Oakridge Boys, lob­ster and fruit­cake, oh my

Cindy Day’s favourite Christ­mas tra­di­tions

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS -

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

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