Archive for November, 2008

Preview of the latest product from the Bay Hammocks Company, Arch talks about the super comfy hammock porch swing.

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Arch is busy these days making videos about our hammocks. Here is a link to the latest one. Ir will appear on our main page sometime soon. In the meantime, click on hammock video to see a preview.

On another front, lobster fishing season opened in our area two days ago. This means we lose some of our hammock weavers until after Christmas. Don’t worry though, we have lots of hammocks in stock and, if we need a special size, Lynn is always here to make it for you.

The good thing about lobster season opening is that we have lots of fresh lobster for the next month. In this area, the most popular way to cook lobster is to boil them in ocean water – about 10 minutes per pound – until they turn bright red and the antennae are easy to pull off. They are usually served whole. As we always buy way more that we need I have many recipes for leftover lobster meat that I will share with you in the next few blog posts. Today, lets do lobster rolls.

The best lobster roll is always made using a home-made hotdog bun – you can make them yourself or buy them at any good bakery. I order them from our local baker and keep a supply in the freezer. Proper preperation of the roll is important – I like to spread the exterior sides of the roll with garlic butter then toast both sides on the grill or under the broiler. Use them while still warm.

To make the filling combine the chopped lobster meat with a little chopped celery and chopped green onion and mix in mayonnaise (Nova Scotians usually use Miracle Whip). I am sorry I do not have proportions – you will have to do this to taste.

To serve: Line the grilled hotdog roll with chopped iceberg lettuce (I understand from my chef friends that iceberg lettuce is trendy again) fill with the lobster mixture and serve with a salad or fries.

If you are planning to ordering lobster for the holiday season one of the best suppliers in Nova Scotia and the one we use –  Ryer & Ryer Lobster Limited Indian Harbour, just down the road from The Bay Hammock Company in Seabright. They ship world wide.

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It is a little know fact that Nova Scotia has the mildest winters in Canada. You wouldn’t know it today by looking out my office window:

The View From My Window, Nov 21, 2008

The View From My Window, Nov 21, 2008

As you can see, winter arrived early in Nova Scotia this year. Luckily we already put away the hammock and shade sail , which we recommend that you do also if you live in a winter climate. Unfortunately, the appointment to get snow tires on my Smart Car is for next week so I am keeping my fingers crossed – no more snow until then.

While we do not get a lot of snow here on the ocean, there are areas of Nova Scotia that usually get lots of snow, the Annapolis Valley for example. So we have great skiing – downhill and cross country – about a 1 hour drive from our home. There are lots of lakes that freeze so we get great outdoor skating. Last winter even the bay froze hard enough to skate for miles on- for a few days.

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So here we were, my husband Arch and I, retired and living near our families in Nova Scotia after 45 years of living and working in Ontario. We played golf and bridge, but not all the time. We enjoyed our time with our families, but they had to work for a living. We needed something to do. We were a bit at sixes and sevens when we stumbled upon the assets of a defunct hammock maker that once operated in the Head of St. Margaret’s Bay. We contacted the owners and after several discussions purchased 6 antique rope making machines, some hand-made hammock weaving looms, & shuttles and a hammock tying table along with the bits and pieces that were required to make hammocks and hammock swings. Most importantly, we were able to hire their Master Hammock Maker, Lynn Sallans, a skilled and creative artisan who can create whatever we (or you) can dream.

That first summer we set up our hammock making facility in a building at the old military base in Mill Cove NS and sold the hammocks we made from a roadside stand in Hubbards Nova Scotia. Then we started looking for a permanent home for our business, which we found on the Peggy’s Cove Road, in Seabright Nova Scotia.

As we started to renovate the building and open our hammock making business in Seabright we were sure of only one thing – we wanted to establish a business that would be fun to operate and a fun spot for customers to visit and shop. As we are making and selling hammocks this wasn’t too hard to do. The first summer in Seabright we felt our way along. We hung hammocks out among the trees on the lawn, added a couple of picnic tables for customers to use and, on nice days, Lynn worked outside, weaving hammocks and hammock swings. People loved dropping in, enjoying a picnic; swinging in the hammocks and watching Lynn weave the hammocks. But, their favourite thing was watching our antique rope-making machines at work.

The challenge was to set our shop up so visitors could see and follow the complete hammock making process from making the rope to finishing and hanging the hammock. Then we learned of The Atlantic ÉconoMusée Network. This is a network of shops that make their products using traditional handcrafting methods. These shops, which are self supporting businesses, are set up as working museums where visitors can learn the history of the craft and watch the products being made. We applied to join, were accepted, and officially opened as a rope and hammock making ÉconoMusée in June 2008.

So, five years later, here we are, busy and having fun. When you drop in you are greeted by our official greeter, Tara. Then Lynn or Arch act as you tour guide, showing you around the shop and demonstrating how the rope and hammocks are made. Hammocks and hammock swings are set up for you to test drive. The picnic area remains so bring along a snack or lunch to enjoy outside under the trees.

We are open 7 days a week 9am to 6 pm in June, July , August, and September, 11 am to 4 pm Wednesday to Sunday in October, November, December, April and May and by appointment or by chance in January, February and March.

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