Friday, November 28, 2014

Foodie Friday- Pumpkin Puff Pancakes with Cider Sauce

Pumpkin Puff Pancakes with Cider Sauce
Cider Sauce:
  • 3/4 cup cider or apple juice
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose 
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2 large eggs, separated 
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 
  • 2 tbsp (1/4 stick) butter, melted
Vegetable oil for frying 

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all of the cider sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to serve. 
  2. Preheat a griddle or fry pan to 360F. Into a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and add the milk, pumpkin, and butter. Add the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just until the flour is moistened. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, then fold them gently into the flour mixture. 
  3. Add a little bit of oil to the skillet. Using about 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake, cook 4 cakes at a time. Cook until golden brown.
Kelsey Conway
Backus-Page House Museum

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

World War Wednesdays: The Wars on Film

World War Wednesdays: The Wars on Film
     Perhaps it is just my experience of being a history student who is also in German cinema, but there seems to be a strong connection between those who love history and those who love film. So often when a professor or fellow student is explaining a historical concept, they mention a scene in a film which covers that topic. Perhaps this aspect plays into the historian's constant quest to relive and re-enact the past. It can also be a highly useful and fascinating method to bring to life the events which we read about but have difficulty imagining in real life.
    These ideas are what caused me to want to write about this topic, and it is something that plays a major role in my day to day life. I suppose I am a bit predisposed to talk about it after just having finished watching Ken Burns' seven-part documentary The War. Each part is roughly two hours and length, tracing the WWII experiences of four U.S. towns and the people who lived in them. I will be honest, many a tear was shed over the course of the story, and I highly recommend watching it (on Netflix).
     What makes a good war film is the ability to make us feel such a depth of emotion. The wars themselves were such a complexity of hardship, togetherness, love and fear. For a film to have the capacity to give its audience a similar emotional experience is something that everyone, not just historians, can appreciate.
     Of course, this tradition of impactful war films began during the wars themselves. (Due to technology advancements of the times and my personal preference I will be focusing on some of my favorites of the Second World War). I'm sure (I hope) we've all had the chance to see Casablanca, a true classic, whose infamous lines have become a part of common phrases to this day ("Here's looking at you, kid", "Play it again, Sam", "We'll always have Paris"). This film captures the experience of displacement due to the war, with lost love, and with the threat of world conflict on peoples' personal lives.
The United States entered the war in December 1941, after Britain had been fighting for almost three years. It was rare for an enemy to be explicitly stated in Hollywood films much before then, since America provided a great deal of funding and supplies to all sides. The first film to clearly depict the enemy as being Germany was Charlie Chaplin's 1940 satire The Great Dictator (Chaplin was a Socialist himself). After becoming part of the conflict, however, there was no secret as to America's stance. This can be seen in wartime films such as Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, 49th Parallel, and Mrs. Miniver. There was also the concept of the propaganda war, with Hollywood competing against Dr. Goebbels' team in Germany. Some of the most fascinating works of propaganda come from this time, when companies like Walt Disney and Warner Brothers teamed up with groups such as the U.S. Air Force to create animated cartoons depicting well-loved characters being involved in the war. Disney's "Der Fuhrer's Face", which features Donald Duck sticking it to a group of overweight, dopey Nazis, won the Oscar in 1943 for Best Animated Short. Jack Warner and the Warner Brothers' collaboration with the air force produced such cartoons as "Herr Meets Hare" and "Draftee Daffy" featuring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. These films spoke not only to children but to a full spectrum of audiences, using characters who held a great deal of emotional and ideological sway among fans young and old.
Donald Duck reads Hitler's infamous book, a far cry from the Donald we know today
     Of course, not all films during the war were designed to reinforce ideological beliefs or depict the glory and struggle of real events. Both America and Germany recognized the importance of lighthearted films during times of stress and hardship, and especially in America, the escapist style of film was perfected. This trend was carried on from the films of the Great Depression, which sought to provide an alternate place for audiences to imagine themselves as a way to distract from rough times. In Germany, even these films were covertly filled with propagandistic themes. America's escapist films depicted idealistic, joyful people and situations which gave people not only something else to think about but something to hope for. My favorite example of this is 1940's We Who Are Young featuring Lana Turner, which is the ultimate cheesy and overdramatic film but so incredibly touching. This period perfected the iconic Hollywood love story, featuring the famous pairings of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Baccall, and actors such as Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Ingrid Bergmann and Judy Garland.
Lana Turner and John Shelton in We Who Are Young
     Even to this day, filmmakers continue to create new depictions of wartime stories. This year saw the release of box office hits Monuments Men and Fury. Recent times have provided just as many classics as those actually from the war, such as Saving Private Ryan, Valkyrie, Inglorious Basterds, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Defiance, and Nuremberg. All of these are so well loved by both lovers of history and film fans. They give us the gift of seeing our past as close as possible to the way it really was, which is such an amazing experience. It is so fascinating to know that the ability to see a depiction of the way things really happened is just a click away.
     Have you seen any of the films I discussed? Do you have any favorite war films that you didn't see mentioned? I'd love to hear from you!
                  Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Christmas Dinner December 13th

We have only a few tickets left for December 13th Christmas Dinner in the Museum.  Call now 519-762-3072 to purchase.  Cash, cheque, visa, master card, amex, and paypal accepted.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Media Mondays

Media Mondays

This weekend at the Dutton-Dunwich Community Centre,
we will be attending the
Rural Roots Christmas Market and Business Showcase.
The event is from 9am-2pm on Saturday November 29, 2014.
Please come and visit our booth!

Media Mondays

Media Mondays

Wow - as time flies, we see December coming around the corner.
We have a variety of activities that are occurring throughout the month of December.
We are very excited for our upcoming Christmas Dinners here at the museum.
The first of which will be held on December 6th, 2014
The second will be the following Saturday on December 13th, 2014.
Tickets are $100 a plate
Arrival for both dates is 5pm, dinner is served at 5:30pm
Tickets are selling quickly for these two events so be sure to get yours as soon as possible.
Feel free to call the Carriage House and reserve your tickets.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Foodie Friday- Strawberry Shortcake, Biscuit Style

Strawberry Shortcake, Biscuit Style
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 stick very cold butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 cups cleaned, sweetened, partially crushed strawberries
  • Whipped cream topping
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, cream of tartar, soda, salt, nutmeg. Cut the butter into slices and work it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until a coarse meal forms. In a medium bowl, combine the cream, milk, orange zest and vanilla and add all at once to the flour mixture. Combine quickly, forming a stiff dough; don't over work it.
  2. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 6 parts. Flour your hands and quickly form the portions into 3 inch circles 3/4 inch thick. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are a light golden brown. To serve, place in a shallow bowl or deep plate and top with the sweetened berries. Dollop on the whipped cream topping. 
Kelsey Conway 
Backus-Page House Museum 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Remembrance Day 2014

World War Wednesdays: Remembrance Day 2014
     Remembrance Day is and always has been the most significant day of the year for me. Even as a child, I would put more thought into the time leading up to that day than I did my own birthday. I was that kid who glared at the rambunctious boys giggling during the moment of silence. In grade five I was chosen to co-host the annual assembly at Dutton-Dunwich Public School, and I considered that to be the highlight of my career.
     Now that I am almost twenty years old, very little has changed since then. One of the main reasons I came to university in Ottawa was to be a part of the  national ceremony at the War Memorial, not to mention the year-round landmarks and events for war commemoration. It is a great city in many ways, but for studying history it couldn't be better.
     When the first few poppies of the season begin appearing on peoples' coats in November, I always start feeling melancholy. What is already a major part of my life and daily thought becomes prevalent in the minds of most Canadians, and there is a feeling of shared reverence. But that's enough about me, I'll now talk about the day itself.
     This year especially has major significance for Remembrance Day and what it means to remember those who serve to defend us. With the tragic deaths of Patrice Vincent and Nathan Cirillo just weeks prior, the feelings of sadness were magnified in Ottawa and the rest of Canada leading up to November 11th. The times were so uncertain, but it did not stop hundreds of people, myself included, from pouring into Ottawa's downtown core to be at the national Remembrance Day ceremony.
An OC Transpo bus the morning of the 11th with a special sign
     During my first time being at the ceremony last year, I was taken aback when I looked up and saw several snipers stationed on the roofs of the big office buildings downtown. This year, they were to be expected again, but for some reason seeing them that day added an additional sense of unrest and served as a reminder of what the area looked like on the day of the shooting.
     Before I discuss the ceremony itself, I must slightly digress onto the topic of Remembrance Day etiquette (it would not be Remembrance Day if I did not). There are two very simple things that I wish people would know about attending a ceremony and keep in mind when they do. The first, and most crucial, is that REMEMBRANCE DAY IS NOT A CLAPPING EVENT. There will be countless times during the ceremony where one would want to applaud a moving speech or entrance of a dignitary. It is so crucial that this does not happen. For one thing, clapping suggests a congratulatory gesture, one of appreciation. We do it at concerts and sporting events, but Remembrance Day is considerably different. Clapping undermines the solemn tone of a ceremony, making it seem as though it is a performance. It is crucial to remember what is being done during these ceremonies-- one certainly would not clap after a speech delivered during a funeral or when a priest walks into a church. It is of my observation that the majority of people in the crowd do recognize how inappropriate this is, but the few that do not will clap and the gesture will spread. They think that they are doing a grand thing of respect, but it is quite the opposite.
     The other thing which is a terrible mistake is for a man wearing a hat to not remove it during God Save the Queen and O Canada. People of the 'old school' way of thinking will agree when I say that there is nothing more frustrating to witness. If you are going to wear a hat to a ceremony (and this is only applicable to men in this case), then it is very important to remain vigilant and have that hat over your heart or at least off your head when standing and singing for your country among those who fought for it.
     I realize that these ideas may sound incredibly arbitrary and outdated. But, my goodness, if we can't even observe actions of respect on Remembrance Day, then what is there left to do it for?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Cow Bell

Cow Bells

     A cow bell is worn by a freely roaming livestock animal making it easier to locate them should they ever wander off. Although they are typically referred to as "cow bells" because of their extensive use with cattle. Bells as used on a variety of different livestock.
     The bell and clapper are commonly crafted from either iron, brass, bronze or copper and the collar used to hold the bell was mostly crafted from leather. Bells are made in different size and shapes and had different sounds to identify important characteristics of the livestock such as age, gender and species.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Foodie Friday- Poppy Seed Cookies

Poppy Seed Cookies
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup poppy seeds 
  • Dash of vanilla

Instructions: Roll in small balls. Put in a greased pan. Press each ball with a fork. Bake in 375F oven for approximately 12 minutes.
Kelsey Conway 
Backus-Page House Museum

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

World War Wednesdays: A Humble Apology

Dear Readers,
       As I write this on the evening of Remembrance Day, I am filled with much emotion and many thoughts, which I have not had the chance to fully process. I feel as though it would not do justice to the occasion for me to attempt to write an entry regarding the day. I hope that you can understand this, that I have no intention of dramatizing or making this a personal issue. I want this to be done right, and for that I just need some more time to reflect. So please, look forward to next week's entry, where I will describe being at the National War Memorial during the 2014 Remembrance Day ceremony. In the meantime, I have included a small sample of the photos I was able to take today.
        Thank you for reading and understanding,

Veterans arrive as part of the parade, with the guards in behind
The Memorial, with the trails in the sky from the flyover
The wreath placed by an extremely special guest... more on this next week (along with what the card says)
The Memorial as seen from the tomb of the unknown soldier during the public poppy placing ceremony

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Southwold Memorial Service Nov. 9, 2014

Here are some video and photos I took on Sunday at the Southwold Memorial Service in Shedden at the Keystone Complex.  I attended on behalf of the museum.  Steve Peters spoke about this area's involvement in the War of 1812.  There was a great crowd of people in attendance to honour those who have served.  Lorne Spicer was honored for his service in the military and to this community.  Angela Bobier, Cultural Manager
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Behind The Scenes Sundays

from Angela Bobier, Cultural Manager

I wanted to make mention of three things we do from Backus-Page House Museum that you might not be aware of.  I call them outreach or community engagement.

On Wednesday, Melanie and I spent part of the day at Beattie Haven Retirement Home in Wardsville.  Approximately 40 people were in attendance for a delicious lunch and a guest speaker (me).  Melanie ran all the technical parts of the Power Point presentation while I talked for about 30 minutes at answered questions from the guests.
What we showed and spoke of was a brief background of the museum, and a slideshow tour of both the house and the barn so people had a taste of what they would experience when they visit in person.  We also took five of our kitchen and pantry artefacts plus the 20th anniversary society timeline of newspaper clippings and pictures as a small display.  Each guest received a small print of the Moorhouse Doll (artist Jenny Phillips), a copy of the doll's story, a membership/donation form, and some information about the museum and society.  Currently we don't have a set fee for talks like these, but a donation to the museum is always appreciated.  Our focus is to encourage in person visits.  Thank you to Beattie Haven for inviting us.

On our way back from Wardsville, we stopped at Bobier Villa in Dutton to take down the displays that Melanie had put up in July.  One featured our year's events and a reuse of last year's Accounts of a Hard Days Work photographs, graphics, and artefacts.  This showed actual prices of items that were purchased from the Wallacetown satellite store, Hockin and Poole in the 1890's.

The second display reused exhibit pieces and introduced a newer artefact for St. Peter's Anglican Church that is located just down the road from our museum and was built in 1827.  We appreciate Bobier Villa letting us fill the two spaces each year as a project for one of our summer student staff and I know they appreciate not having to come up with new ideas themselves.  I hope visitors, residents, and staff enjoy the historical information of the area.

Today my husband, John, along with Tyrconnell Heritage Society President Robert Ellis, Board Member Janice Ellis, and I will be representing the Backus-Page House Museum at Southwold's Remembrance Day Service in Shedden at the Keystone Complex.  I am very much looking forward to hearing Steve Peters' talk about St. Thomas being attacked by the Americans in November of 1814 during the War of 1812.

The committee who organizes this important annual service, contacted me over a year and a half ago for my assistance.  I was happy to help by asking the re-enactor friends and contacts I have made through hosting our past 1812 Events if they would attend.  Kim Lundberg, who re-enacts a First Nations warrior and Roy Winders who re-enacts a Captain of the British Indian Department are placing a wreath in honour of the veterans of the War of 1812.  The Goldsworthy family (who re-enact Americans) and other re-enactors will be attending as well and marching with the veterans.  They will also be staying afterwards to answer questions from the public.  Thank you to the committee for inviting us to participate and thank you to my re-enactor friends for agreeing to attend.  

While you are reading this post, please take a moment to thank all those who have served to protect our rights and freedoms, and those who remained to serve in others way on the home front.

If there is something we can do to assist you or your organization, I'd be happy to discuss the possibilities with you.  A community museum is successful when it contributes to the community as much as the community contributes to it.  Have a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Foodie Friday- Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced and pared apples
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick cooking rolling oats
  1. Grease deep 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Arrange apples in a dish and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Combine lemon juice and water and pour over apples. 
  2. Cream butter, add brown sugar gradually. Blend in flour and oats. Spread over apples. Bake at 375F until apples are tender, about 35 minutes. 
  3. Serve warm with cream or ice cream. 
Serves 4-6 
Kelsey Conway 
Backus-Page House Museum

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

World War Wednesdays: A Year in Remembrance

World War Wednesdays: A Year in Remembrance
     Well, here we are, a week away from Remembrance Day. The usual melancholy is creeping up, as it always does the week before November 11th, and remains for some time after. This year has proven itself to be especially worthy of reflection, significantly in recent times. It has been a major year for Canada. I will highlight two of the biggest events of the year, of which I have had the privilege of participating in, and are good to keep in mind as we commemorate them as one collective day next week.
Last year's Remembrance Day ceremony at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa

1. The first and most widely-acknowledged anniversary in 2014 is the centenary of Canada's entry into the First World War. If you have followed any of my past blogs this has been a common theme, as there have been many events, projects and programs aimed at recognizing this. After a period of tension in Europe, a series of alliances formed, and the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the "powder keg" that was Europe finally exploded in August 1914. Great Britain had delivered an ultimatum to Germany to remove troops from the neutral country of Belgium, which Britain had pledged to defend. When the ultimatum expired with no German action,
Great Britain and Germany were at war. So too was the British Empire, including Canada and the independent colony of Newfoundland.
Members Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, September 1914
2. Another major event that occurred earlier this year was the commemoration of 75 years since D-Day, in the Second World War. I attended the ceremony on the 6th of June, which was held at the Canadian Museum of Aviation and Space. I wrote a blog highlighting my experiences that day, which you can read here if you're interested: Determined to end four years of often-brutal German occupation, on 6 June 1944, Allied forces invaded Western Europe along an 80-kilometre front in Normandy, France. Of the nearly 150,000 Allied troops who landed or parachuted into the invasion area, 14,000 were Canadians. They assaulted a beachfront code-named “Juno”, while Canadian paratroopers landed just east of the assault beaches. Although the Allies encountered German defences bristling with artillery, machine guns, mines, and booby-traps, the invasion was a success. It allowed for a considerable breakthrough for the Allies, paving the way to victory in the next year.
A photo I took at the outdoor D-Day ceremonies
     Of course, these are just two of the major events that have been recognized in Canada on their anniversaries. There are always annual commemorations for other events such as the Battle of Britain. There are also many more upcoming significant anniversaries associated with the two I have discussed, which you can read more about on the Canadian War Museum Altogether, these anniversaries are markers of just how much time has passed since the First and Second World Wars, and they should be observed as lessons for how much has changed and how much can be appreciated as a result of their impact.
     This time of year hopefully gets a lot of people thinking about Canada's participation in the two World Wars, in addition to other conflicts. Many can draw personal connections to the experiences of these events through family involvement, and I would love to hear more about how you connect with these events in our history. As always, thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Butter Churn

Butter Churn

     A butter churn is a device used to convert cream into butter. This process is done through a crank used to turn a rotating device inside the churn. The agitation is the cream disrupts the milk fat. The membranes that surround the fats are broken down, forming clumps known as butter grains. These butter grains fuse with each other to form fat globules. Air bubbles are then introduced into the fat globules through the continuation of churning. As the butter grains become more dense because of the attachment of fat globules a liquid known as buttermilk is created. With constant churning fat globules form solid butter and the buttermilk is drained off. The butter is then squeezed of the excess liquid to form a solid mass.
     A barrel churn worked by using a crank that would either turn a paddle on the inside or by actually turning the entire barrel. The barrel churn was one of the agricultural innovations of the eighteenth century.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Media Monday

Happy Monday Everyone!
Already November - fall is almost over!
We had quite the wrap-up here at the museum - the Harvest Party - as discussed last Monday! However, since then I have been busy planning things for next year!
We have some very exciting ideas to add and continue doing at the annual Harvest Party... there has even been some talk about the possibility of having a catapult for pumpkins which would be amazing in our back field! As was stated the Harvest Party was successful for the second year in a row and we hope to continue having the event for years to come.
Please see our video attached below that showcases some of the crafts we completed, games we had and a quick look at our spooky tour of the museum!
We all had lots of fun hosting this event and if you are interested in attending or helping out please don't hesitate to contact us! 519-762-3072