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Get inspired with fabulous decorating, renovation and entertaining ideas…with a uniquely Atlantic Canadian twist. Save 25% off the newsstand price. Treat yourself to East Coast Living for just $14.99 + HST a year! (4 issues per year.)

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LIVING Inspiring home life in Atlantic



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P.E.I. glass art




Take your next dinner party outside 34 Good fences

Understand property lines and local bylaws before renovating

12 Dine alfresco

Create the perfect patio dining space

15 Quick fix: Garage

Simple do-it-yourself ideas to transform your space without emptying your wallet

18 Crafty sea glass picture

Create a cheery piece of art with this step-by-step project

37 Home grown

Here’s what you need to know to grow your own cannabis legally

A P.E.I. architect transforms his childhood cottage into a permanent home


46 Gardening: DIY summer


Bring colour indoors with home-grown fresh-cut flowers

50 Last look: A riot of colours

28 Cover: Returning to the Island


Experience summer

40 Finger foods

From local to imported options, sparkling wine adds flare to your gathering

The classic Atlantic Canadian style of shakes and shingles gets an update

Welcome home

49 Buying Guide

44 Sparkle this summer

22 Shake it up


EATING IN Tea sandwiches are a staple across our region. Here are some of our favourites




P.E.I. stained-glass artist Cathy Murchison-Krolikowski


home Summer 2019

Photo: Bruce Murray/VisionFire


Inspiration for home, garden, and entertaining: find original stories by local journalists at

east coast



n June, summer feels endless, but the Labour Day long weekend comes along quickly. This year, I’m promising myself I’ll experience everything summer in Atlantic Canada offers. On the East Coast, you’re never far from a provincial or national park. We’re lucky to live in a place so filled with abundant greenspaces to hike, swim, camp, and connect with nature. An addition to abundant parks, our region is rich in history. National Historic Sites like Citadel Hill, Dalvay-by-the-Sea, Cape Spear Lighthouse, and Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland let us take a daytrip to the past. From intricate architectural details to what’s growing in the heritage gardens at these sites, there’s a lot to inspire our own homes. While parks and historic sites are best visited on a sunny day, there’s still plenty to do when it’s overcast. Our region boasts an abundance of independent breweries, cideries, distilleries, and wineries. Many offer samples and facility tours so you can learn how they craft their wares. Don’t forget to take home a bottle to pair with a favourite recipe (you’ll find hundreds at Whether the spot you visit is down the road or a province away, always nominate a designated driver before sampling. Seeing local art is another interesting way to spend a day. Meeting the artisan behind a piece makes it that much more interesting to display in your home. The Cape Breton Centre for Art and Design offers a map listing shops and studios open to the public all over the Island. In New Brunswick’s Fundy region, you’ll find a similar trail of artisans ready to show you what they make and how they do it. Check your local craft council’s website for a list of local workshops and artisan boutiques. In this issue of East Coast Living, we’re getting outside to get the most out of summer. And if you share my desire to do more this season, read on, because this issue is packed with ideas. On the DIY side, we create an outdoor dining area for entertaining and transform your garage into a useful, tidy space (see page 12). In our features section, we go in depth on property boundaries (page 34) and how to use shingles and shakes to achieve a classic Atlantic-Canadian look. (Find that story on page 22.) Our cover story on page 28 takes us to P.E.I. to visit a family home with a long history. Architect Greg Munn moved to Murray River to live and restore a cottage that’s been in his family for generations. Plus, tea sandwiches (page 40), sparkling wines (page 44), gardening advice (page 46) for inside and out, and much more. If you enjoy what you read in these pages, you’ll find more Atlantic Canadian homes, DIY advice, and recipes on our blog and in our free archives at

Kim Hart Macneill, Editor Email: EastCoastLiving East Coast Living Magazine SUMMER 2019

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On our cover: Greg Munn restored this heritage cottage in Murray River, P.E.I., transforming it into a year-round home. Read his story on page 28.

Beach Reads for Kids

Photos by Steve Smith, VisionFire Studios Publisher Senior Editor Editor Editorial Intern Creative Director Graphic Designer Production Coordinator Printing

Patty Baxter Trevor J. Adams Kim Hart Macneill Cynthia d’Entremont Shawn Dalton Roxanna Boers Paige Sawler Advocate Printing & Publishing

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Meet our contributors CASSANDRA BERNARD “Sparkle this summer” Cassandra freelances for a variety of publications including PEI Living Magazine and The Buzz. She manages All Things Active PEI on social media and administers PEI Good News Only! on Facebook.

NIKI JABBOUR “DIY summer arrangements” Niki is the best-selling author of three gardening books, and the host of the digital YouTube series, Get Growing. @NikiJabbour

JESSICA PATTERSON “Finger foods” Jessica is a Toronto-based journalist and editor originally from Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. She writes about magazines and innovation, and occasionally about her favourite things to eat, like tea sandwiches.

SUZANNE RENT “Shake it up” Suzanne is a Halifax-based writer and works in the non-profit sector. Her work has appeared in Halifax Magazine, Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, Lawyers Weekly, and more. She loves her daughter, Naomi, desserts, and storytelling.

HEATHER LAURA CLARKE “Quick fix: Garage” Heather is a Truro, N.S.-based journalist and columnist whose work appears in newspapers, magazines, and websites across Canada, including the Huffington Post, New Homes & Renovations, and the Chronicle Herald. @HFXHeather

KEN KELLEY “Dine alfresco” Ken is a freelance writer and contributor to East Coast Living based in Moncton, N.B. @musicnerddotca

DENISE FLINT “A riot of colours” Denise is a freelance journalist based in St. John’s, N.L. Her interests are eclectic and her articles on a variety of subjects appear in publications across the country. @DeniseFlint1

HEATHER FEGAN “Crafty sea glass picture” Heather is a freelance writer, book reviewer, and blogger based in Halifax.

BRUCE MURRAY Photography for “Finger Foods” Bruce has been creating food and lifestyle photography for more than 20 years at VisionFire Studios in the Maritimes and in his original studio in Vancouver. @VisionFire

CHRIS MUISE “Good fences” Chris is a University of King’s College graduate and freelance writer working in Halifax, with a strong focus on community news. He’s also a cat lover and a big fan of transforming robots. @TheSilentG

SCOTT NEILSON “Home grown” Scott is a Halifax-based journalist and copywriter. He writes news and features for local, regional, and national publications; and marketing communications for a diverse range of public, private, and non-profit clients.

ALISON JENKINS “Returning to the Island” Alison is a recent journalism graduate living on P.E.I. She reported for The Journal Pioneer in Summerside P.E.I. and the Telegraph-Journal newspapers in New Brunswick.

STEVE SMITH Photography for “Returning to the Island” Steve is a commercial photographer at VisionFire Studios located in Pictou, N.S., shooting for a wide range of clientele throughout Atlantic Canada. @VisionFire SUMMER 2019




alfresco Raise your host game with the perfect patio dining space BY KEN KELLEY


rom savoury barbecued meat to crisp salads, food simply tastes better outside. Whether you’ve got an entire yard or a small deck to host your guests, you want to make the most of the space. Kelly Stuart, owner of Halifax-based Inspiring Décor, says to view your outdoor space as an extension of your home. “Many, if not most of us have decks, terraces, or outdoor spaces that you see from inside,” Stuart says. “I always try to make that space a continuation of what you see inside the house. You want to make it warm and inviting so that you feel inclined to spend time there for any reason, whether that means enjoying your morning coffee or reading a book.” In creating the ideal outdoor space, Stuart recommends starting from the ground and working your way up. “Starting with a rug allows you to create a pallet where everything can work together,” she says. “From there, consider what style of table and chairs to use, then add your dishes, cutlery, and maybe even a bar cart to help free up table top space. They are a great way to serve food and drinks when you’re entertaining.”





ABOVE: Small touches like patterned accent pillows add personality to your space. BELOW: Longer days mean more sun. Add an umbrella to offer guests a shaded seat.




LEFT: LED patio lights can help keep outdoor electricity costs down. You’ll find a vast array of styles at home improvement stores. ABOVE: Even summer nights get chilly. Make your guests comfortable with blankets and a heat source.

Make your outdoor space a continuation of what you see inside. Make it warm and inviting so you feel inclined to spend time there. Stuart says an especially important consideration in chair selection is to ensure the materials are appropriate for the climate you’re living in. “When I select furniture for the outside, our climate largely dictates what I’m going to consider. Outdoor furniture has come a long way over the years, but it’s best not to leave things to chance when it comes to considering what will be able to withstand the weather.” Kim Jakobsen of Saint John, N.B-based Kim Jakobsen Design says while coming up with the perfect array of features for an outdoor space may intimidate some, a little planning goes a long way. “It really helps to plan ahead and think about the space when creating an outdoor oasis,” Jakobsen says. “Many opt to create a nice conversation circle with your favourite comfy style of chairs and add layers with pillows, rugs, and throws for cool nights. It’s all about layering. Choose a color and then add some accents colors, patterns to make it fun.” When deciding on the style of tables and chairs to use, glass, concrete, wood, or metal, Jakobsen recommends choosing a material




and size that will complement your space while also ensuring there is adequate seating for the number of guests you’ll routinely host. Jakobsen says retailers including Kent, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Pier 1 Imports, and HomeSense carry a wide array of styles and will more than likely have something to suit every taste and budget. “Another consideration for creating the perfect outdoor space is to add an umbrella for shade or canvas sails for an especially windy location,” says Jakobsen. “I also like to add tropical plants alongside my potted annuals to help increase privacy.” The last step is to extend your time outside with lighting, says Stuart. String lights and lanterns are available in a range of options that runs from cheap and cheerful to long lasting. Jakobsen suggests adding warmth to an outdoor space is ideal for those cool summer evenings. “A good fire table helps provide a warmth and glow to the surroundings, but you can also look at a propane gas pit, or the tabletop variety. They are all great ways to create a warm atmosphere and glow that never fails to attract people.” o


quick fix:


Heather DeVouge, a professional organizer and owner of Whole Home Organizing Co. in Stellarton, N.S., refreshed this cluttered garage.

Simple do-it-yourself ideas to transform your space without emptying your wallet BY HEATHER LAURA CLARKE





any homeowners feel “shameful” about their untidy garages says April Miller, the owner of April Miller Professional Organizing in St. John’s, N.L. “They’ll send their kids out to play but they won’t pop open the garage door because they’re so embarrassed about the mess,” says Miller. A newly-organized garage can have a bigger impact on clients than when she helps out with a kitchen, bedroom, or living room, Miller says. If the garage is on your summer to-do list, use these tips to transform it into a functional, attractive part of your home.

CONQUER THE CLUTTER Heather DeVouge is a professional organizer and owns Whole Home Organizing Co. in Stellarton, N.S. She says garages become a catch-all because they’re the last place unwanted items stop on their way out of the house. She suggests finding a warm, dry day to drag everything out of the garage to sort on your driveway or lawn. Create a pile for each type of item, like sports equipment, tools, and gardening gear, to make it simple to see what you can toss or donate. “Think about the option of borrowing or renting a particular item when you need it, instead of keeping it,” says DeVouge. “Sometimes it’s just not worth the space the item takes up to continue to store it if you will rarely be using it.”




She suggests the 20/20 rule for items you’re tempted to keep just in case: if it costs less than $20 to buy at a store under 20 minutes away, let it go. Cost: $0 Time: A full day with snack and rest breaks.

DESIGNATE ZONES Miller says a garage isn’t usually treated as a common household space, which can lead to arguments and a lack of ownership. “Often, one spouse will claim the space and then their partner gets


FOCUS ON THE WALLS DeVouge says painting the walls is an inexpensive way to brighten up a dingy garage. Pegboards make it easier to return tools to their rightful spots after use. Some homeowners take it a step further by carefully tracing around each item for a satisfying dose of “a place for everything, and everything in its place,” says Miller. “When all of your spaces feel pulled-together and organized, people feel so much more content in their home,” says Miller. “Plus, when you know what you have, you’re not wasting money re-buying a battery pack or a tool because you can’t find it.” Cost: $60–$300 Time: Two hours to paint, one hour to install a pegboard, and more to organize.

Photo: Monkey Bar Storage


frustrated because they aren’t looking after it,” says Miller. “If everyone in the family needs to access the space and use it in some way, it needs to function for everyone.” Miller is a fan of zones. One to park your vehicle, one to sort recycling and trash, and one for storage. If you use your garage for a hobby, like planting or woodworking, designate a zone. Store anything your children use at their level, unblocked by other items and organized in a way that makes it easy for them to put back neatly.

Miller generally works with what clients have and doesn’t ask them to buy fancy new organization solutions, but goes out the window when she’s working on a garage. “Garages are the one place where you want to spend a bit of money on specific organization systems that are more tailored to the type of gear you keep,” says Miller. She recommends the Monkey Bar Storage systems, a steel wallmounted shelf with hooks for the walls and overhead racks that secure above a garage door. “They make good use of the vertical space in a garage,” says Miller. “A lot of people just stack plastic totes against a wall, but it’s a pain to get at the one on the bottom and it’s also a tipping hazard.” Cost: $150–$2,400 Time: A day to install and organize.


You probably stopped noticing the dusty-grey concrete floor years ago, but a coat of bright paint will make your garage look larger. Ask your local home-improvement store for garage-floor paint to avoid priming and top-coat. If you’re feeling fancy, Miller says some of her clients will coat the floor with a slick epoxy for a glossy finish. Sprinkle sparkly paint chips to over the still-wet floor for a terrazzo-like finish.

Wayne Evans, the owner of Organizing Pros in Mount Pearl, N.L., says the biggest problem homeowners have with their garages is that they can’t get in them. “Everyone wants a garage, but they wind up using them for storage,” says Evans. “That’s a pretty expensive storage area. That’s not what garages are meant for.” Organizing Pros is known for high-end custom cabinetry like colourful melamine and all-metal modular cabinets designed for garages. Evans says you can’t compare custom powder-coated cabinets to the assembleyourself big-box store options. “They don’t have the same construction and they aren’t going to hold up as well,” says Evans. It used to be difficult to buy garage-specific cabinets that weren’t industrial grey, black, or red, says Miller. Today many stores and suppliers carry white, blue, and soft wood tone cabinets so the garage feels more like an extension of your home.

Cost: $50–$200 Time: An hour to paint the floor, but 2–3 hours beforehand to sweep, vacuum, and remove every particle of dust before you paint.

Cost: $300–$3,000 Time: A weekend to DIY or several hours for a professional to measure and install. o

Cost: $0 Time: Plan for an hour-long discussion with all household members.









Crafty Sea Glass Picture Create a cheery piece of art with this step-by-step project STORY AND PHOTOS BY HEATHER FEGAN


usan King started collecting sea glass as a young girl growing up in Cape Breton, N.S. “My mom said I always had rocks, sea glass, and sand in my pockets,” she says. “She still jokes about how she had to be careful with the laundry.” Today she owns Ceilidh’s Sea Glass Creations in Lower Sackville, N.S., and makes sea glass art, ornaments, and jewelry and driftwood art. She shows and sells her work at craft markets, and stores including Shore Things in Eastern Passage, N.S., and the Celtic Sisters Gifts shop in Canso, N.S. King shows East Coast Living how to create a unique piece of sea glass art, and shares tips on where to find the best sea glass.





You need sea glass, cardstock, glue, and a picture frame with matting. If you don’t have a sea-glass stash like King, you can find it on beaches across the region. “It’s there to be found,” says King, who uses only natural sea glass she collects herself, mainly from beaches in Cape Breton. You can buy sea glass online or at a craft supply stores.

Spread your sea glass on the table and arrange it to find the pieces that work best together. Take your time. Your daisy can have pointy petals or round, a long stem or short. No two pictures will be the same because each piece of sea glass is unique. Look for long, thin pieces for the stem. Next choose pieces that look like leaves. Choose a round piece of glass or a small stone for the daisy’s centre. Select a variety of sea glass pieces to lay around the stone as petals to see what looks best to you. SUMMER 2019







Arrange the sea glass you’ve selected on to your cardstock. Cardstock is thicker and more durable than regular paper. You can buy individual sheets at craft stores and trim to fit your frame. Centre the daisy on the background or tilt it to appear to be blowing in the wind. Add a second daisy if you have the space.

King uses Elmer’s Craft Bond, a type of wood glue. It’s strong but won’t soak through the cardstock. A dab on the back of each piece of sea glass is all you need. Glue each piece onto the background. Let it dry for a couple hours before lifting it.


STEP 5: FINISHING TOUCHES King uses custom-made recycled frames with custom matting but says you can find a simple frame at a craft-supply store. Choose a frame that is deep enough to showcase your piece and comes with matting, which will lend your work a professional touch. You can also find second-hand frames at yard sales and thrift shops. Sign your piece, pop it in the frame, and proudly display your art. o

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SEEKING SEA GLASS The sea glass King uses is natural, collected mainly in Cape Breton at beaches in the summer. White, green, and brown are the most common colours. Blue, red, orange, and yellow pieces are harder to find. King recommends combing the beach at low tide. After high winds or a storm, you find more sea glass. On a leisurely trip to the beach, King fills a sandwich-size bag. Ensure whatever sea glass you collect is cooked, sea-glass-speak for rounded without sharp edges, says King. Sea glass needs to be tumbled by the waves for many years before it becomes smooth and safe to handle.




Grand Manan, N.B. This sand and stone beach near the ferry terminal features intertidal pools at low tide. Watch for sand dollars. Brown sand dollars are alive, so step carefully. You can collect the white ones.

SOURIS BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK Souris, P.E.I. Start out an hour before low tide and walk to the rocky end of the beach. Here you’ll find a bounty of sea glass and a lovely stroll along the dunes.

South Shore, N.S. Start at Queensland Beach and walk east toward Cleveland Beach. The rocky shoreline between the two sand beaches offers lots of possibility.

Conception Bay, N.L. This heart-shaped beach features grey sand and, locals say, lots of sea glass. Make time for a hike along the 2-kilometre trail before or after your hunt.



East Coast Living Magazine




Shake it up The classic Atlantic Canadian style of shakes and shingles gets an update BY SUZANNE RENT


hingles and shakes still decorate historic homes, from the majestic to the modest, around Atlantic Canada. Think about some of the homes in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley or along New Brunswick’s coastal drives. Shingles and shakes were functional but also crafted to highlight a home’s look. Today, technology has changed how they’re made, but the East-Coast look endures. The first thing to know, is shingles and shakes aren’t the same thing. A wood shingle is sawed and planed uniformly on both sides to lock together. Wooden shakes are traditionally hand split so no two are exactly the same. That makes applying shakes like completing a large puzzle. “If you’re a perfectionist like me, the shingle looks cleaner,” says Brad Baker, owner of Artisan Roofing in Moncton, N.B. says. “The shakes give a more rustic look.” Brian Rose is the customer-service manager with Cape Cod Siding in Hammonds Plains, N.S., which produces wood siding in a range of styles. The company sells most of its siding

This Lunenburg, N.S. home blends traditional East Coast design elements and modern touches.




Photo by Bruce Murray, VisionFire Studios





Shingles and shakes aren’t synonyms. Shingles are sawed and planed uniformly. Shakes are traditionally hand split so no two are identical.

Photo: Cape Cod Siding

Photo: Cape Cod Siding

This home in River John, N.S., combines decorative shingles and siding.





ABOVE: These Saint John, N.B. townhouses mix traditional finishes with modern style.

to clients in Canada and Europe. It’s siding is made from western softwood grown in British Columbia and Eastern white cedar . “Most people like the look of wood siding,” Rose says. “They like the warmth of wood.” Today’s wood siding and shingles are treated to last longer. Cape Cod treats its siding and shingles with 100% acrylic, breathable water-based paint on all sides. That protects the siding from Atlantic Canadian weather. Rose says one of the benefits of wood siding over composites is the range of colours to choose from. He says Cape Cod has a database of 15,000 colours, but beige and grey remain popular. “They are classic colours that never go out of style.” Other popular colours include black or darker browns with white trim or semi-transparent colours that look more like a stain. Rose says clients can even bring in swatches of fabrics to match. You can install shakes or shingles yourself, depending on your

skill level and the size of the job. “You don’t need special tools,” Rose says. “It’s basic carpentry.” He advises clients investing a lot of money in wood siding to also invest in the professionals to install it properly. Wood shingles and shakes no longer rule the roofing market. Ian Armour, owner at Refined Roofing in Halifax, N.S., says he shingled a pool house roof in wood last summer. He has a few wood shingles on his own home, but they’re more decorative. “It’s expensive to get done and with the improvements in shingle technology, it’s made wood shingles less popular,” Armour says. “Other roofing materials are just better.” Most homeowners choose architectural shingles made of asphalt that look like wood or cedar shakes. These shingles are made from asphalt and fiberglass and have a longer lifespan than wood shingles. Still, Armour says how long any shingles last depend on a few factors. Wood cedar shakes will last long on




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LEFT: This rustic cabin is nestled on a four hectare lot in Hartsville, P.E.I. The main part of the cabin includes a cedar porch, pine floors, and an open bedroom loft. RIGHT TOP: Shakes are hand split so each is unique. RIGHT BOTTOM: Shingles are uniform.

a steep roof but may rot quicker in a yard with lots of trees when leaves collect on the roof. He says asphalt shingles last longer on flatter roofs. Armour uses four brands of asphalt shingles, each with different designs that vary from a modern look to a traditional shake style. Asphalt shingles also last longer and can have up to a 40-year warranty, Armour says. A lot of historic homes still have wood-shingled roofs because homeowners must follow local by-laws about what materials go onto heritage homes, says Baker. He worked on the roof of Hammond House in Sackville, N.B. Artist John Hammond, who taught fine arts at Mount Allison’s Ladies’ College, commissioned the house in 1896. Baker says shingles usually feature three types of wood: western red wood, Alaska yellow, and eastern white cedar. Eastern white cedar is mould resistant while western red works best for roofing applications. Baker says which style you use on the roof depends on the style of the house. A steep roof will be more visible from the street, so homeowners should take that into account. Shakes work better on a cottage rather than a modern-style home. How long it takes to install roofing depends on the materials, too. Baker says a roof with asphalt shingles might take a day to install, while a roof with cedar shakes will take two to three days.

“Cedar shakes are all different sizes,” Baker says. “You have to shuffle through the box to find the right sizes.” Paul Biso at Cedar Hill Roofing in Brackley, P.E.I., says he remembers 10 to 20 years ago when you could buy a bundle of cedar shakes for about $20–$25 a bundle. Now those same shakes cost $80–$100 a bundle. “It’s more labour intensive to install,” Biso says. “It was already a labour intensive product, but now it’s priced itself out of the market. I don’t think you’ll see the price go down.” Armour, Baker, and Biso all say when looking to hire a roofer to install shingles or shakes, it’s important to know who you’re hiring. Request multiple quotes, ask for references and go see homes the company worked on. Always ask for proof of insurance and avoid companies that don’t have websites. “Don’t let your decision be an email,” Biso says. “You don’t know what you’re getting until I show up at the door.” o



East Coast Living Magazine




Photo: Munn Family

Returning to the Island A P.E.I. architect transforms his childhood cottage into a permanent home BY ALISON JENKINS PHOTOS BY STEVE SMITH, VISIONFIRE STUDIOS


reg Munn’s feet are planted in his fully-restored kitchen, but his mind is in the past. As a child, his family spent summers in this Murray River, P.E.I. house. “We had a pump right here and that was the only water,” says Munn while squaring his hands in the exact spot. In his mind’s eye, Munn fills a kettle from the hand pump, then turns toward the sleek black and stainless-steel range. “There was a wood stove here,” he remembers, “that was the only heat.” Just to make coffee in the morning, they’d have to start the fire to heat the water. Munn started restoring the home in 2010, on summer trips back to P.E.I. from his home in Nebraska. It didn’t have electricity or plumbing. An outhouse still stands crookedly in the yard. “It was only used in the summer, so it was like camping,” says Greg. “It was a lot of work, but it didn’t feel like it at the time,” says Walter Munn, Greg’s father. Walter and Millie, Greg’s mom, moved into the home from Springhill, N.S. in 2011, just in time for the last of the drywalling. Together, Millie and Walter worked on the final details; a family photo shows her painting a window sash while Walter putties one of the original windows.





Greg and his father flip through a book of memories documenting the family’s decades in the house.




LEFT: The back hall was originally an exterior wall and features the original cedar shingles. RIGHT: The marble vanity tops in the bathroom were salvaged from the Bishop’s Palace, a historic Charlottetown building. The late folk artist, Kerras Jeffery, build the vanity cabinets with reclaimed wood. BELOW: The family photo above the kitchen door is special to Greg and Walter. The child on the ladder (left) is Greg.

The earliest records of the building show it was a railroad kitchen house in 1903. In 1907, George Lowe, a local builder, bought the structure and moved it to its current spot. When Lowe died in 1947, he left the house to his housekeeper, Greg’s great grandmother. When she retired to Moncton years later, the house began its new life as a summer getaway. The Munn family spent weeks here every summer during Greg’s childhood. “Sometimes we’d have 40 people here,” says Greg. “There would be tents, sleeping bags across the kitchen, people from Ontario, British Columbia, my aunt from Scotland, cousin from England. It was, still is, a gathering place.” Millie passed away in 2015. In October 2018, Greg moved to P.E.I. to accept a job with a Charlottetown architectural firm. He specializes in restoration and sustainable architecture. Today he and his father live in the house year-round. Greg planned the restoration for decades. “It was going to be a modern, efficient-to-run home,” he says. “[I was] not too worried about re-creating exactly the way it was, but just carrying it forward.” He says taking on such a personal architectural project was a lot of fun. “[The home] was original until 2010, then jumping into 21st-century





BELOW: The family gathered to take the house back to its studs in 2010.

Photo: Munn Family

BOTTOM: The corner vanity in the basement bathroom-laundry room was part of the original kitchen pantry.

technology was really exciting,” says Greg. “There’s wisdom in the way houses were built. [Builders] took into consideration things like cross-ventilation and orientation to capture the sun.” In 2014, Greg was recognized for his restoration work with a PEI Museum Heritage Award. Greg has been a member of the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation for over 35 years and is on the Charlottetown Heritage Board and the Design Review Board. Modern day builders and architects often forget how to use nature to complement design, says Greg. “You super-insulate it, and the windows don’t matter where they go, in terms of wind and sun. That gets lost. I think as the architectural community and as a society, we need to get back to that. To trying to be greener, more sustainable. We have that innately in this house.” To start the restoration in 2010, Greg hosted a party. He gathered about a dozen family members and rented a house up the road to demo the family home. “We took seven tonnes of plaster and lath out of the house. We stripped it down to the frame on the inside.” Walter removed the built-in cabinets, doors, trim, wainscoting, and hardware to restore and use later. Once they cleared the house down to the studs, the contractor took over. “It was as original as you could get,” said Mike McCarthy, owner of general contracting-firm East Coast Carpentry. “There was really no foundation under it.” The edges sat on Island stone, a traditional foundation material on P.E.I. Workers would quarry the stone near the project and carve it into blocks. In the basement, a forest of posts supported the floors. A new foundation was essential. Greg remembers worrying about the strength of the floors during a large family gathering in 2006. “They lifted the house up and the floors stayed behind. I think if I had waited a couple more years, [the house] wouldn’t have been salvageable.” McCarthy had doubts about the structure too. “It was kind of questionable when the house was four feet in the air and no floors in SUMMER 2019



This photo shows the home as it was in Greg’s childhood.

it,” he says, but Greg’s design plans were the saving grace. McCarthy recommends hiring an architect or home designer for a large restoration project. Greg went about it properly, he says, remodeling from the ground up. During the restoration, Greg could see workers built the home with balloon framing (meaning the outer frame came before the floors). The technique dates back to before the early 1900s; Greg speculates the building stood elsewhere before the railway started using it. Today the floor plans remain basically unchanged. The two upstairs bedrooms tuck beneath sloped ceilings and the floors are the original wood, painted with deep pigments. On the main floor, Greg removed a wall to open up the original living room floor plan. A mantle, restored by Walter, anchors the space between two doors to the dining room. The dining room floor is what remains of the original hardwood. They salvaged just enough from the main floor rooms. Most of the furniture in the home has a story too, says Greg, but it’s not a museum. All the pieces are functional. “I grew up with that,” says Walter pointing to the Munn tartancovered fainting couch. It’s from the kitchen in his family home, just up the road in Hopefield, P.E.I. “I used to hide underneath the end of it when I was little.” Two art-deco armchairs, with chrome legs and a carved-wood armrests, seem out of place with the rest of the turn-of-the-last century décor, but they are special to Greg. “My grandparents always sat in those chairs. They’re part of the house.” Greg’s memories weave throughout the home, and a bright future looks in store. His partner of 18 years, David Keech, will visit from Nebraska this summer to see the most recent updates. “The very first time Greg took me to that house was a very cold snowy March,” said Keech who’d only seen photos to that point. “When we got there, the thing I always recall is there was probably about a four- or five-foot snow drift in front of the door. We couldn’t even go in until he shovelled that away. No heat, no running water, no bathroom, and it was very cozy. It was actually very nice that way.” Keech says Greg worked on plans for the house for decades before they started dating, but he feels close to the final designs . “He would often bring his ideas to me,” says Keech. “I would tweak some of his ideas or throw an idea of my own in there.” Keech designed the property’s landscaping. Greg prizes his partner’s skills. The pair planted an orchard, and someday, Keech wants to keep bees. “It’s amazing,” says Keech. “It essentially has the same feel, the same warm and homey feeling that it had when it was basically just a cabin, but now it has all the modern amenities of home.” o




East Coast Living Magazine



TOP LEFT: Greg refreshed but kept the painted floors in the bedrooms to maintain the home’s original look. TOP RIGHT: The Munn’s built this simple deck from three connected 8x4 frames. The only tools they used were a circular saw, electric screwdrivers, and a hammer. ABOVE: The plaid fainting couch where Walter used to hide as a child still sees daily use.


ABOVE: Warm wood and bookshelf lighting brighten up Greg’s basement office. SUMMER 2019



Good fences Understand property lines and local bylaws before renovating BY CHRIS MUISE


endy Siddall owned a rotunda in Hebron, N.S., and few surrounding hectares of the land. When she decided to subdivide the land, selling part of the property and keeping a parcel for herself, she thought she had the right to do so. “I had informally been told I could put septic down there,” says Siddall, “but when I talked to the municipality, they told me there were bylaws limiting the number of times that a property could be subdivided.” She learned the previous owner divided the property to its limit in the last 50 years. “I was just surprised that there was a law,” says Siddall, who eventually sold the Hebron land and moved to Yarmouth, N.S. “The plans to develop that property were then kiboshed.” To avoid similar project-halting oversights, homeowners need to understand the basics of property boundaries and who to consult before building. Nick Rudnicki is a contractor at RSI Projects in Halifax. Part of his job is to think about the rules and regulations affecting a client’s land before they hire builders. He says the design phase of any project should be twice as long as the building phase to ensure proper planning.




“The most expensive thing you will ever hear on site is ‘We will deal with it later,’” says Rudnicki. “There are thousands of these questions that can be answered up-front and should be answered up-front. Otherwise, you’re just asking for a nightmarish disaster once the backhoe shows up. It really comes down to the trifecta of time, money, and sanity.” The rules vary by location, but in most cases, you’re only permitted to occupy a certain percentage of the land you own. Your local bylaws and building regulations also govern setback or how close to the property line you can build. The rules can differ between urban and rural areas of the same city. “There isn’t a set rule for how close you can build to the property line,” says Rudnicki. “That’s a function of each zone and each density regulation that applies to that. You need to sit down with a geotechnical engineer and walk through that.” Setbacks can also determine how close you can build to natural formations, like bodies of water. “Any waterfront properties, especially here in P.E.I., there’s regulations that prevent you from a portion of your land,” says Allan Tierney, owner of Blue Heron Construction in North Rustico. “The


The design phase of any project should be twice as long as the building phase to ensure proper planning




Watch words Easement A legal agreement allowing specific use of part of a property by someone besides the owners. This could include a shared driveway or the location of power and water lines.

Right of Way A specific kind of easement allowing traffic to cross your property to reach a destination. This could be a walkway that goes through your property to someone else’s property or a public location, like a lake or park.

ABOVE: A shared driveway is a common example of an easement. BELOW: Local land-use bylaws consider how one property affects others. For example, the type of soil in your area can affect how water sheds, and dictates where to place a septic system.

Setback The prescribed distance from your property line that you’re allowed to build. This distance varies from municipality to municipality, and even from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.

Variance Permission from your planning office to modify your property in a way that violates a bylaw.

norm is 75 feet [about 23 metres] from the high-water mark. They refer to it as a buffer zone; they’re allowing for erosion.” There’s also the question of who else has the right to use your land. These are often outlined an easement, a written agreement between two or more parties to share a piece of property. Your land likely shares an easement with utility companies, granting access to lay pipe and wires. You might also share an easement with a neighbour. For example, a shared driveway that branches out to two homes. Another common easement is a right of way, allowing people to cross part of your land to reach their property or a public space. In rural areas, it’s particularly important to investigate before placing a septic system. You need to understand how your water sheds and soil type can play a role. “You’re giving consideration to the neighbourhood as a whole,” says Marc Cormier, a land surveyor with Hughes Surveys and Consultants in Saint John, N.B. “And trying to create an environment that is better for the whole, rather than allowing every individual owner to build the property to their desire.” It’s hard to even start building if you haven’t accounted for these factors. “Fortunately, the city has enough checks and balances in place that you probably shouldn’t be able to start building until the city has gone through all of these things with you,” says Rudnicki.




A property survey was the end of Siddall’s plans, but homeowners aren’t always stuck when it comes to an ordinance blocking a planned project. You can usually apply for a variance, a legal exception to existing limits on the property, as reviewed and approved by a zoning board. Whether you’re building from scratch or considering a property addition like a shed or fence, Cormier recommends employing a licensed surveyor or working with a contracting company that regularly navigates property law. “We’re often seen as a nuisance expense,” says Cormier. “The cost of a survey is not cheap, but in the long run, it prevents problems from happening.” Your first step could be as easy as grabbing a pen and a napkin. “Do a very crude drawing of what you would like to do,” says Rudnicki. “Literally, an approximate scribble, with approximate measurements from where you think the property line is. Take that to the [vital statistics] office. You can get a lot of answers from them with just a crude preliminary sketch.” o



East Coast Living Magazine


HOME grown Here’s what you need to know to grow your own cannabis legally BY SCOTT NEILSON


ollowing the federal government’s 2018 legalization of recreational cannabis use, Atlantic Canadian households can grow up to four cannabis plants each. Here’s how to start your plants legally, safely, and cost-effectively. The first thing you need is female cannabis seeds; only female plants produce cannabinoids, the chemical compound that gives cannabis its effect. Authorized medical cannabis patients can legally buy seeds from a licensed producer (LP). As of mid-April, Health Canada approved LPs in all four Atlantic




Grow tents help contain and manage heat, humidity, light, and odours. provinces. Find the one closest to you at Those without medical authorization can purchase seeds at provincial-government cannabis stores. Soak your seeds in a glass of slightly-warmerthan-room-temperature bottled spring water for 12–18 hours. When a seed cracks and a tap root appears, place it on a bed of folded paper towels on a ceramic plate. Keep the paper towel damp,



but don’t overwater. Leave the plate in a dark space with good airflow. When a root reaches one centimetre, place seedlings into soil or more expensive but reusable coconut husk. You can find it at cannabis growing supply stores and garden centres across Atlantic Canada. Key to healthy growth is sunlight or a substitute. The law on outdoor growing varies SUMMER 2019

by location, so learn yours before putting plants outside. If you want to keep plants indoors, there are a number of lighting options. Stephanie Scammell runs Grow and Brew, a hydroponic gardening and home brewing supply store in Truro, N.S. She says beginners on smaller budgets should consider lighting seedlings with a 50–100 centimetre long T5 fluorescent strip light. Scammell says growers can then set seedlings outside during spring and summer, to let the sun finish the plants’ vegetation cycles or leave them indoors, under the T5. This approach will add only a few dollars to your power bill each month, she says. T5 lights are available online, at grow shops, and hardware stores. They plug into standard wall sockets. Smaller light set-ups mean small yields and slow growing. Moving up to the next level of lighting, most hobby growers instead use ceramic metal halide (CMH) lights, or highpressure sodium (HPS). Both are high intensity discharge (HID) lights. You can expect to pay about $50 for a basic light. HIDs need a shoe-sized metal ballast. This provides enough voltage to start the lamps and regulate their electricity. Assuming four plants in a 1-metre-square grow tent, a 315 Watt CMH light will increase your monthly electric bill by around $40–$50, concur several veteran growers. Also popular with at home growers are grow tents, wardrobe-sized zippered canvas spaces that help contain and manage heat, humidity, light, and odours. If you want an HID light, tent, and fan will cost about $1,000, says Luke Morine, owner operator of Valley Hobbyponics, a grow shop in New Minas, N.S. Morine advises new growers to carefully consider if they also have a suitable growing space with accessibility, water, and ventilation before investing. Also make plans to keep children and animals out of your growing space. Ingesting even small amounts can be toxic. To avoid a large electric bill, Racheal MacDonald, owner operator of Green Corner, a Moncton, N.B. grow shop, says some growers use LED lights, which use less power, and don’t need a ballast. LEDs can be tricky, MacDonald says. Some underperform during a plant’s flowering cycle. Unlike HIDs, LEDs emit very little heat. Using LEDs in your basement in winter means you’ll probably need to heat your grow space. And she adds that while $1,000 may be a big budget for many beginners, once you’re operational, that cost compares well against typical government retail prices of about $6–$15 per gram. Home growing also


means less packaging than products from government shops, she says. Once you install your lights, you can leave them on or set a timer to create four–six hours of darkness per night. MacDonald says some darkness is key for growth. “The aim is to replicate Mother Nature and very few places have 24 hours of light each day.” It’s also essential to use a 10–15 centimetre inline fan to ensure air flow through your growing space. This helps prevent pests like spider mites and problems such as rot and mold, while also ensuring enough carbon dioxide. Keep your grow area temperature 21– 25.5°C and 30–50% humidity. Fertilize with a cannabis-specific all-in-one regime to avoid overfeeding your plants, a common error for new growers. After four to six weeks of vegetation, adjust your timer to only 12 hours of light. This triggers the flowering cycle. Now, temperature should be 18–27°C with 30% humidity. During flowering, your plant’s height may triple. Morine recommends removing most of the unneeded lower leaves to send more nutrients to important areas of the plant, and to increase light penetration for healthy growth. Midway through flowering, your plants will emit an increasingly strong smell. Morine suggests using a carbon filter to trap odours. Filters come in many sizes and can sit outside a tent to save space. About seven to 13 weeks after flowering begins, your plants’ trichomes, tiny, crystallike hairs covering the plant’s buds, will turn milky. These contain THC, cannabis’s psychoactive substance. Morine uses a microscope to be sure it’s harvest time. Others use a jeweller’s eyepiece. When you’re ready to harvest, cut the plant at its base and pluck any remaining lower leaves. Hang it upside down to dry in a secure and airy space for four to six days, at around 21°C and 50% humidity. Check on your drying plant daily. Once dry, remove buds from branches. Store in an air-tight container to cure for at least one month. You can grind your buds and smoke or vape them, drink them in tea, or make canna butter for baking into edibles such as cookies. o

KNOW THE LAW Laws vary by province and city, but these general rules and tips apply throughout Canada: • Possessing seeds from unlicensed vendors is illegal, as is anything grown from them. • Growers must be 19 years of age or older. • Each household may grow up to four plants. Multiple apartments in one building are considered separate households. If renting, check your lease to ensure growing cannabis isn’t prohibited. • Transporting cannabis in a vehicle follows the same laws as alcohol. It must be in a sealed package and out of reach of anyone in the vehicle. The maximum amount of cannabis you can possess outside of your home is 30 grams. There is no limit to what you possess in your home.

HOW MUCH DRIED CANNABIS WILL I YIELD? Veteran grower and grow shop owner operator Luke Morine says that a 315 Watt ceramic metal halide light and a ballast running 24 hours a day over four plants inside a ventilated 1 meter by 1 meter by 1.7 meter tall grow tent should yield approximately 1 gram of dried cannabis flower for each of your light’s Watts. Under this scenario, four Indica-strain plants taking approximately 60–70 days from seed to harvest, should yield approximately 315 grams (about 11 oz.) of dried flower.


@EastCoastLiving East Coast Living Magazine SUMMER 2019




Social sandwiches Dainty and crustless, these nibbles are a staple at celebrations across our region


ea sandwiches, with their perfectly shorn edges and colourful fillings, are ubiquitous in Atlantic Canada. These dainty bites are a part of our history perfect for all occasions from family get-togethers to community celebrations. As the story goes, the ritual of afternoon tea began in 1840 with the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell. She served a pot of tea and finger sandwiches to stave off hunger until formal dinner later in the evening.



Afternoon tea is historically served midafternoon and included tea sandwiches, cakes, sweets, and scones. In Atlantic Canada, social teas and the sandwiches that go with them are a part of life in towns and villages. “Tea sandwiches are special because you don’t do them at home,” says Susan Duke, from Windsor, N.S. “You would only get to eat tea sandwiches if you went out. Every time there was a wedding or a funeral, an anniversary party, they got tea sandwiches.” Tea sandwiches were always a delicacy,


with flavours and fillings that wouldn’t be found on an everyday menu, Duke says. “How many families could regularly make asparagus sandwiches on white bread with mayonnaise to feed to the kids? I mean it just didn’t happen,” she says. “It’d be a grilled cheese or tomatoes from the garden, some leftover pot roast and that kind of thing. There would never be tiny asparagus sandwiches.” Duke grew up in New Brunswick, where her mother made tea sandwiches for


community functions for over 50 years. “She probably made them for longer than that, because she died at 94 and she was still making sandwiches around 90,” Duke says. Duke remembers her mother always made sandwiches with the crusts cut off and only used white bread. She would make egg salad sandwiches, cream cheese with cherry, cream cheese with pineapple, white tuna, chicken salad with celery, and asparagus. “And I remember as kid, Mum making trays of sandwiches for the church and she would cut the crusts off and put them in a bowl for us kids. And, we loved it because they were always really good,” says Duke. “These ladies were like artists. Sandwiches were all arranged so neatly. Back then, it was about the taste and the presentation, and the presentation was beautiful.” In Newfoundland, Jean Boyd from St. George’s, has made tea sandwiches with her church group for over 50 years. Growing up, Boyd didn’t remember having tea sandwiches at community functions. “I remember putting potted meat between two slices of bread, but they weren’t as fancy as they are now,” she says. Boyd helps with several United Church group events each year, including a tea and quilt show in the spring. The group serves egg salad sandwiches, tuna, and ham and cheese, lettuce tomato, roast beef or chicken, sometimes asparagus. “Wherever you go in Newfoundland, it’s about the same types of sandwiches,” she explained. Back in the Annapolis Valley, you could say tea season runs from March to May in conjunction with the Apple Blossom Festival. Linda Oikle from Hantsport, N.S., has made tea sandwiches for five years with the King’s Daughters, a group that handles receptions and other functions for the Hantsport Baptist Church. The group covers about 10 functions each year. “For reception or afternoon teas, it’s mostly tuna, ham and cheese, egg, cream cheese and cherry, sometimes chicken,” she explained. “For a fancy tea, like the Princess Teas, we would do open-faced cream cheese and cherry, cream cheese and asparagus rolled, or cucumber and cream cheese. Preparing for a Princess Tea requires a more elegant approach, Oikle says. “We would do different shapes, cut with a cookie cutter to make a circle, or have the sandwiches open-faced,” she says. o

Cream Cheese and Cherry These candy-flavoured maraschino and cream cheese quickly become favourites. Recipe courtesy of Jessica Patterson INGREDIENTS 450 g cream cheese, softened 1 jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped 1 loaf white bread

DIRECTIONS 1. Remove crusts from a loaf of fresh bread, cut slices horizontally. Using a rolling pin, flatten slices. 2. Butter bread lightly. 3. Chop maraschino cherries and mix with softened cream cheese. 4. Spread cherry-cheese filling over butter, roll up like a jelly roll. 5. Roll sandwich in a damp napkin and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. 6. To serve, trim ends and cut into slices least a quarter-inch thick.

Tuna and Lime Gelatin Light tasting, perfect for picnics, this sandwich can be prepared the day before. Recipe courtesy of Jay Remer, St. Andrews, N.B. INGREDIENTS 1 package lime gelatin ½ cup boiling water 1 tin of drained white tuna 1 carrot, finely grated 3 green onions, white part only, chopped fine ½ cup whipped salad dressing ½ cup whipping cream

DIRECTIONS 1. In a small bowl, combine gelatin and boiling water. Set aside. 2. In another bowl, mix tuna, grated carrot, green onion, whipped salad dressing, whipping cream until combined, about two minutes. 3. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 4. To assemble, spread filling on a slice of bread, top with additional bread, remove crusts, and quarter.




Ribbon Sandwiches Can’t decide which to try? Have both. This sandwich combines fillings and breads. Recipe courtesy of Susan Duke INGREDIENTS 4 loaves day-old brown bread 2 loaves day-old white bread Butter or margarine, softened Ham and egg filling

DIRECTIONS 1. Spread butter and ham filling on a slice of brown bread. Top with a slice of white bread. 2. Spread butter and egg filling on white bread and top with a slice of brown bread. 3. Remove crusts. 4. To serve, slice in 1 cm slices (lengthwise) then cut slices into 3–4 sandwiches. 5. Wrap and chill.

Pinwheel Sandwiches The colourful rolled nibbles will have you dreaming of the 1960s. Recipe courtesy of Susan Duke INGREDIENTS Day-old sandwich loaf, sliced lengthwise Butter or margarine, softened

DIRECTIONS 1. Remove crusts, roll each slice lightly with a rolling pin. This prevents cracking later. 2. Spread butter to the edge of the bread. Cover to the edge with filing. 3. Starting at the narrow end, roll up each slice. 4. Place seam-side down on plate. 5. Cover with a damp tea towel and chill. 6. To serve, cut into 12 slices and arrange artfully on serving platter.


Classic Cream Cheese Filling

Simple to make and a delight to look at. Recipe courtesy of Susan Duke, Windsor, N.S.

This classic standby firms up well when chilled.

INGREDIENTS 8 slices day-old brown bread 8 slices day-old white bread Butter or margarine, softened Cream cheese filling

DIRECTIONS 1. Starting with a slice brown bread, spread butter and filling then and top with white bread. Alternate bread colours until stack is 8 slices high. Repeat for a second stack. 2. Remove crusts. 3. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes. Keep reminding filling room temperature. 4. Cut each stack into 1 cm thick slices. 5. Spread butter and filling on slices. Stack alternating brown and white bread, forming a checkerboard. 6. Wrap in plastic and chill. 7. To serve, cut in 1 cm slices.




INGREDIENTS 125 g cream cheese 1 Tbsp mayonnaise 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce ¼ tsp onion salt Yellow food colour (optional)

DIRECTIONS 1. Beat all ingredients well. 2. Add food colour until filling is mustard hued.

EATING IN Filling variations: Pickle: 1. Replace butter with processed cheese spread. 2. At the narrow end of each slice, lay olives, gherkins, or dill pickle slices close together. 3. Roll from short end. When sliced the centre will feature a small slice of olive or pickle. Ham: 2 cans, flaked ham 2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish 1 tsp onion flakes, crushed 3 Tbsp whipped salad dressing 1. Combine ingredients. If too dry, add more salad dressing. 2. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. 3. Spread on bread and roll from short end.

Bacon Asparagus Roll Ups A warm twist on a church social favourite. INGREDIENTS 6 slices bacon 24 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed 225 g cream cheese 2 Tbsp chives, chopped fine 12 slices white bread, crusts removed 2 Tbsp butter, melted 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS 1. Heat oven to 400 °F. 2. Grease baking sheet. 3. Cook bacon in deep skillet over medium-high heat, turning occasionally until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towel. 4. When bacon cools, crumble, and set aside. 5. Place asparagus in large skillet and with 2 cm water. Simmer over medium heat, covered, until bright green and slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove asparagus and set aside. 6. In bowl, combine cream cheese, bacon, and chives. 7. Roll each bread slice with rolling pin on a work surface until thin and flat. 8. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over each slice. 9. Center 2 asparagus spears on bread slice, and roll the slice around the asparagus into a tidy, compact cylinder. Place seam side down onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. 10. Brush each roll with melted butter and sprinkle with about 1.5 tsp Parmesan cheese. 11. Bake until lightly golden brown and hot, 10–12 minutes.

TIP: Need to reheat these sandwiches at an event? Bring a toaster oven and warm them in stages.



East Coast Living Magazine

A L A I N B O S S É Th e Ki l ted Ch e f


celebrating over 400 years of Acadian cooking, The Acadian Kitchen: Recipes from Then and Now is a landmark guide to Acadian history, culture, and the time-honored foods that define its one-of-akind heritage. From culinary expert Alain Bossé, aka “The Kilted Chef,” The Acadian Kitchen explores the evolution of this historic cuisine from its 17th century roots to the Cajun and French Canadian dishes it influences today. With classic recipes for fricot and rappie pie, jambalaya, festive desserts, regional specialties, and much more, The Acadian Kitchen is a comprehensive look at a truly remarkable cuisine that has endured for centuries without losing any of its flavour.

DISCOVER THE FOLLOWING FASCINATING RECIPES . . . Acadian Cajun Peanut Butter Pie (page 141) Spring Hodge Podge (page 75) Ployes (page 184) The Acadian Kitchen by Alain Bossé (the Kilted Chef) | 9781770503137 $34.95 | Published by Whitecap Books (




A sparkling

summer From local to imported options, sparkling wine adds flare to your gathering BY CASSANDRA BERNARD




Steve Smith, VisionFire Studios



on’t save sparkling wines just for special occasions and swanky soirees. From Prosecco to pale rosé, dry sparkling wines to fizzy fruit wines, a bottle of bubbles makes the everyday a little more extraordinary. Jenny Gammon is a sommelier and brand, communications, and events manager at Bishop’s Cellar, a private liquor store in Halifax. She says there are many little-known and delicious winemaking operations in Nova Scotia making their mark on the international wine scene. “If Tidal Bay isn’t on your table or in your glass just yet, now is the time to change that,” Gammon says. Tidal Bay is Nova Scotia’s signature white-wine blend. Wineries throughout the province produce Tidal Bay, but must follow strict rules and regulations when it comes to grape growing, production, and taste. Gammon says to look for wines from Benjamin Bridge, Lightfoot & Wolfville, and Blomidon Estate Winery. They release a range of sparkling wines, from affordable sparklers to special occasion treats. “I recommend trying one of the small-lot sparkling wines from Avondale Sky Winery.” She says. “I love their Blanc de Noirs, which they don’t always release regularly, but when they do, it is delicious.” The sweet combination of light flavours, vibrant acidity, and effervescence make sparkling wine a perfect match with fresh-shucked oysters and deep-fried fish. Pair wines with a high acidity with rich, salty foods. “Two not-so-guilty pleasures taste even better,” she laughs. Tracey Dobbin, a Newfoundlander based in Bordeaux, France, teaches wine classes in both countries and co-owns French- and Italian-wine importer Les 3 Cavistes in Charlottetown. When the seasons change, Dobbin switches to lighter, fresher styles of wine. Dry rosé, the pale pink French style from Provence, trends high for summer. “It is the perfect summer patio sipper that also pairs easily with a range of dishes.” Sparkling wines are a wonderful treat for gatherings. “Prosecco is perfect for those who prefer fruitier wines, while Cava is a great alternative for those seeking drier options,” Dobbin says. “Do as the French do and open a bottle of your favourite fizz at the beginning of casual get-togethers with family and friends.” Enjoy dry rosés alone or paired with dishes like summer salads and grilled white meats and fish. Drink fruity sparkling wines with fruit-based dishes like peach cobbler.

“Do as the French do and open a bottle of your favourite fizz at the beginning of casual get-togethers.” Linda Schipper is one of P.E.I.’s first certified sommeliers and owner of Wine Not Consulting. She says Italian sparkling Prosecco is her go-to for bubbly wine, but reminds us not to overlook the classic Champagne. “Always great to toast those memorable events like weddings and graduations, this fine sparkling wine is also great to pair with food. The bubbles add a nice texture, and the acidly makes it a perfect food wine,” Schipper says. Schipper recommends pairing your favourite bubbly with a local wine or liqueur to create a unique cocktail. “Rossingnol Winery [Little Sands, P.E.I.] makes a delish crème de cassis. Just add an ounce or so to your favourite sparkling and you will know what I mean,” she says. The cassis gives the sparkling wine a boost of sweetness and a black current flavour. “Island Honey Wine Lavender Mead is another great ingredient to use in sparkling cocktails.” o








DIY summer arrangements Bring colour indoors with home-grown fresh-cut flowers BY NIKI JABBOUR PHOTOS BY AMANDA MUIS BROWN


lanting a dedicated cut-flower garden or incorporating more flowers for cutting in your beds and borders can help you keep fresh flowers at home without paying retail prices. Jayme Melrose is co-owner of Props Floral Design and a business developer with Common Roots Urban Farm, both in Halifax. She says planning for cut flowers is different than that of a typical flower garden. “In flower farming, plant spacing tends to be tighter than in a traditional flower garden with plants arranged in blocks or rows,” says Melrose. Cut flowers are often staked to keep plants upright and increase the number of stems in a small area. Annual flowers are a popular choice for cutting gardens as they’re generally easy to grow, productive, and offer an assortment of flower shapes, sizes, and colours. You can grow them in a dedicated bed or interplanted with other plants in your gardens, including perennials, vegetables, and shrubs. It’s not just annuals that make excellent cut flowers. You can plant hardy perennials like helenium, goldenrod, coneflowers, Japanese

anemones, and ornamental grasses to yield masses of blooms for late-summer bouquets. Most flowering plants need at least eight hours of sunlight and rich, well-drained soil. It’s OK if your soil is less-than-ideal, says Amanda Muis Brown, the author of the book From Seed to Centerpiece and the owner of Humble Burdock Farms in Steamville, N.S. “Some annual flowers are secretly weeds in other countries, and will grow in poor soil conditions: cosmos, bachelor button, and zinnias,” she says. If low light is your challenge, Muis Brown suggests perennial blooms like hosta, toad lily, and bugbane. “Everyone can have flowers,” she says. “You just need to get creative.” Prepare the bed by digging in several centimetres of compost and flowering plant fertilizer to encourage production. You can seed or transplant annual flowers like zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, and marigolds into the garden. Do both to ensure the longest production of top-quality flowers. Seedlings get a head start and provide an abundance of early to mid-summer flowers, while seeding extends your cutflower harvest into late summer and autumn.




Bachelor button





Slower growing annual flowers like celosia, lisianthus, and amaranth grow best from seedlings planted in late spring. As your plants grow, there are ways to encourage plenty of blooms. Annuals like zinnias, cosmos, amaranthus, and celosia benefit from pinching. Once the plants are about 30 centimetres tall, use sharp pruners to remove the top third, just above a set of new leaves. Your plant will grow multiple stems from below the cut, which means more blooms.



SUNFLOWERS Muis Brown is a big fan of sunflowers for late season bouquets. “They have such great colours and are long-lasting in the vase.” Leave some flowers in the garden for the birds and bees. For the longest season of blooms, sow fresh seeds every few weeks late spring through early July.


The showiest choices for late season bouquets. It grows up to 1.5 metres and yields large, dramatic flower tassels. Popular varieties for cutting include Love Lies Bleeding, Elephant Head, and Hot Biscuits.

Dill is an essential culinary herb, but don’t underestimate its value as a cut flower. Dill self-seeds and adds texture through flowers and once it starts to turn to seed. “It also smells great, adds height to the garden, and the pollinators love it,” say Melrose. Muis Brown suggests including flowering stems of basil and coriander in bouquets.




This late-season flower factory blooms mid-summer until frost. It produces bountiful flower sizes, shapes, and colours. Grow dahlias in garden beds or large containers. Place the tubers seven to 10 centimetres deep, and 60 centimetres to one metre apart.

ZINNIAS One of the easiest annual flowers to grow creates long-lived cut flowers. The flower farmers love the recently introduced Queen series. Try cultivars like Queen Lime Red and Queen Lime Orange.


Healthy plants yield more flowers so feed annuals monthly with a liquid organic fertilizer. It’s also a good idea to deadhead. Removing spent flowers as they fade give the plant more energy to create new flower. Once buds form, don’t wait until full bloom to harvest. “Most of the flowers in a cutting garden are harvested before full bloom,” says Melrose. This will help flowers last longer in a vase. o



Many flowers produce eye-catching seed pods as they fade. “Nigella, also called love-in-a-mist, is one of my absolute favourites,” says Muis Brown. “It has a lacy flower which turns into an interesting seed pod and you can use the blooms or the pods for interest in a bouquet.” o



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A riot of colours

Photos courtesy of Cathy Murchison-Krolikowski

The delicate work of P.E.I. stained-glass artist Cathy Murchison-Krolikowski



airy nymphs with gossamer wings, beloved pets with fully articulated fur, technicolour jellyfish with delicate tentacles drifting on the tide. Cathy Murchison-Krolikowski’s meticulously shaped stained glass creations come alive in the light. “I’ve done art my whole life,” says Murchison-Krolikowski. “My kindergarten teacher told my mother I’d be an artist and I sold my first painting at 13.” Now the resident of Point Prim, P.E.I., owns an art studio and shop where visitors from all over can enjoy her work. She still paints but a class she took with a friend taught her to appreciate stained glass work. Before long she was co-teaching the course. Now home décor accounts for at least half her business. Murchison-Krolikowski makes many custom pieces. “I just did a window for someone who has just bought a heritage home in Charlottetown and designed their own crest,” she says. “I did a stained-glass piece for it with traditional glass and leading techniques that’s completely unique.”



She also sells to the many tourists who stop by on their way to the picturesque Point Prim Lighthouse. She takes commissions all year, but her shop, Kro in the Skye, is only open May through October. Besides hanging art, which includes stained glass pieces, mosaic wall panels, and paintings, Murchison-Krolikowski makes Tiffany-style lamps and recently started making glass bowls, plates, and trays. Her glass work is as complex as an oil painting. She uses frit, a glass powder with a sugary texture, to build up layers of glass which she fires in a kiln to fuse together. She can fire a single piece six or seven times. Working with stained glass is delicate work. Murchison-Krolikowski imports glass from the United States because there are no manufacturers in Canada. Even there, plants are closing because of the heavy metals involved in its production. Her mentor got lead poisoning from repeatedly touching glass and then his face. She wears a respirator, washes her hands frequently, and changes her shoes SUMMER 2019

before leaving the studio. Even with those precautions, she stopped doing restoration work because of the lead in old glass. She started making mosaics because she had so much glass left over that she could turn into tiles and other smaller shapes. She also incorporates beach glass into her work. “You can use all kinds of different objects, but I constantly have scraps of glass so that’s what I use.” Murchison-Krolikowski loves the material as much as her finished work. “Sometimes you get a piece of glass so beautiful you almost don’t want to cut it,” she says. “I think if I lived in a loft in Toronto or New York, I’d just frame it and hang it in the window.” o


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