You know it’s spring when the sap starts to run in the Maple trees.
Growing up my family always gathered sap, boiled it down outside and bottled our own maple syrup.
Now my parents are making it again after a long hiatus and my sister and her family are carrying on the tradition.
No maple syrup compares to the kind that is boiled down over an open fire outside…. with a beautiful family member tending to it, sometimes until it’s late in the night.
It’s smokey tasting and each bottle is a little bit different from the last…perfect!





Cocktail Sundays


Hey! This post is written by Dan & I am really excited to welcome him to the blog!  You’ll notice this post is a day late, but better late than never.

While in Toronto last week, I (Dan) took the opportunity to pick up some bitters that we can’t get here in Halifax. I bought a bottle of Peychaud’s and some Boker’s. Also, my mom had a bottle of Angostura Orange bitters lying around that she gave me. All three of these bitters are essential to creating classic cocktails. This week I wanted to pick a recipe that would showcase some of these delicious bitters and the Old Hickory Cocktail is perfect for that.

With only four ingredients, this cocktail is super easy to make, but will taste incredible if you keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, you must use fresh vermouth. As a wine-based spirit, once opened, always store your vermouth in the fridge and use it within a month or so. If you find it lying around for longer than that, it’s great for cooking. Secondly, this drink really does require Peychaud’s bitters and a good orange bitters, they are what make the drink! So here you go, the Old Hickory Cocktail:


Old Hickory

1 1/2 oz. Italian Sweet Vermouth
1 1/2 oz. French Dry Vermouth
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
1 dash Angostura Orange or Regan’s Orange Bitters
Lemon peel for garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish to a large mixing glass. Top with plenty of ice and stir until well chilled. Strain through a julep strainer into a coupe or small absinthe glass, squeeze the lemon zest over the drink to release its oils and place on the edge of the glass.

-Dan (& Ceilidh)


I used to write and send a lot of mail… actually, that is how Dan and I ended up together but that is a story for another day!
For some reason I had gotten out of the habit of making mail so I am now giving myself a goal to send something in the mail each week.
I always hope to get something in the mail for myself so I figure sending mail is the best way to make sure this happens, since people will often write back.
I also think that subscribing to magazines is special and it obviously guarantees you will get something in the mail!

It’s  starting to feel like spring in these parts and it is a beautiful sunny day so I took the opportunity and took some photos with the help of the sun light!
mailday1. A card for some great friends 2. Tea to enjoy while writing 3. All the mail- three pieces this week! 4. Kinfolk came in the mail! 




Fortunately while in Mexico I had the chance to visit a lot of artisans, potters, wood carvers…one of the places we visited was a family run weaving studio.
They showed us their whole process from cleaning and carding the wool to spinning it and the process of dyeing the wool which they did with all natural materials (think bugs and flowers and pecan shells!). They also showed us how they actually weave the wool into the amazing rugs, table clothes, wall hangings, scarves…
My momma is a weaver so this was all very special to me. I can remember her doing all these things I was growing up… cleaning wool by hand, washing it in the river next to our house, dyeing it….
To me weaving is just such an ancient and special art with beautiful results. So many people don’t even realize that many of the fabrics all around us are woven.


1. Pretty flowers make pretty wool 2. The variety of colour provided by a single type of bug 3. Some weaving 4. Spools and Shuttles 5. A system 6. Alter 



Cocktail Sundays

cocktailheaderDan and I are happy to present Cocktail Sundays! This will become a somewhat regular feature on NoCo and we really hope you like it.
Today’s Cocktail is the Negroni and is one of our favourites.



1 oz of gin
1 oz of Campari
1 oz of sweet vermouth
1 dash of orange bitters
Garnish with a flamed orange peel

1. Gather ingredients and place an old-fashioned glass in freezer to cool
2. Place all ingredients, excluding the orange peel, in a mixing glass*
3. Add a good amount of ice cubes to the mixing glass and stir it all up for a bit
4. Pour into your chilled old-fashioned glass over new ice, straining out the old ice**
5. Cut a good-sized piece of orange peel. Light a match while holding the orange peel in your other hand and squeeze the orange peel against the flame but over the glass. This will release the citrus oils which will ignite creating sparks over your drink!
6. Drop the garnish into the drink and enjoy.

* We have this mixing glass and love it.
** We prefer big ice cubes. You can find big ice-cube trays all over the place but we use these ones.

We referenced Bitters while working on this post. A book we recommend to anyone looking for more information on Cocktails!


Ceilidh & Dan