Behind the Scenes at Highbrook Lately

Busy, busy, busy. So much has happened in March! Fun stuff, work stuff, even a couple of total chill-out days. There have been many good things about this month, but the best thing is that THE END IS IN SIGHT. Yes, by the end of March you really can feel that winter is OVER. That lovely feel of spring is in the air, and though it takes me awhile to adjust to Daylight Savings Time, it is so nice to have longer days again.

You will not have to listen to my anti-winter tirades anymore….well, at least not until next winter. I love spring, summer and fall equally, and they are especially beautiful here in Niagara.

So what have we been up to lately?

March has been all about Highbrook. We have been closed this month, and there has been much to do. First, one little incident with our hot tub. You may not realize this, but hot tubs require a heck of a lot of maintenance and upkeep. In the summer, it is all relatively easy to manage, but in the winter it needs more babying. When you are dealing with the arctic conditions such as we had, you need to make sure a path is shoveled to your hot tub, and that the snow is off it. This was an ongoing task this winter as it snowed NON-STOP. (If you live in Niagara, and are one of those people that loves winter, you will probably say I am exaggerating. But I am not.) However, the real problem was the extreme cold temperatures. Hot tubs, along with the pipes and wires that power them, do not like these temperatures. To sum it all up, the power to the heater and the pumps went out, and our hot tub FROZE. We had the world’s largest icecube in our backyard. Cue the sad trombone.

So, we have had to let the icecube melt naturally before it can be serviced and we can see what the damage is. The Hot tub maintenance crew have told us that it could be fine….there may be no permanent damage (oh please oh please). Or there could be major damage – which means major money. Or maybe a whole new hot tub – which means even more money. So our hot tub conundrum is still up in the air as of right now.

But on a good note, we are redoing the front garden this year.


As you may remember from this post, Ken and I are not the best of gardeners, and are very happily getting some garden help this year. Not just help though – the whole front garden will be transformed. I think it will be dazzling, and I’ll be posting through the process. We are not sure exactly when the work will begin, as the ground is still too frozen for the landscapers  – but it should be soon, and we are quite excited!

There has also been quite a bit of kitchen puttering.


Though we loved all the breakfast recipes we used last season, we wanted to kick it up a notch with a few additions to the repertoire. We are still in the process of perfecting them, but so far, these are looking pretty darn good.

We’ve been working on corn cakes

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I should clarify – Ken’s been working on corn cakes. My task has been to photograph the process and drink wine. That night, it was a lovely Chateau des Charmes Chardonnay. Ken slaves away, while I drink. It’s a tough life.


But I think my favourite potential new recipe has been what I call Breakfast Boats.

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This one is so good. Cheesy and yummy and full of flavour. Other than playing with the oven time a bit, this one is just about perfect. I think it could actually be my new favourite.

And the last bit of news is that we are going to be updating our website with some wonderful new pictures. Here’s a teaser for you.

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And that’s just what’s been going on at Highbrook! The next post will be about some fun things I’ve done around the region this month.