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Last updated April 15, 2024

Upcoming events

THE OTTAWA SCHOOL OF THEATRE presents an all ages production of Treasure Island in the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre. Showtimes Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets $20 for adults. Students and youth 25 and under $10. To purchase visit / ottawaschooloftheatre?

TAPROOM 260 presents Michael Ben-Shalom live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit

TAPROOM 260 presents The Underground live from 8-11 p.m. at 260 Centrum Blvd. For more information visit

CLASSIC PIANO RECITAL – Orléans pianist Emily Hou will be performing works by Chopin, Mozart, Rachmaninov and Liszt at Kanata United Church as part os the Beaverbrook Community Concert Series. The recital will start promptly at 3 p.m. Kanata United Church is located at 33 Leacock Dr. in Kanata. For more information visit 2024/03/24/april-21-emily-hou.

THE ORLÉANS BREWING CO. Trivia Night from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Call (613) 834-9005 to reserve your spot. The Orléans Brewing Co. is located at 4380 Innes Rd. near the Innes Road McDonalds.

GRANDMAS AIDING GRANDMAS 10th Annual Card Party from 12:30p.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Helen’s Church, 1234 Prestone Dr. Tickets $35 includes lunch, door prizes, raffle and market. Call Barbara at 613-824-3524 or Sue at 613-834-4706.



VIEWPOINT: The art of baking creates memories that last a lifetime
By Fred Sherwin
Jan. 17, 2023

I recently read with amusement that my 12-year-old nephew, Aidan, has decided to try his hand at baking. Apparently, he was watching the Kids Baking Championship on TV when he started making fun of some of the cakes that were being made.

When my sister commented that baking a cake was more difficult than he apparently thought, he accepted a challenge to bake a cake for their joint birthday last weekend. He even decided to bake the cake from scratch even though my sister told him he could use a mix.

Although not especially pretty – the icing turned out to be a bigger challenge than the cake – it turned out to be pretty good, all things considered.

The whole incident reminded me of when I first started baking with my mother who was an all-star when it came to the fine art of baking.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, everyone’s mother is an all-star baker, but my mother was a next level baker, especially at Christmastime.

While most kids looked forward to getting toys and presents at Christmas, my siblings and I looked forward to eating everything from shortbread cookies to gum drop cake.

My brother Mike and I were so bad that mom started hiding her baking when were teenagers. At various times, she would hide stuff in the attic, in her closet and even in the trunk of the car. Each time, my brother and I would eventually find them.

Finally, she came up with the great idea to freeze everything, as if that would keep us from eating it. Take it from me, there is nothing better than a frozen Nanaimo bar, and shortbread thaws out quicker than you think.

When we were growing up, my siblings and I would often fight over the mixing bowl after mom baked a cake or made icing.

Scraping the leftover batter and icing out of the bowl with our fingers was a real treat. I was always the first one in the kitchen, which meant I could get the large wooden spoon which was always covered in ooey-gooey batter.

Even though I learned how to bake watch-ing my mother, I didn’t start baking myself until I started a family and then it was on.

Never one to do things halfway, I usual go all out, especially at Christmas. What can I say? Like mother, like son.

This past Christmas I made five types of cookies, a lemon loaf, a cherry loaf, a gum drop cake and butter tarts. And like my mother, I’ve often had to resort to hiding the Christmas baking from my two sons who have a voracious appetite when it comes to cookies, cakes and squares, not unlike my brother and I.

This year I decided to do most of my baking on Christmas Eve, leaving my kids with no choice but to wait. Unfortunately, it did little to curb their enthusiasm, however, as the most of the cookies were gone by December 28. Fortunately, I kept my own private stash under my bathroom sink.

I still use a lot of the same pans and utensils my mother used when she baked. I have her measuring spoons and a loaf pan that once belonged to my Aunt Nora.

Although my boys love to eat my baking, they have little interest in learning how to bake themselves. My daughter, Maggie, on the other hand, has been baking with me for years and every time we do, it brings back memories of when my mother and I used to bake together.

In fact, I can still remember the last time we baked together. I wanted to bake a bunch of things for the Navan Fair baking competition and my oven was on the fritz, so over to my parents’ place I went.

We baked everything from a chocolate cake to blueberry muffins and two lemon loaves – one for the competition and one for myself.

I ended up winning three red ribbons and a couple of second place ribbons that year. I called my mother as soon as I found out. To this day I’m not sure who was more proud, my mother or myself.

But that’s what baking is all about. Baking is not the same as cooking. We cook for ourselves all the time, but very few people bake for themselves. If you ask most bakers, they will tell you the reason they bake is so that others can enjoy the fruit of their labour.

The art of baking is often handed down from generation to generation creating memories that will last a lifetime. I feel blessed indeed for the memories I have and now my daughter and my nephew will have memories of their own.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at




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