So this is the 100th post of "happiness is a choice, long trip home" and the posts thus far have been about food, restaurants, travel, human rights,animal rights, gay rights and Eco-friendly ways of living.
So today I thought I would share with you some exciting news. On January 1st 2013, Sarah and I will be flying out to Spain where we will be staying for a minimum of 2 months (probably longer knowing us) and traveling Europe till our hearts are content. We are so excited to soak up European culture and eat our way across each country! You can look forward to hearing about our days and seeing pictures and maybe a few videos of our adventures!
Sarah and I have been travel buddies for the last 4 years but this is going to be our biggest adventure yet! Neither of us has been to Europe before, so uncharted territory is all that is in our future!Once we get there you will be getting daily (WiFi permitting) updates of our adventure, and until then posts will be going as they have been...about our adventures here in Toronto, cooking experiments and new ideas and tricks for life.
So on that note, I want to share with you an awesome new book I just got. Its called "Frozen Desserts" and is written by Francisco J Migoya. Its a wonderful book on all things frozen and a must have for every pastry chefs library. My favorite recipe that I have tried so far out of the book is the espresso semifreddo. Its smooth, creamy and rich but not so heavy that it makes you feel sick! Its an expensive book running about $75.00 at Chapters. I would say its worth the money! Check it out and let me know what your favorite are.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Visiting a place, and actually living there are two completely different
experiences. After coming here for 30 years, there is still so much I don’t know.
But last summer I figured out a few of them. Out of shear boredom, I gave myself
a challenge; to visit every beach on the island. Well there are 27! Now considering
that a lot of them are actually the same beach, but with different access points,
let’s put the actual number at 19. I made it to 12, not too bad considering I ran
out of beach weather. But alas, there is one that didn’t make it on the Salt Spring
tourist list, Walker’s Hook.
The name refers to a forested peninsula that is attached to the North side of the
island by a small strip of beach, creating a hook shape. The beach known to be the
largest, and most beautiful on the island (Did I mention it was clothing optional?
) is quite to my disappointment, water access only. The story, as it was told to
me by my Sous chef Nick, is that years ago some.....I’m going to paraphrase
here and go with American, had too much to drink, tripped and broke his leg.
This “American” then tried to sue the property owner of the original access to the
beach, thus ruining it for everyone.
But not to worry, there is a light at the end of this dark and beach less tunnel!
Also, according to my Sous chef, it is still possible to get to, sans boat, at low tide,
if you walk from Grantville St. Beach. And here is where my adventure begins.
So one not so sunny afternoon, I walked down the hill from my place, to
Grantville, and began my way to Walker’s Hook. It quickly becomes obvious
that Nick has not fully explained the complications. At first it is no problem, I’m
trekking across, staying close to the side, but soon the way gets wetter, muddier,
and more slippery. I probably should have turned back, but come on, I was half
way there. Now for the real problem, I hit a very long, very tipped over tree. No
way to go over, no way to go under, around it, it would have to be. So out deeper
in the muck I went, sinking at points up to my knees, and losing my shoes at
multiple points. Well I made it, 45 minutes later, breathing hard, and covered in
mud, there I was, and you know what? It was a really nice beach.
I did a bit of sun tanning, a bit of rock climbing, and a bit of hiking, and then it
was time to go home, but across the mud flats? I think not. I tried to sneak out
through the fishery, unsuccessfully I might add. First I was chased by a BIG dog,
or charged I should say, since I didn’t attempt to run knowing it wouldn’t do me
any good. Then I was yelled at by the BIG man that happened to be chasing the
dog. No problem though, I pulled the tourist card, and was given one free pass,
just one, and told to tell all my friends not to come back. Would I do it again? Of
course, but next time I think i’ll take a boat.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
One of the things Salt Spring Island is most known for is the in incredible
amount of organic produce and food products in general that is available. One of
the largest, and most expensive farms, is Foxglove Farm.
120 acres, and all organic, this farm produces asparagus, strawberries,
blueberries, melons, peaches, plums, hay and other grains. I had the opportunity
to tour their farm earlier in the summer, with Erin, a friend of mine who had
spent a month woofing there (Yes all you woofers, it is available). Coming from
the city of Toronto, you don’t often get to see your food in its absolute “raw”
form. Just an hour tour and I was intrigued to see how much one can do with a
little hard work and TLC. What amazed me the most though, was their orchard.
They had apple, pear and rainier cherry trees dating back to the 1850’s. These, I
believe, were grown from cuttings of the original trees.
To make the day even better, the farm was running a festival that day, so live
music, and food were available, including wood fire grilled pizza from their hand
built outdoor pizza oven. We had our lunch in the sun while listening to Mexican
music, toured the huge farm, and took a walk around their huge perimeter to get
to Maxwell Lake, Salt Spring’s cleanest fresh water source.
All I can say, if you get the chance to tour a farm, any farm, do it! You are likely
to eat something, more likely to learn something, and you will absolutely enjoy
Friday, July 27, 2012
Salt Spring Island
So finally I arrived at my final destination, Salt Spring Island, truly a place like no
other. I have had the privilege, over my 30 years, to spend many summer, and
even some winter vacations here, and I can tell you, once you’ve been here, you
will know how truly unique it is.
Beautiful beaches, kayaking, sailing, hiking, rock climbing, locally grown crops,
and raised meat, handmade soaps, jams, jellies, teas, cloths, jewellery, the list
goes on and on. Let’s just say there is nothing you cannot get here, except maybe
The most unique part though, is the people. There is definitely a different way
of life, more relaxed, natural, and healthy. People dance in the park, pick up hitch
hikers at every turn, and offer complete strangers places to stay. This last one
actually happened to me, I shit you not!
There is too many experiences to share, that one blog will not do this special
little island any justice. So for now, I will leave you with a few snippets from an
article in the Island Marketplace free magazine;
You know you live on Salt Spring when.....
• Monday at 2pm really means you’ll show up Wednesday at 3.
• There is a drunk guy in a rainbow poncho in the middle of the road and
the cops wave.
• You decide to walk for exercise, and five people pull over to see if you
want a ride.
• You see women shopping in their Jammies!
• Gumboots and crocs can get you through the year.
• (And my favorite) A lot of your home BAKED cookies are not for
And dont forget to keep checking back, the updates as we prepare for our biggest adventure yet willo be happening pretty much daily! So make sure you check it out!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
This past Tuesday Sarah and I ventured out to St Jacobs once again to experience this Mennonite town and its wonderful farmers market!
First things first we had to have lunch...and yes at first we went with the boring choices of a slice of American style pizza, and dumplings....but then Sarah saw a pogo sign and had to have one! She comes back with two plates, one is clearly a pogo and the other....A PIG TAIL! She saw it on the menu and had to have it and for only $3.00 how could she say no?!?!The picture right below is Sarah extracting all the meat from our delicious pig tail, and it was wonderful, very fatty but the meat was tender, a lot like ribs!