Urban Cottage Weekend ❧ December 6, 2015

Welcome to the weekend at the cottage! Here are a few things that have been happening around here lately, including some of what’s caught my eye out there on the internet. Grab a cup of coffee and settle in for some reading and browsing.

Out and About, or Should I Say Up and About?

Since I turned 50 I’ve had the chance to do so many new and adventurous things, and not too long ago I added something else to my list … flying over the beautiful Ontario countryside in a small plane. I was a passenger in a four-seater Cessna and loved every single second of it. It was a beautiful day and the view from the air was spectacular. It gave me a new appreciation for having the good fortune to live here.

Huron County Patchwork Quilt | © Marlene Cornelis / Urban Cottage Life.comI could look at this picture all day; in fact, it’s the screensaver on my phone right now. The patchwork of harvested fields with different shades of stubble and soil, the promising green of fields of winter wheat, a small rural town and a patch of forest, trees dormant for winter but adding their own special beauty to the landscape — I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to see this.

Canola Oil Baking Demonstration #EatWellCanolaOil

With Charmian Christie and her Messy Baker book.
Used with permission. Photo by Jeffrey Chan Photography, courtesy of Canola Eat Well.

My blogging friend Charmian Christie, the author of The Messy Baker bake book that I reviewed last year (get it!) invited me to a canola oil baking demonstration held at Olde Bridge Place bed and breakfast on November 15. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a wonderful afternoon of baking with fellow food bloggers, making some of Charmian’s delicious recipes featuring Canadian canola oil … fun, friendship, good eats, a hands-on lesson in measuring the oil content of canola seeds, and a wonderful view from one of the most stunning kitchens I’ve had the pleasure to work in. The fact that the property is next to an original covered bridge (known romantically as the Kissing Bridge) and gently slopes down to the meandering Grand River was a bonus. Thanks to the folks at Canola Eat Well for Life for putting on this event, and for the fantastic goodie bag!

Disclaimer: I was not required to write about this event on my blog. I do so because it was an enjoyable experience for me, and because I believe in supporting Canadian food producers.

Around the Web

Looking to throw a holiday cocktail party on a budget?

Just to keep working my theme here, how about getting creative with gingerbread with these amazing recipes from food bloggers across Canada?

Here’s something a little different for your inner artiste or if you’re looking for a gift for someone who likes to draw and colour. Melissa from Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach shares her favourite tools for colouring and doodling, and they’re broken out by price range too.


In case you missed any of my recent posts, why not check them out now?! There’s one about strawberry chia seed pudding and my experience as the neighbourhood oddball, another about broccolini and the bulge, and finally, a roundup of 15 sweet and festive recipes for the holidays.



  1. Love the aerial shot and I’m glad you enjoyed the experience. I’ve been in those small planes before, Mar. It was a cheap way to get from Detroit to Chicago. Problem was it landed at Meigs Field, a small airstrip that was once located just off the Loop shore. Flying in a small plane onto a wind swept island is hardly the picturesque flight you experienced. I took a train back home and have never again flown on a small plain. 🙂

    • My flight ended with a buttery smooth landing on a grass runway — picturesque and not a single bump. A great first flight in a small plane, and one that has me wanting to repeat the experience! The fact that you took the train home says everything about the, ahem, impact of your experience.

  2. I’m so glad you were able to make the Canola Eat Well baking event. It was so much fun. I felt like I was part of a foreign film — with the bridge, the river, the scenery. But your photos prove it was all real. Great shot of the countryside, too!

  3. Thanks Marlene for bringing your kindness and beautiful soul to our learning event. I enjoyed reading your post and remembering our afternoon, and that stove (oh that stove!). What a great reminder of such a lovely afternoon spent with new friends. Let’s keep in touch!

  4. What a beautiful country – breathtaking views! – and a great time had by all it sounds like at the food event. Really enjoyed reading this post Marlene, it exudes joy and fun…just what I need to read 🙂

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