Episode #093 Snowshoes and Uproarious Applause.
We finally get a live audience and boy do they ever like us. Ok, so it helps that they are family and well bribed with food and liquor. My applause sign probably didn’t hurt either.
Everyone went snowshoeing today and it was nice to just go for a quiet walk in the woods and enjoy the peace and quiet of winter in the back country. Now most people don't realize that there are lots of different designs and they all serve a unique purpose. Largely determined by the aboriginal tribe, the area where they lived, and what they used them for. There is everything from bearpaw for maneuvering through dense bush to the traditional ones with the tail which were for traveling across wide-open country like crossing large lakes. The tail helps keep you walking in a straight line.
We also noticed that the couch family have their rink setup on the lake but this year they’ve gone overboard by installing lighting for night skating. All they need now is the beaver tail concession.
Of course we did get to our beer of the day Dark Helmut from Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co. in Vanleek Hill Ontario It's an extra strong version of a german black lager which comes in at 7.3% ABV. It uses only traditional, Aramis, and Hersbrucker hops giving it a IBU of 33. You can find more info at Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.
Episode #092 Rain chains and roasting coffee
I solved the sagging rain gutter problem by installing a rain chain. This is a concept from ancient Japan that became popular during the Victorian and craftsman eras. I did a Kottage Know-how video on our YouTube channel.
I experiment with roasting my own coffee beans using a hot air popcorn popper and it worked out really well. I sourced some green beans from Ashanti Rostery Cafe in Elora. Then I dusted off the old Proctor Silex Popcorn Pumper. I dropped in about ¾ of a cup of beans and plugged it in. The whole process took about 12 minutes to get to a medium dark roast. All the way to second crack! Checkout our YouTube channel.
I had a problem helping Karen get the capsule off a bottle of white wine. After slicing open my finger I discovered it was a screw top bottle and not a cork with a capsule. This did give us the chance to perfect the “mandaid”. You cannot beat paper towel and duct tape to stop the bleeding.
Our beer of the day is Shoulders of Giants Imperial IPA. It comes from Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery in Barrie. Even more hops! This beer uses Galaxy, Falconers Flight, and Amarillo, hops to give it an IBU of 86. Be careful though, it comes in at a whopping 10% ABV in a 750ml bottle. Not a session beer.
Episode #091 Tornados on Six Mile lake?
We had some serious storms with high winds come through the north end of the lake. Everyone thought it was a tornado that cut a path through the forest, but it was actually a “downburst” that flattened all the trees. Everyone had to literally cut their way down the cottage road but at least there will be lots of free firewood.
With all the trees down, power was out for quite a while. Hydro One has a pretty sweet mobile app that lets you see where the outages are and what the expected repair time is. Really cool. Its available for Android and IOS.
Bruce mentioned “The Dam Grill” in Port Severn. It’s a great little restaurant right on the water. It has great food, cold beer, and a huge deck for those great summer evenings. A nice place to stop on the way up to Muskoka. Its located in Bush's Marina.
Our beer of the day is Red Racer IPA. It comes from Central City Brewing in Surry BC. IPA is a style of ale that was fashioned to survive the long voyage from England to India during the British colonization. Hops, hops, and more hops! This beer uses German Magnum, Centennial, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops to give it an IBU of 80. Be careful though, it comes in at 6.5% ABV.
Episode #090 The scourge of Invasive Eurasian Milfoil.
We start out with a whole wheel of Oka cheese and nobody likes to cut the cheese more than Walter, Bruce , and I. Nothing beats Charcuterie at the cottage.
We mostly talked about one of the latest invasions in Muskoka. Its not party animals from southern Ontario, Its Eurasia Milfoil. A water plant that grows incredibly fast and can literally kill a lake if not controlled. This is definitely not a project for the cottage mower. Even with a snorkle. Here are a couple of links where you can find out more.
We also touched on another invasive species in Muskoka. THis one is destroying beer fridges all around the lake. These are those "girlie beer" that come in silver cans or have fruit flavours to spoil the watery beer. Lets all support Ontario Craft Beer.
Of course we did get to our beer of the day from Collective Arts Brewing in Hamilton. It's Rhyme and Reason Extra Pale Ale. It’s not what I would call session beer at 5.7ABV but with four different kinds of hop (Citra, Centennial, Chinook and Simcoe) coming in at 55 IBUs, this is a very flavourful pale ale.
Episode #089 From canoes to steampunk?
Boy when Bruce said Deb dragged her canoe from out east, he wasn’t kidding. There were some serious holes worn all the way through the fiberglass. Luckily, Walter has lots of experience repairing fiberglass boats, so we put him to work.
After most of the prep work was done, we headed into Honey Harbour for the jazz festival. It was surprisingly impressive. It was a small festival, but the talent was fantastic.
Once we had our fill of classy jazz music, we headed over to Coldwater for the Coldwater Steampunk Festival. It’s a bit like HG Wells lands in the Victorian industrial revolution. There was lots of steampunk related stuff and people in full costume as well a quite a few sweet ratrods. I am not even going to try to explain it to you. You will just have to google “steampunk” or “ratrod” to find out for yourself.
Our beer of the day is Georgian Bay Beer. A lite crisp beer, great for an afternoon on the dock. Its brewed by Hockley Valley Brewing Company in Orangeville. You can find more info at Gerogian Bay Beer or Hockley Valley Brewing Company
Episode #088 The vanity is not in vain.
We started the weekend by visiting Christie's Mill in Port Severn for a nice dinner together. There was a wonderful musician named R. G. Peever playing guitar that we thoroughly enjoyed. He has let his domain laps but is on Twitter and last posted in 2017. He also seems to have a new domain called rstrathdee.com. I wonder what "JazzTex is up to now?
We finally got around to installing the new vanity that Bruce bought from Ikea Ikea in the master ensuite and boy was it a challenge. We had to pull all the rabbits out of the hat for this one to get all the plumbing into a three-inch space behind the cabinet drawers.
Of course, we have been calling Bruce "squirrel" for years and now he has the T-shirt to prove it. I think we need more T-shirts myself.
And someone went after the beaver dam with a backhoe and ripped out the beaver baffles that a bunch of us help install way back in episode 50. Don't worry though, the beavers don’t need heavy equipment to rebuilt and they do pretty quick.
Our beer of the day from Nickel Brook Brewing Co in Burlington. It's Naughty Neighbour American Pale Ale. Named after an undefeated Roller Derby Champ, it's bold and in your face. It is sessionable at 4.9% ABV and 38 IBU. You can find more info at Nickelbrook Brewing
Episode #087 Ten pounds of rotting flesh.
Well I think Bruce and I were in fine form this time. Our segment on Cottage Cheese finally aired on Cottage Life TV so that's our seven minutes of fame. We are going to have to do one more show and a commercial if we are going to get to 15 minutes.
The snow has been so heavy this winter that it tore the snow guards off the new steel roof.
Its black fly season again and they are swarming like mad this year. Either Deb is going to have to sacrifice herself to them or we need ten pounds of rotting flesh. We also poked some good fun at the proverbial red neck.
Of course we did get to our beer of the day from Barnstorer Brewery in Barrie. It's Deadstick Milk Stout. A sweet milk stout that tastes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. You can find more info at barnstormer Brewing in Barrie. There will be a link to them on our website, kottage-tek.com.
Episode #086 “Someone get me a hoe”
It became blatantly obvious that beer belongs in glasses and not potato chips. And just to ice the cake, mother nature is keeping us snowed in well into the spring. Even the cottage road looks like it belongs in the winter Olympics.
Thanks to the heavy snow pack the spring runoff is flooding the crawl space. We had to engineer some kind of floor drain to move the water to the sump pump well so it could then be pumped out to the still frozen lake. Skating anyone?
And of course I always wanted to get away with saying “someone get me a hoe” so that’s the tool of the day. How childish!
Our beer of the day is My Bitter Wife IPA. It comes from Great Lakes Brewery in Toronto. This is one of their seasonal releases and is named after Carrie Nation who was a stong force behind the temperance movement. It is a stong beer at 7.0% alchohol and it has an IBU of 88. You can find out more at Great Lakes Brewery and of course there will be a link to them on our website, kottage-tek.com.
Episode #085 What the heck is a growler?
We started out with a project that we thought was going to be at least a three or four beer job. It turns out we were in and out in under an hour. Bruce has a “Greenway” UV light as part of the water filtration system and it fell apart and started leaking shortly after the warranty expired. Fortunately, Greenway stepped up to the plate and sent Bruce an entire new unit at no charge. Full marks for the excellent customer service. I also figured out that I could spin the fittings inside the PEX pipe without it leaking. This saved us having to cut up and dismantle several elbow fittings and replace them with new ones. So far, no leaks!
Bruce also explained why they call the big jugs of beer “growlers”. I checked this out on the “interwebs” and it seems he is right. And you know if its on the internet it must be true!
This time out beer of the day was a bit different. Instead of having just one, we decided to let a couple of blondes go head to head and duke it out for our attentions. In the red corner is Flight Delay IPA from barnstormer Brewing in Barrie. And in the blue corner is Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale which is a gypsy brew by Kissmeyer brewing from Denmark but its brewed at Beau’s Brewing Co Vanleek Hill Ontario which is near Hawkesbury.
The concept of "gypsy brewing" is new to the Ontario craft beer market but should produce some great beers. There will be a link on our website to a Wikipedia article on Wikipedia.org where you can find out more.
Episode #084 The Ugliest Bird In The Woods!
Well this time we had to deal with a leaking hot water heater. SOmehow the pressure release valve failed and sprung a leak. We also discovered that not all presure release valves are the same so you may want to take the bad one with you when you go to town to get a new one.
We also talked about wild turkeys. These have to be the ugliest bird ever to grace the fields and forests of Canada. Apparently they are rather good eating because hunters keep shooting them. Either that of hunters hate ugly birds.
Our beer of the day is Spark House Red Ale from Lake Of Bays Brewingy in Baysville Ontario.