Monday, July 31, 2006

Samphire Greens!

It's samphire time in these here parts.
They grow in the marshes, and were a staple for the first Acadian settlers.
You cook them in simmering water for a few minutes until they soften, then strip them off the stem.
They're nice with butter and a dash of vinegar, but they have a salty kind of taste, so they're equally good without anything.

Dorchester, NB

In the spirit of "exploring your backyard," Peter and I drove out to Dorchester yesterday, about 20 minutes from Moncton.
Dorchester's claim to fame is being home to the Dorchester federal penitentiary.
We went to the historic Thomas Keillor house and saw some lovely house and antique porn. They had some beautiful hooked rugs, and look at that old scrap pineapple quilt. I've always wanted to make one just like it.
It was all very nice. Then, we went out back, and...

Then It Got Interesting!

The barn out back had old things from the prison. The whipping bench, on which inmates were strapped down and whipped with the leather straps lying across the bench.

An actual bit, for when the inmates mouthed off.
The round things are leg irons, called an "Oregon boot."

The hearse used for inmates buried on the grounds (meaning no family.)
And, last, the actual bedsheets tied into a rope actually used by an inmate to escape.

The prison artifacts were fascinating, in a gruesome way.