Thursday, March 31

Real. Simple. Getaway.

Ah, Spring!

As March rolls into April, winter gives way to spring in fits and starts. One day will bring sunshine and a warm breeze carrying the scent of springtime. The next may be stark and still.

One day may be perfect for a leisurely stroll, the next for a vigorous hike. And yet another may lull you into a lazy day with a book in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and your feet stretched out to the sun on a warm day or to a fire on a cool one.

Spring weather is unfailingly, unapologetically, unpredictable. And because of this, spring is considered the "slow season" in these parts. It's too late for winter activities and too soon for the summer stampede of tourists.

It's the perfect time for what I call a Real Simple Getaway. No schedule, no list of must-do activities and must-see sights. Just some real connection with your travel mate (we're not talking virtual *facetime* with electronic devices!). Real food, prepared with care, savoured leisurely. Simple, unhurried passing of time; the chance to step out of the hectic pace of daily life. It's not about doing, but about simply being.

To make this really simple, we've even outlined a package and itinerary for you.

Real Simple Spring Getaway

Package includes:

 • 2 nights accommodation for 2 people
 • hearty breakfast each morning
 • dinner at the inn one evening
 • fresh air, slow pace, time and space

2015 Rate:
$280/couple + tax

Rate shown is after $20 Quiet Season Discount is applied.
Effective April 1 - June 30, 2015
Suggested Itinerary

Day 1:
Arrive. Relax by the fire. Star gaze. Sleep.

Day 2: 

Breakfast. Walk through the woods. Snack. Read. Nap. Stretch your legs. Dinner. Wine. Scrabble. Sleep.

Day 3:

Breakfast. Stroll through town. Browse unique shoppes. Cafe lunch. Home.

Book online or call us toll free at 1-866-311-8519.

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Looking for a Solo Retreat package? Check out our Mini-Sabbatical Package and really take yourself away from it all.

For more musings on the delights of spring...

I Heart April
The "Best Kept Secret" Season
25 Things to Love About May
Spring Walk on the Seguin Trail

Thursday, March 17

Colcannon Soup

Fern Glen Inn •

I was rifling through my recipe box the other day and came across a hand written card with the recipe for Colcannon Soup. How appropriate, I thought, with St. Patrick's Day around the corner.

The soup is based on a classic Irish dish, colcannon, which is a mix of mashed potatoes and cabbage. Sometimes kale is used in place of cabbage, and some versions include other ingredients such as onions or leeks. It's a comfort food side dish that translates deliciously into a hearty winter soup.

The first time I tasted it was at a house party one February years and years ago. My friend, Evelyn, had made a big pot of soup and set it out with breads and cheeses for people to help themselves. If I had known there was cabbage in there, I never would have tried it (I was sure I didn't like cabbage -- what can I say, I was young and foolish!). But the soup was perfect for a warm gathering of friends on a cold, snowy evening.

A couple weeks later I received a note in the mail along with the recipe for the soup. I had told Evelyn how much I enjoyed it and she wrote it out and sent it along for me. This was back in the day (boy, I sound old!) when email was not a part of everyday life. Back then, sending someone a recipe took a bit of time and effort -- and a stamp. Truly the actions of a good friend!

So this week I made a pot of Colcannon Soup because winter vegetables are what I cook with in March. And because it's a nod to the Irish on their day of celebration. And because it makes me happy to think of friendship and food and the sharing of both.


Colcannon Soup

2 Tbsp butter or olive oil

3 leeks, white and light green parts, sliced and washed
4 cups diced green cabbage
3 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup light cream or milk (more or less as desired)
6 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter or oil in a dutch oven. Add leeks. Cook gently until wilted. Add cabbage and cook a few minutes, stirring. Add potatoes, broth, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

With a potato masher, gently mash some of the potatoes so that the soup thickens. Fish out and discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Stir in the cream or milk. Use more or less to achieve your desired consistency. Stir in the green onions and parsley and cook for one minute. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot.

Like many soups, it's just as delicious reheated the next day. Add diced ham or corned beef if you like.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Wednesday, March 2

March Dog Sledding Special

Treat yourself to a last blast of winter adventure!

Get 10% off half-day or 1-hour guided dog sledding tours through the Muskoka wilderness just west of Algonquin Park.

Half-Day Dog Sledding
regular price: $150/person
March Special price: $135/person

1-Hour Dog Sledding
regular price: $80/person
March Special price: $72/person

Plus tax. Special is available with any stay at Fern Glen Inn (not included in dog sledding price). Subject to availability and trail conditions.

Offer ends when the snow melts!

Book your March Dog Sledding Special
online. Mention "March Dog Sledding" and half-day or 1-hour when you reserve.

Or call us toll free at 1-866-311-8519 to make your reservation.

Fern Glen Inn or send us an email for more information.