Tag: food

The island life for me

The ferry to Salt Spring Island from Crofton to VesuviusWe recently spent a few days on Salt Spring Island. If you’ve ever considered living on an island then you’ll already have considered the question of how to get there. Salt Spring is one of the Gulf Islands and is served by BC Ferries. It is better served than most since there are three different ferry connections: two to Vancouver Island and one to the mainland.

The fare to the island is payable only when going to Salt Spring – you can leave for nothing! This is the way BC Ferries works on a number of its routes, particularly to other islands and even to the Sunshine Coast. Nevertheless the cost of the ferry ride is something to consider if you’re thinking of settling on an island.

Once you’re on Salt Spring Island, you’re on island time. The west coast has a laid back attitude compared to the rest of Canada, and the islands even more so. Just chill!

The charm of this island is its artistic community. You can see signs for artists studios all over the island. Pick up the Studio Tour brochure and visit artists that appeal. On our trip we seemed to zero in on the culinary experiences. We visited the Salt Spring Island cheese company. You can see them making the cheese and try samples of their cheeses, relishes and olives too.

Bread from the bread ladyThe next stop was the Salt Spring Island Bread Co where we picked up some delicious bread and focaccia. Their sunny garden, surrounded by lavender plants is the perfect place to eat your lunch. It seemed like we were in Tuscany somehow.

Our trip to the island would not have been complete without visiting the wineries. We went to all three and particularly enjoyed having a glass of wine on the patio at Mistaken Identity.  Their patio overlooks the vineyard and once you’ve tasted some of their wines you will want to have a glass and enjoy the view. They have a nice cheese tasting plate too.

If the culture, and eating, is too much then you can mooch around in the shops in Ganges, Fulford Harbour or Vesuvius Bay. And of course there are a lot of beaches and lakes where you can cool off and relax even more.
Salt Spring Island cafe

Island life is not for everyone. You may need to take a ferry or seaplane ride to get something or other that you need. But that same distance ensures that life is slower and as the bumper sticker says: “Relax! This ain’t the mainland”.

Happy Thanksgiving

A Turkey
A Turkey – image courtesy of Wikipedia

Turkeys may not be rejoicing at this time of the year. Not only are they the traditional choice for celebrating Canada’s Thanksgiving holiday, but also the massive recall of E-Coli infected beef has taken many alternative choices off the menu.

I am sure that Canadians will find a way to enjoy the holiday – after all it is about gathering together with family and friends and the feasting is secondary. No really!

When we first came to Canada the whole idea of Thanksgiving was quite foreign to us. In the UK the nearest equivalent is Christmas dinner (where the turkey features too). So over the years we have failed to develop a tradition. Each year we celebrate by eating whatever we want. That has included eating pizza, Mexican, curry and one dreadful year – tofurky!

However you are celebrating this harvest festival, we wish you and your family an enjoyable time.


Besieged by blackberries

Canadians love a bargain, whether it’s discount coupons, scratch and save at the Bay or a BOGOF deal (buy one, get one free). But what better bargain than free food. Blackberries are in season (just) and everyone’s out there picking them. Probably they’re also congratulating themselves on saving $4 or so that it would have cost them in the supermarket.

Walking the dog this week, we have got used to passing people deep in the tangle of blackberry bushes off the side of the trail. The best and juiciest blackberries always seem to be just out of reach – or are too low down, considering it is a trail favoured by dog walkers.

One high traffic area that offers easier picking, but at the risk of more than a scratch, seems to be the side of the highway. We have even seen cars pulled over on the off ramps, with the drivers picking up tonight’s dessert.


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