Vancouver Island Holiday


I just spent a week out on Vancouver Island with my cousin Rebecca – what a fabulous week! Aside from the most perfect weather, she has just purchased the most perfect house. It’s a heritage home that was “floated” over from Victoria a few years back.

Rebecca is planning on having a B&B at the house and I can’t think of a better place to be. The house has so much character and Vancouver Island is so beautiful. This was a sort of working holiday as I was helping to get things done around the house.  My cousin has some beautiful art that needed hanging so we put up at least a dozen pictures, a beautiful carving of loons and a gorgeous hand made wall hanging.  I also built a headboard from an old door that was left outside (solid oak – they don’t make doors like that anymore).

Now for the food….

Salmon, seafood and more salmon.  It doesn’t get any better than heading down to the fishing boat and buying some salmon for dinner. We had salmon in scrambled eggs for breakfast, in omelettes, seared salmon and BBQ’d salmon. Oysters that were half the size of my palm were $9 for 14!!! And oh so fresh.

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Farm fresh eggs and salmon and grilled potatoes for breakfast

One night we had maple salmon with boiled potatoes and sea asparagus. Some of you may remember I talked about sea asparagus in an older post – I had never heard of them and here they were growing wild at the waters edge right in front of her home!  We picked them and soaked them and I sautéed them with some garlic to put over the salmon.  Yummy meal. We had some fresh tomatoes that a neighbour brought over that day from their garden.  We decided this was a 10 mile meal (as opposed to a 100 mile version)

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Sea asparagus growing wild

 

 

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Soaking in water as they are very salty

 

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Wild Pacific Salmon

 

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Yum!

My cousin Rebecca is a champion pie maker and since blackberries grow wild everywhere around the island where she lives she made a blueberry and blackberry pie that was outstanding.  We had it my last night at a dinner party given by Kim and Tom with Mary Jo and Veer. What a great night – drinking blackberry wine and eating fresh BBQ’d salmon with oysters. What a great week with great people!

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Before going into the oven

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Baked – what an incredible smell!

 

See below for pics of the house and the neat headboard (yes I am proud of it) 😉

Rebecca's house

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Cousins in Christchurch

My cousin Rebecca and her husband Wally are spending the winter in Australia and New Zealand (along with a few other countries along the way doing some touring, housesitting gigs and generally having a great time….Yes we are rather jealous). She sent some images of lunch/dinners they had while in Christchurch.  I wish I could be there as everything looks amazing and the food is so so fresh.  Here is what she had to say about where they were and what they were eating…

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Lunch by the water eating fresh fish

R&W lunch

blue cod, house smoked bacon and cockles for Wally

Blue moki fish

moki with house smoked mussels for me

Here is what Rebecca had to say about the food and local…

Blue Moki is caught mainly in southern waters. These fillets were pan-fried and topped with anchovy butter and smoked mussels.Very tasty-slightly oily white fleshed fish.
Blue Cod (are they all blue here??!) is milder in flavour, hence the bacon (home smoked, with a lemon butter sauce)….so, Fleurs restaurant is in Moeraki, a tiny fishing village once a whaling port. The fleet are all day fishers, meaning they come in with fresh catch daily-so those two fish were super fresh. We watched the boats anchored while we ate.
Fleur uses only local sourced ingredients, so the cockles were on the beach (they’re like little clams) and the mussels were also house smoked and from the beach. The garnishes were from the garden that surrounds the restaurant. The Sauvignon Blanc was South Island and delish.
Fleur is a celebrity – Rick Stein ate there and loved it. She has two books out…she greeted us at the door-all wild white hair and giant green stone (jade from here) pendant around her neck. The restaurant is super funky and in a gorgeous spot when the sun is shining as you can see it was that day. And the food was superb! I’m sure there is a website.
Before lunch we walked along the cliff path and when we looked down there was a seal family lolling around on the rocks on the beach. The baby seal was as cute as you can imagine. Of course, I didn’t have the camera then!

The seafood is really tremendous here and in Aus. Nowhere else have I seen such a selection of different types of creatures. Last night we cooked Brill-super yummy-never had it before.Wally has had it in the UK but says it is hard to find.

So……anyone else jealous?