Flash Back Fridays


The Dewars started a homestead in 1979. My dad, Wallace Baikie, had sold them forty acres up behind the Lodge property. Penny was Wallace’s niece. The Dewars had been studying cougars at Northwest Bay, near Nanoose. They wanted to move up Island to be near Strathcona Park because it was an excellent area in which to study cougars. They built a magnificent 4,000 sq. ft. house, all without any heavy equipment, and using recycled materials from a building that they had torn down in Northwest Bay. p_dewarPerched on a hill high above the Lodge it has a magnificent view to the south. This energetic pair also built a large chicken house, a barn for their Alpine goats, a large woodshed and a separate barn for their two Arabian horses. Two Akbash dogs from Turkey were so good at protecting their animals that they never lost even a Bantam chick. Penny sold goat cheese and eggs to the Lodge and also to the health food store in town. They had a magnificent garden. They used chicken and horse manure, seaweed, sawdust, compost and the peat-like material that had been dug out of a nearby boggy lake. This mixture eventually turned into rich loam. A big green- house stretched across the south side of their house. A large exterior woodstove (a gift from the Lodge) and black water barrels (they capture and retain the heat) enabled them to grow tomatoes, peppers and melons till the middle of winter .

Penny was a biologist and had been a brilliant student. Accompanied by her husband Percy who had been a cougar hunter in his younger years, they tranquilized cougars and tracked them, and become well known for their cougar studies.


Ken Hospes and Percy Dewar on Percy’s property

Penny often came down the hill to visit her mother Nancy Brown, (Myrna’s aunt) the chef at the Lodge. One day, Nancy needed something delicious to serve guests and there wasn’t a lot of food in the kitchen. They did have some eggs, some powdered milk and some oranges. With Penny’s help, Nancy came up with Desperation Scones. They have been a favourite at the Lodge ever since.

Desperation Scones

Cleverly invented by Penny Dewar and her lovely mother, Nancy Brown, this recipe is popular for breakfast or a snack at Strathcona.

It is forgiving so don’t hesitate to add or alter the ingredients.

15 cups whole wheat flour Mix wet and dry separately. 10 eggs Pour wet into dry, mix lightly, knead 10 times. 2 1⁄2 cups soy flour Roll out to a 1⁄2 inch and cut into rectangles.2 1⁄2 cups honey Cook on sheets. 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached white flour Makes forty scones. 4 oranges (blended) 1⁄2 cup flaked brewer’s yeast 2 L milk 1⁄2 cup baking powder 2 1⁄2 cups powdered milk dates, raisins, etc.

They take about 12-15 min- utes at 375 degrees so watch out they don’t burn! Serve them plain or with a favourite fruit butter.