all over that.

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The blacksmith was super knowledgeable and I’m pretty sure he’s Evan’s new best friend. Apparently they have free blacksmith workshops happening on the weekends and I have a feeling Evan is going to find some old steel and make it to that.

On our way out we noticed that they were selling fresh bread straight out of this outdoor oven…

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And I cannot resist warm carbs of any kind, so we picked up a loaf of wheat and rye with herb.

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That bread was everything. It was still warm when we got home. So good.

They also make cinnamon sugar donuts in there, and again with the warm carbs…

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Delicious.

So it was a super awesome weekend. I’m sure next week it will be snowing so I’m glad we took advantage!!!

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The Eating Weekend (aka Thanksgiving Weekend)

Saturday morning Evan, Brotherman, and his fiance Kelly and I headed to Evan/Brotherman’s Dad’s place to celebrate Thanksgiving. The plan was to spend Saturday and Sunday morning there, and then Sunday and Monday morning at Evan/Brotherman’s Nana’s with their mom to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. Sorry, that sentence is confusing.

By the time we got on the road on Saturday, got through all the traffic, made a few pit stops, etc., we arrived at their Dad and stepmom Loulou’s place just in time to eat. So, perfect timing really. Showing up just before eating time is the way to do it. I felt bad for not helping with the preparations for about .2 seconds. And then I saw this spread:

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I have said it before and I will say it a million times more, I LOVE THANKSGIVING. I want all the food! I crammed all the delicious things onto my plate.

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Clockwise from 12 o’clock: peas, squash, cabbage, turkey, stuffing, roasted potatoes and other veggies including carrots, parsnips and celeriac (a root vegetable that tastes a lot like celery), bread. I took that picture before I covered everything with gravy, which, good thing because the aftermath of the gravy was way less photogenic. I went back for seconds of turkey, stuffing and the vegetables. It was all so amazing, I could not get enough and I wish I was still eating that plate right now.

I had to save room though, for all the dessert!

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That may be the best apple pie I have ever had, no lie. I had it after dinner, as a late night snack, and as dessert for breakfast the next day. I wish I was eating that right now also.

And then Evan’s grandma had made her famous kugluf, a Slovenian (or from that area of Europe, but Evan’s Dad’s family are Slovenian) pound cake, also known as kuglof.

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And hell yes is all I have to say about that. Evan needs to get the recipe asap and start making this. Brotherman has been making a lot of their grandma’s apple cake recently, and I think it needs a kugluf friend.

It was a nice Thanksgiving dinner with Evan’s fam on his dad’s side. We told a lot of stories, and though Evan’s Uncle Gino had some good ones, I think I really impressed him with the tale of the piggyback fail.

After dinner Loulou brought me a little friend to snuggle with.

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A chicken. This would make the first time in my life I have snuggled with a chicken, and I have to say it was not as awkward as I would have thought. She was quite a nice chicken, and she didn’t poop on me, so that’s a win.

We spent the rest of our time there making the rounds to see alllllll the animals. The only two new additions since the last time we were there were these two turkeys.

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Like, literally turkeys. And no these turkeys will never be Thanksgiving dinner, I know you’re thinking it!

I like how all the birds just hang out together. The turkeys, the chickens, the roosters, and the guineafowl. They are all friends. No discrimination there. They’re an inclusive group of birds.

The baby guineafowl are all grown up now so the grown-up gang has increased by a few. They were really making me laugh. For hours they just circled Evan’s truck.

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Over and over. Just kept circling. I guess because it was new to the driveway? I do not know, but they could not get enough of the truck. It is quite a sexy truck though, so I don’t blame them.

Peanut the piglet has also grown up quite a bit since we last saw her.

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She was only 9 pounds when we first met her, and I think she is now 25. She’s a friendly little piggy (though she is a bit moody), and she is pretty hilarious when she eats. I took a video to demonstrate this.

Peanut the pig!

A post shared by Lindsey Evanoff (@happyorhungry) on

She might eat faster than I do.

And of course, if you have read about the other times we visited Evan’s Dad and Loulou’s farm you know I love the donkeys. I LOVE the donkeys!

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Rosie and Zeke

Love those donkeys! Just the cutest/coolest donkeys I have ever seen. I never would have expected donkeys to be affectionate, but they really are. They love to be close to you and be petted (Winnie?!). Zeke especially really nuzzles his face up to my body.

Zeke is just so nice that I climbed into their pen to hang out with him, and then out of nowhere Rosie came up behind me and squeezed between me and the fence. I was not expecting this and she kind of nudged against me, which caught me by surprise.

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What the…?

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Oh Rosie, it’s just you

Sneaky little donkey.

Evan’s ‘rents have an apple tree in their yard, and after our big apple picking fail a couple weeks ago, I was excited to do some apple picking!

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Fun times on the farm all around with this guy:

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And these two:

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And the horse also.

After breakfast on Sunday we headed to Evan’s Nana’s to visit with her and his mom. That was really fun also, but because there were no animals there I didn’t take very many pictures.

But ohh I got dinner on Sunday.

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Evan’s Nana grew up in British India so she is alllll about the Indian foods and I can’t get enough. This plate includes curried pork, vegetables, and shrimp, lentils, coconut rice, ham, roasted potatoes, squash and carrots. It was so amazing, and after all the turkey the day before I loved that it was something different. I was in heaven. I went back for seconds of all the curry stuff.

So it was a really great weekend. I had a great time with Evan and his family. And eating. I really enjoyed eating.

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The Corn Maze and the “Fun” Farm

The weather lately has been quite gorgeous, it almost still feels like summer. Apparently that ends today, but this past weekend was sunny and beautiful and after spending the majority of Saturday inside getting all my stuff out of boxes and organized, Sunday I just wanted to be outside. Evan and I decided to hit up Pingle’s Farm, an apple orchard/fun family farm-type place in Durham Region.

First though, we stopped at my Dad and Mona’s since we were in the area. They have a new addition to the fam and we wanted to meet him.

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This is Ritson. He is a 12 week old golden retriever and he is just a little beauty. We took about a million pictures of him, but he is still a crazy puppy and will not sit still for one second, so this is the only one that isn’t blurry.

Well, this one too.

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You can see my dad’s fanny pack peeking out. He really loves that thing. Very handy for him, because storing his wallet and keys in the pocket of his sweatpants was making them fall down. Big troubles, I tell ya.

Anyway, I loved Ritson immediately and I forgave him for all the scratches he gave me on my bare legs when he jumped all over me because he was just so cute. He almost made me want a dog. Almost. I am not yet ready, and Winnie says no thanks.

After fam time it was farm time. We headed over to Pingles, which was absolutely rammed with people. I think Evan and I were the only ones there who didn’t have children with us, but you are never too old for fun farm times, so I didn’t feel out of place.

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We’re all mounties in Canada, eh?!

I was really excited to visit this particular orchard because it has a giant corn maze.

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This is unlike any corn maze I’ve ever seen. It is eight acres of corn maze amazingness, and it is shaped like Canada. Here’s the map:

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So the black lines are where you walk through the maze, and the white parts are where the corn is. Here’s the aerial view (back in the summer though, when the corn was still green).

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Pretty groovy. I’ve never heard of a corn maze sponsored by a morning show before, but I guess someone needs to pay for the upkeep of that thing (actually I’m pretty sure the people are paying for the upkeep because it’s $6 to go through it).

I checked their website first to see if this would be a suitable orchard for us to visit, and when I saw that maze I was sold immediately. I didn’t care about the price and I didn’t care if everything else was lame, I just wanted to check out that corn maze. So after a quick lunch at Pingles (turkey sandwich for me, hotdog for Evan the hotdog), we headed right for the maze.

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There are little checkpoints throughout the maze so you can kind of reorient yourself, and they have interesting facts about Canada all through it.

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I had no idea about the pancakes. I did not see any pancakes at the Calgary Stampede when I was there last year. Must go back.

The corn was really tall and the entire time I had no idea where we were going or what direction we were headed in. Evan would look at the map and point and say “Oh, we’re in Hudson Bay,” and “Oh, we’re in Saskatchewan,” and I still have no idea how he knew that. I thought we were just lost in a corn field. Everything looked the same to me, and had I been alone it probably would have taken me hours to get out (if you do the maze correctly it takes 45 minutes to an hour).

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But we made it out of there successfully, and we made good time. It was absolutely the highlight of Pingles for me.

Afterwards we scored some candy apples…

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And then we headed over to the “Fun” Farm area.

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That sign was fun, but overall I was pretty unimpressed with the “Fun” Farm. I was really excited to see the animals, but there were only a couple of chickens, two hiding bunnies, and a few goats. Possibly an alpaca but he was also kind of hiding. And a few other activities for kids as well. I think it was $5 to get in there, and I remember thinking that Evan’s parents should start charging admission into their little farm – it is WAY more fun.

Honestly, aside from the maze, I was not very impressed with Pingles. It just seemed like a big obvious cash grab. If you go there with children, you are spending $100 easily. It cost money to do everything. And to get into the actual apple orchard it was $25. You could not even enter the orchard without paying (or spending $25 for an empty bag, same thing). Once you were in there it was basically all-you-can-pick (or as many apples as you can fit in the bag they gave you), but even if you picked 100 apples, that’s still 25 cents an apple and not much better than the grocery store. And even if you picked 100 apples, what are you going to do with them all? I wish I had time to spend my days making apple crisp and apple pie.

I was hoping to get about 10 apples, but I am not spending $25 for 10 apples, so…no apple picking actually went down. I have been to apple orchards before and it was free to get in and then you just paid for the apples you picked by the pound. I went to Algoma Orchards a couple years ago and they had way more farm animals and it was free, you just paid for the apples you pick. It was a much better operation if you ask me. Here it just seemed like they took a fun and cheap fall activity and exploited it.

I guess this farm was more commercial. Like the (super lame) amusement park of apple-picking.

And end rant. I’m sorry for that, but it bothered me.

We did have a fun day though, and I did LOVE the maze.

I also had the best ice cream cone of possibly my life on the way home.

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Which I would have spent $10 on, so I guess I have my priorities.

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