Heidi's Beads and Buns

It Blew My Head Off

This week we ventured out to the perplexedly named Heidi’s Beads and Buns. As it happens, she sells beads and buns, thereby making a mockery of my attempts to discover some sort of hidden meaning in the interplay between the two words. Beads and buns and smoothies now, too, Heidi tells me.

So many rings, so little time
So many rings, so little time

It took a little cajoling to have accompaniment this week, but I did eventually convince Clara and Solomon that there might be something in it for them. They were both disappointed that the “something” did not involve one of Heidi’s fanciful creations. However, they were both delighted that they not only got to have a cinnamon bun, but they were also allowed to choose which one they wanted. Solomon had an “it’s too good to be true” look of suspicion as he selected an inner-row bun, but Heidi cheerfully pried it out for him. That bit of cinnamon bun iconoclasm was enough to make him delight in his prize, regardless of flavour. Happily, they were delicious as well as risqué.

Oooh la la
Oooh la la

I asked Heidi about the odd seeming combination and she shrugged, as though she had never considering the combination odd. She said “well, I’ve just always made cinnamon buns.” Here’s hoping she continues to always keep on making them.

On to the beads. Heidi has an eye-catching collection of rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that have prompted no end of begging and agony in poor Clara over numerous visits to the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. Please don’t think I’m a terribly mean mother, but I did not buy anything for Clara. I did, however, let her and her brother try on and model several different rings, all of which were “the most beautiful ever”.

Clara's adorable chubby hand with ring
Clara’s adorable chubby hand with ring


Solomon's adorable chubby hand, with ring
Solomon’s adorable chubby hand, with ring

Although, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a jewellery wearer, I decided to go out on a limb (or digit, as it were) and acquire a fun and funky ring for myself. I was torn between a red bead with red wire creation and a silver ring with a flower. Clara made the decision for me by choosing the flower one.

“Why that one?” I asked.
“Because,” she said, “it blew my head off.”
I can’t argue with that.

I’ve been wearing the ring off and on for a couple of weeks now and I feel very ostentatious when wearing it. I was certain that everyone would notice my foray into the jewellery wild side. However, aside from the “oh, that’s so cute” comments, only my father expressed an opinion. He asked “does it squirt water?” Thanks Dad!

Computering and modeling.  Multi-tasking at its finest
Computering and modeling. Multi-tasking at its finest

I love it and it makes me feel a little dangerous to wear because it’s so out of character for me. It also feels a little dangerous to wear because I need it to be sized ever-so-slightly but Hurricane Arthur prevented me (thus far) from revisiting Heidi and her glorious goodies. Fortunately, Arthur did not whip it off my pinkie, but it’s really only a matter of time. I will return, Heidi, I promise.

The real highlight of the visit was allowing Clara and Solomon to choose a necklace and earrings set to give to Grandma for her birthday (which is the day before the Grapevine is published, so it’s safe to tell you). They were thrilled to be able to carefully examine each set and finally agreed to one that I hope my mother will love because it is unique, lovely, and beautifully made, but also because it was chosen with love.

I won special bonus points from Heidi for pronouncing her last name correctly on the first try. You’ll have to stop by her booth at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market to find out what it is and see if you can get bonus points, too. Actually, I made up the bonus points part, but you should go anyway, because Heidi’s creations are strictly offline.

Foxhill CheeseHouse

Sally Adores Fox Hill Cheese House, Too

So I have this friend whom I’m going to call Sally (mainly because that is her actual name). Sally is quite possibly the best cook/chef/baker in the Universe. One time when I was spending the weekend with her, I phoned home to gush to Mike about all the delicious food I was eating. Mike sighed, on the other end of the line, and said gloomily “Yeah, yeah, yeah, tell me when she makes something that’s not the best thing anyone has ever tasted – that would be news.”

Which brings me around to this week’s feature: Fox Hill Cheese House. I was a little nervous about profiling them this time because I’ve been a fan ever since we moved back to Nova Scotia in 2006 and I was afraid I would have nothing new to try and nothing new to say.

When we moved home (for me) and here (for Mike) one of his greatest joys was discovering that Fox Hill produced curd cheese (which our children have re-named as “squeaky cheese” (try some, if you haven’t, and you’ll understand)). I think fresh, widely available curd cheese was one of the few things Mike missed from Montreal, so finding a local source pretty much solidified his commitment to never. ever. ever moving from the Annapolis Valley so help him. If someone could start up a truly Montreal-style bagel bakery I might never be able to get him to visit his parents again. But I digress.

With my ever-so-biased background in mind, I decided to attempt to approach the Fox Hill booth with fresh eyes (er, mouth). After much drooling and dithering (a potentially messy combination) I settled on some dill and chives havarti, curry quark, and Crostata gelato.

Now. Events have transpired since my last post and I must confess I’m both pleased and unsettled. You see, I’ve acquired a new reader who is keenly interested in the content of these bits. Solomon, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I may have had some delicious gelato in the house that I may have declined to share with anyone. Those tubs are so little and, well, so scrumptious. You may not want to read ahead….

Rumour has it I shared one bite with Mike
Rumour has it I shared one bite with Mike

Crostata is not a flavour I would have chosen of my own volition. That is due to the simple fact that I would have had no clue how to pronounce it. It was described as “like pound cake.” Yes, it is, but kind of in the way that a tricycle is like a Harley Davidson. It’s buttery and melty and almost embarrassingly rich. It is best served in wee portions, in solitude, and after the kids are safely tucked away in bed. You may also want to tuck it into the back corner of your freezer. You’re welcome.

My next flavour endeavour was the dill and chives havarti. This cheese is a very popular choice, I was told. I loved it, but just like Sally’s cooking, that’s not really news. I love all Fox Hill cheeses, but I have to say that of all their mouth-watering choices, I remain a committed fan of the Fenugreek Havarti. Fenugreek makes the cheese have a maple-y flavour and it makes the person eating the cheese have a complete lack of self-restraint. I can’t keep it in the house (either literally or figuratively).

Cheese not exactly as pictured here.  Thanks Fox Hill for letting us swipe this pic from your website.
Cheese not exactly as pictured here. Thanks Fox Hill for letting us swipe this pic from your website.

Finally, the curry quark. This made me really nervous. Quark? Isn’t that an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter (thanks, Wikipedia)? Just kidding – I’ve had quark before, but it seemed so odd to combine it with curry. So I put off tasting it until tonight whilst typing this missive. My high school Home Economics teacher would have been appalled at the lack of colour contrast between the yellow quark and the yellow carrots I dipped into it…but she would have heartily applauded the flavour explosion. I think the carrots were good, but really they were basically just overladen spoons. I recommend you buy a tub of this yumminess and transfer it into your own dish. Surround it with carrots, or whatever. Then, bring it to the next potluck you attend. Everyone will want your recipe. Grab a pen and paper and write down: Fox Hill Cheese House Curry Quark. Then, wink knowingly. Trust me, they’ll thank you.

Fox Hill Cheese House can be found at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, in their natural setting at 1678 Church St, Port Williams and at the Halifax Seaport Market. You can virtually visit at http://www.foxhillcheesehouse.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter. And if you pop in to their home base on a Thursday afternoon you can help yourself to a bag or 4 of fresh, warm, delightfully squeaky curd cheese. Save some for me, please.