July Update

Oops, I better dust the cobwebs off the blog before it goes all derelict on me. I have a good excuse – I wasn’t here. We’ve been back on Salt Spring, hiking, crabbing, visiting with friends, and perhaps doing a bit of house hunting. It’s our 13th year on SSI, so it’s hard to view it as vacations. There’s good, there’s bad, but in the end it’s always like going to our second, better, home.  Still, just when I think I know this small island inside out, there’s always something new – meeting new people, finding new hiking trails, new surprises, who knows what can happen.

IMG_2006-2 This little woodcreeper flew into the kitchen and we had to catch him as delicately as we could.  He was a bit dazed at first, but flew away just fine. Below: sea asparagus! I saw it in Luke Nguyen’s France a couple of weeks ago, and then we’re walking along the shore and … sea asparagus!!! (No way!  Yes, I yelled it out as I ran to it)  On the show they farmed sea asparagus and sold it for a good penny, but here’s it’s free, abundant and did I say delicious?  Very crunchy and salty.  It was ideal to saute and place under grilled salmon.  I could tell that Greg was very skeptical, but patient and understanding as he always is.   He changed his mind after eating it and told me we should go back for more.

IMG_20140704_214622View for the week.  Our place had a nice view and a hot tub.  I’m always apprehensive when booking, because you just never know with these vacation rentals. Sometimes you get there and need to scrub the tub, sometimes you find pubes, sometimes the duvet wasn’t changed between who knows how many guests.  This time, we had a giant spider underneath the clothes washer – it was in the bathroom and directly a couple of feet in front of the toilet.  So you sit there contemplating and suddenly this thing comes out!!! Then it goes back underneath and nothing can be done.  He was there for the entire trip and I just grew to accept him.  Greg kept convincing me that he “lived under there” and wouldn’t crawl all over the house.  Yea, and I’m gonna sleep in an open jungle hut this December.

IMG_20140630_120501We drove this time, so the crab trap came along.  We caught a whole bunch of red rock crabs, but only one dungeness, and it was too small to keep.  Someone told us that there’s good spot prawns fishing around the island, but we’d need a boat, obviously.  I don’t cook the crabs whole, because you can only eat the claws anyway.  You bring a big pot of salted water to the boil (ocean water is best) then drop them in and boil for 10 minutes.  Eat with garlic butter, nomnomnom.

IMG_20140701_111033Quinoa and spinach salad with chickpeas and avocado.  Freshly cooked quinoa is nice and fluffy, and the salad mixes well without much dressing.   I wilted some spinach and tossed it through with the rest with a drizzle of olive oil.  It made a nice lunch.  We had similar variations with sliced beef.

IMG_20140630_120700Our hosts gave us some salmon, and we had a nice time talking to them.  Everyone knows everyone on the island, it’s such a different way of life.  We met a nice older man from Cowichan Lake, who invited us to visit if we’re in the area.  We also got to find what some Islanders think of us Albertans.  I guess we all have buckets of gold and arrive in our diamond chariots to snap up real estate…  The first thing we were told when looking at houses was not to say you’re from Alberta, otherwise they’ll want you to pay full price!

IMG_20140702_084406Here’s the sea asparagus raw – the stems are quite tough, so I snipped the little “arms” – I think that’s how it should be done.

IMG_20140704_195107View from the ferry terminal at 6am.

IMG_20140705_061225And the long slog home…14 hours door to door.  You’re barely human when you arrive.  I drove through these mountains so many times that it takes a conscious effort to appreciate their beauty.  It’s like the mountains exist so you can get to the coast 🙂 I’m kidding, of course.

IMG_20140705_151854Here’s a few pictures I meant to post last month – Thai skewers with peanut sauce.  It’s just chicken strips marinated in coconut milk and curry powder, then grilled until done.  It’s important to soak the skewers prior, otherwise they’ll burn right off.

2014-06-24 18.57.47Beautiful spring in June…  Calgary is beautiful in the summer, I could sit under a tree and read a book all day.  In winter I wish I could be anywhere else.

IMG_20140605_104320Random simple dinner.

IMG_20140531_122149View from my friend’s apartment.  So many years I commuted and worked downtown…

IMG_20140607_190121Kitchen mess.  I’m so domestic 🙂

IMG_20140505_152804Okay, last but not least – figs.  I’ve been stalking the produce manager at Superstore to tell me when they get their shipment.  They did, like twice, and I’m pretty sure it was just to get the crazy fig lady to stop calling.  I managed to get my hands on 1 case – and I don’t think we’ll be getting them in again.  I don’t know why, there was plenty last year… I’m sad because I really love figs and I wait for them to come into season.  I need my own fig tree…

2014-06-24 19.01.10

Well, I’m off to make some dinner.  I hope you’re enjoying your summer and doing some relaxing and de-stressing.  Until next time.


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