The Killer Ketchup!

14 01 2013

I have read about the benefits of tomatoes and tomato sauce. Tomatoes have lycopene, a powerful antioxidant.
Seemingly, eating tomato sauce twice a week could reduce the risk of men developing prostate cancer by up to a third, according to new research.

Today I watched Jeff putting ketchup on his pasta, only to sit and pick out the pasta without ketchup and discard any with the tiniest trace of the red stuff. ‘I just can’t eat it,’ he said, ‘it’s far too sweet.’

This led me to look at the ingredients label on the side of the bottle.

5 g of sugar per 15 mL of ketchup

There’s 750 mL of ketchup in the bottle, so !!!!! 50 X 5g in the bottle!


That makes a total of 250 gm of sugar or 1/4 of a Kilo or almost 9 oz!!!! I have checked this and rechecked it as I just can’t believe that this is true.

This is what 8 oz of sugar looks like. Can they really have put this amount of sugar into this little bottle?


I went to the cupboard and got a tin of tomatoes to see the information on it.

2 g per 125 mL. The tin contains 796 mL.


So 6.3 X 2g = 12. 6 g of sugar. That amount looks like this. Not so bad.


I wrote to General Mills about their Oatmeal Crisp breakfast cereal being so sweet we couldn’t eat it. Their reply was that they only make what the customer requests!

So, what is the answer? Surely when diabetes is the biggest growing disease in the world, food companies should be forced to look at the ‘sugar problem.’

I suggest everyone looks at the sugar content on labels and boycotts the foods that are poisoning us.

From now on I will make my own ketchup – without any sugar!

Grand Pre Winery, Nova Scotia

24 10 2011

Many people find it difficult to believe that Nova Scotia is a producer of wines, thinking that we are in deep snow all year. But  Nova Scotia is on the same Latitude as  parts of France and Italy and so is perfectly capable of growing grapes.

On Sunday we headed to Wolfville, having been given a wonderful gift of a tour of the Grand Pre Vineyard, a meal at Le Caveau Restaurant and a night’s stay at The Lantern Inn.

We were very fortunate indeed to be able to still see the grapes on the vines, next week-end would probably be too late.

The bunches of grapes were hanging at the bottom of the vines; the foliage around them had been removed to allow the sun to ripen them. The grapes which form in the upper parts of the vine are also cut off to allow the lower grapes to get all the nutrients from the soil.

Netting is hung on each side of the grapes to protect them from the birds.

This is another bird deterrent – tape recordings of hawks and birds of prey.

Our tour guide explained about Ice Wine and how the grapes must be picked from the frozen vines to make this sweet dessert wine. If the grapes are picked before they are frozen then it cannot be called an Ice Wine.

At Grand Pre Vineyard, locals actually volunteer to go out in the dark in December, to pick the grapes!

The wine tasting was a lot of fun, learning how look at the wine, smell it, taste it and listen to it – well, she was only kidding about listening to it. Seemingly some people hear the sea, or the wind in the vines ….!

The Castel is a rich ruby red wine, with aromas of caraway and black pepper.

The tasting concluded with a sample of the Pomme D’Or, the best apple juice I have ever tasted.  At 10%  perhaps a bit more than apple juice.

We had a difficult decision, choosing our favourites, but we have something very special for Christmas Day.

Le Caveau Restaurant is beside the Winery.

In the evening, we walked through the Vineyard from The Old Lantern Inn,

and enjoyed one of the best meals we’ve ever had. (Sorry, the waitress took our photo after the meal).

We headed back through the vines to the lights you see in the distance.

Ironworks Distillery, Lunenburg

9 12 2010

This is an interesting old building in Lunenburg.

A marine blacksmith’s shop since 1893, it produced ironworks for shipbuilders all along the South Shore. The Walters  family made anchors and chains, and anything that could be hammered into shape on the anvil. They also produced hardware for the Bluenose 1 and 2 schooners as well as the HMS Bounty for the Hollywood film.

After lying empty for a few years, this building has been given a new lease of life.

Yesterday, as I walked through the door I was hit by the most amazing smell – hot gingerbread….caramel….baking Christmas cake….hints of the Caribbean….

For Lynne MacKay and Pierre Guevremont have started a small distillery in our town, which they have aptly named, Ironworks.

The old forge lies empty, but is a reminder of the buildings past history.

In the opposite corner stands a very proud, German still.

It was producing a batch of rum, which explained the aromas.

The process will be explained at the end of this Blog.

Information cards explained how each spirit was produced.

And here is the end product.

This Pear spirit looks exciting.

When hurricane Earl approached Nova Scotia in September, Lynne and Pierre decided to harvest the bottles.

Some of the pears were  small compared to the others on the same tree,  but many were exactly the correct size for the width of the bottles. Forty two of eighty pears, were excellent – a good first time success rate.

The pear mash was fermented for 4-6 weeks, then double distilled to produce a clear and aromatic Eau-de-vie. The  bottles with the pears, were then filled with the Eau-de Vie.

I’m sure you’ll agree this is quite a unique looking bottle of spirit.

You can see here how Ironworks distillery looks out over the working harbour at Lunenburg.

The ruby red Cranberry liqueur on the right is made from cranberries farmed at Heckman’s Island, just along the road.  I meant to write a post about the Cranberry Farm after their open day, but never did. That is one for next year.

The bottles on the left are Vodka.

This vodka is made from another local product, apples from the Annapolis Valley.

For a really special gift, you can buy one, two or three bottles in a wooden box, stamped with the Ironworks logo.

To see more about Ironworks and have the process explained watch this video.

I wish Lynne and Pierre, ‘All the Best’, in their new venture, but judging from the response so far, I’m sure it’s going to be a great success.

Lobster Fishing Season at Lunenburg

30 11 2010

Before the lobster season, the lobster traps are stacked on wharfs, in sheds or beside houses,

ready for the next lobster harvest.

Yesterday was the first day of the lobster fishing season here at Lunenburg. The lobster men were off at sunrise, out to claim the best spots for their traps and the wharfs were cleared of lobster pots.

Today, the boats were back out for their  first pull.



These duck seemed unconcerned, although I think it is still water fowl season season. Perhaps they know that the lobster men have gone out for the day.

This is one of the little fish stores that sit out on the rocks at Blue Rocks.

I love this set of Avery scales. I don’t know if it’s used much now, though.

When the lobsters are landed, they go off to various shops, restaurants and processing plants.

I think we’ll be having fresh lobster soon.

You can learn all about lobster fishing from this You Tube video.

Maple Syrup

14 03 2010

Today we visited a Maple Syrup Farm here in Nova Scotia. This was a new experience for us, as we knew very little about the processes.

Freezing nights and warm days are needed to induce the sap to flow in the maple tree.

Traditionally,  a maple tree was tapped through the bark  then the sap was collected in a bucket.

In larger scale production, this method  has been superseded by continuous plastic pipelines.

Some trees have more than one tap.

All these blue lines, join into a wider black line and send the sap down to a tank in a shed.

I was surprised to see that the sap is clear like water.

A tanker then takes the sap to the sugar house.

Where it is boiled up in an evaporator till it reaches the correct density.

This evaporator was heated by wood.

Here the temperature is reaching 104 C.

Some of the syrup is made into fudge.

And of course made into maple leaf shapes.

The maple syrup is bottled and stacked on the shelves.

We sampled the wonderful fudge and came home with some maple syrup and maple butter.

This was a great day out and  a place we will definitely visit again.

This isn’t a great video, but it shows the evaporator at work. I’ll have to try harder with future videos!

The Great Suet Hunt

14 12 2008

Since my report on 4th December, I am delighted to tell you folks back home that there will be Christmas Puddings in the Queen household after all. There is this store in Halifax owned by Pete, who started out with a market stall in the Victorian Market in Nottingham. He moved to Canada in 1979 and now owns a national award-winning specialty grocery store. Pete’s Frootique is a store within a store, specializing in deli, produce, bakery, meats and fish and more. There’s a friendly atmosphere and often a musician playing a baby grand piano.

We found this store on one of our first trips to Halifax and were delighted to be able to buy such exotic foods as Walker’s oatcakes, Frank Cooper’s vintage marmalade and Heinz baked beans!

Louise and Cameron were at Halifax last week-end and popped in to stock up on real Bisto and real HP sauce. Louise noticed these packets and bought one, not sure if it was what I wanted.

atora-lightI was looking for suet, but never dreamt I’d be lucky enough to get vegetable suet here. Pete’s Frootique turns up trumps every time.

Louise and I set to on Monday and we have now 2 very fine Christmas puddings made with Mrs. Beeton’s recipe.