Not all mom’s like to trail ride so take a few hours away from the saddle and rustle up some yummy crêpes for Mom on her special day.
In our too-fast world, it’s heartwarming to see children with a genuine affection for their mother. Not the Hallmark card kind of celebrating but the keen daily awareness that she has made you who you are.
The little college town of Wolfville , Nova Scotia, is home to the lovingly preserved Blomidon Inn, built in the 19th century by a local sea captain. Strikingly detailed, the Victorian manor house dominates four acres of beautiful gardens with a view to the Minas Basin off the Bay of Fundy. Why the unusual name? Blomidon is a short version of ” Cape Blow Me Down,” an exclamation attributed to sailors who marveled at the spot just around the corner where, at certain times, the world’s highest tide meets a fierce wind.
Over 30 years ago the young Laceby family moved from cattle production in Ottawa to work in Amherst. They stayed in and then purchased The Amherst Shore Country Inn, working together to make it succeed. In 1988 parents Jim and Donna purchased the decrepit Blomidon three hours away. Most thought they were crazy. They simply took to the repairs and refurbishing and redecorating with zeal. For ten years mom Donna stayed on alone at Amherst to run it while the rest of the family returned to Blomidon to work. She did it all, even enrolling in culinary classes to step into her role as cook. Each day she worked in faith that her sacrifices would move the family forward.
Donna and Jim taught their sons to be chief bottle washers, front- of- house personalities and behind the scenes titans by working right alongside them. These days, lovely Donna gets to indulge in her talent for finding fantastic hats, jewelry, jackets and small furnishings, displaying these treasures with an artful eye in her “House of Gifts” onsite. When we asked Chef Sean about growing up working along with his dad, brothers and especially with his mom all his life, he said with a laugh, ” We’ll I’m still here aren’t I?” Parents Jim and Donna have now passed the day to day operations to Blomidon innkeeper and sommelier son, Michael. and son Sean, Blomidon’s renowned chef. Son Rob, an award- winning innkeeper and chef is at the beachside Amherst Inn.
Perhaps the success of a family does indeed rest on the shoulders of their mother. We can tell you that the Blomidon Inn is special; the food preparation and wine selections are fantastic, the rooms well appointed, the grand old dining rooms and the parlors impeccably detailed and decorated with period furnishings. Sit on Blomidon’s grand front porch and sip something soon, it’s a fabulous place to relax and enjoy this family’s hospitality. We think Donna has succeeded. Happy Mothers Day!
A multitude of incredible wineries, fresh produce and provisions from nearby Annapolis Valley farms and Fundy lobster fisheries grace the Blomidon’s table each night. Here we have adapted a favorite to suit available shrimp and crab where we live. Make them for your mom.
Savory Crepe Recipe
Serves10 with six-inch crepes
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbs water
¼ cup all purpose flour
Combine salt, eggs and water in a bowl and blend with an electric mixer. Sift in the flour while beating until smooth and fully blended.
Place a crepe or omelet pan over medium low heat and brush with oil or butter. Remove the pan from the heat, tip the pan and pour a thin layer of batter into the pan. Gently rotate the pan to evenly coat it with a thin layer of the batter. Return to the heat and cook until the edge is just dry, next with a knife or small spatula loosen and lift the edge, using the spatula or your fingers gently flip the crepe and cook for a bit more, 10-15 seconds depending on your stove top. Gently slide the crepe onto waxed paper, parchment or something oiled so it won’t stick. Don’t get discouraged if the first one isn’t perfect, it takes some practice. You will soon see that crepes are actually very easy to make.
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. flour
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup fish stock or ½ cup each of clam juice and water will work in a pinch
3 Tbs tomato puree
¼ lb fresh Dungeness crab meat
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup bay shrimp
1 Tbs Brandy
1 Tbs chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Usually this recipe calls for using a double boiler but if you watch and keep stirring the filling, a saucepan should be fine.
On low to medium low heat melt the butter. Stir in the flour to form a smooth paste (a Roux) but don’t brown it. Add the wine while stirring, then the stock until thickened. Next add the tomato puree and crabmeat. Remembering to keep stirring, turn up the heat a bit to barely bubbling. Blend in the cream with a whisk, and heat through. Next add the shrimp and the brandy, cook for a few minutes to evaporate off the excess alcohol. Add half of the parsley, salt and pepper.
Remove from the heat source, pour some of the mixture onto a crepe at one end and roll to cover it, then fold each side over and finish rolling the crepe. Place in a oven- proof dish, and spoon some more of the mix over the crepe. Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes or until it bubbles. Remove from the oven, garnish with parsley, serve and just wait for your mom to smile!
Blomidon Inn, 195 Main Street, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada Phone 902-542-2291
Photos courtesy of Kurt Winner and Maralyn D. Hill Images