Oakridge Boys, lobster and fruitcake, oh my
Cindy Day’s favourite Christmas traditions
When it comes to Christmas and the holiday season, undoubtedly, everyone has their own favourite memory or tradition.
From our favourite food, drink, movie or TV show to a never-miss annual event or a die-hard tradition, Christmas will always hold a special place in our hearts. And Cindy Day, Atlantic Canada’s much-loved meteorologist, is no exception.
“Christmas in the Maritimes is very unique,” she says. Originally from the Cornwall, Ont. area, Day has called Nova Scotia her home for almost 30 years. During that time, she has not only become an expert on the ever-changing Maritime weather, but she is completely immersed in the many and often quirky traditions and culture that make this area so different from other parts of the country.
“I love the fact that Maritimers include lobster into their family meal. We always had lots of pork and beef growing up on a farm in Ontario where we raised animals, but the first time I experienced a Maritime feast and they rolled out the lobster, I was hooked,” says Day.
While lobster is certainly one of Day’s favourites, she admits one Christmas treat tops her list — fruitcake.
“My goal is to convert all of the ‘non-fruitcake’ people in the world,” and Day assures her triedand-true recipe may be just the one to do it. “It is not your typical dry, white fruitcake. This one is dark, moist and full of bourbon and gooey batter.”
And by full, she actually means it is regularly dipped in bourbon just to ensure it soaks deep into the fruit and cake.
Food aside, one of the big things that makes a Maritime holiday unique is music, says Day.
“I am always struck by how much music is a part of Maritime life. I haven’t been in a home where someone hasn’t picked up a fiddle or guitar and started playing. It’s a real treat.”
And when it comes to Christmas music, Day also has her own holiday favourite — The Oakridge Boys Christmas. “It just reminds me of Christmastime … it holds a lot of good memories. I also think of Suzy Bogguss this time of year, though” she adds.
For some people, the holidays are marked by a special event — one they look forward to all year. For Day, without hesitation, that event is the annual Christmas tree gift to Boston. “It is such a beautiful event that came out of such disaster,” she says, referring to the 1917 Halifax Explosion. “The holidays are about giving and this is a wonderful example of how giving Maritimers are.”
For any avid ‘Elf on the Shelfers’ Day says she had not heard of this tradition before coming to Nova Scotia, but the tiny imp does hold a special memory for her. One year, a Grade 5 class decided to put Day’s children’s book (Grandma Says — Weather Lore from Meteorologist Cindy Day) on the shelf with the elf and the two were intertwined for the rest of the holiday season.
Day also prefers multi-coloured lights, a real Christmas tree and finding gifts for her friends and family at the Alderney Landing Farmers Market. But we saved the most important question for last — will we have a white Christmas?
“No, unfortunately.” For you snow-lovers, don’t worry, it is the Maritimes after all, and the first thing you learn here is to ‘expect the unexpected.’
Cindy Day’s bourbon fruitcake is one of her holiday favourites.
Cindy y Day