Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quiet skies

Have you heard of Tony Only the painter? Well this picture I took of Vancouver Island across the Malaspina Straight reminds me of his paintings. I see know where he got his inspiration.

Today is Skywatch Friday. To see beautiful pictures of skies from around the world please visit the Skywatch Friday website.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fish and chips

When a new restaurant opens, especially a fish and chip restaurant, well what can I say...I have to check it out.

The Boardwalk Cafe opened up a few months ago in beautiful Lund offering, in my opinion, wonderful fish and chips and the location is fabulous.

If you find yourself in Lund make sure to check it out, and the view is not too bad either.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Drying figs

I almost forgot about the figs. I don't know how I could forget because figs are my all time favorite fruit. I start testing the figs for ripeness in early June, way too early, but I'm so impatient and can hardly stand the wait that I must touch them, all the time.

It had been about three weeks since I last checked the figs for ripeness, I was inside, having some tea when I let out a yell, "the figs"....

Ran out and wouldn't you know it the birds got most of them. I was able to pick about 10 all the while cussing under my breath but happily I ate a few right off the tree and then decided to sacrifice some to the dehydrator.

I was so worried that they would not dry properly that I was checking the dehydrator almost every hour. They dried OK but as my blog friend Said the Hobbit noted, it's hardly worth the effort, and I agree. As with other fruit you really have to stay on top of the drying. Often the fruit dries quicker than anticipated and it's also not as sweet as you might think.

On a positive note...while the figs were drying the house had a wonderful sweet aroma, very pleasant indeed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Backyard sunset

Time to lock the doors on the chicken coop in my back yard, and as I open my back door what do I see? ....another stunning Powell River sunset.

Today is Skywatch Friday, go to the Skywatch Friday website to see sky photos from all over the world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

In search of fresh farm eggs.

I try to buy local farm eggs whenever possible to serve for breakfast at my diner. I've had a little trouble finding enough eggs lately but with the help of some friends spreading the word I found a few dozen eggs not too far from me.

On my way to the farm....

I saw flowers, lots of flowers.

A new house...with enough solar power to go off grid, well for most of the year!

The fog starting to lift.

At first I thought this was bull, then I swear I saw cow teats, so I thought it was a girl but I have since found out that it can only be a male if horns are involved? I wonder what I saw....

And finally, spider webs, heavy with the morning dew.

What a wonderful way to get local fresh eggs.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Frugal drink

My diner is supported by some wonderful customers. There is one customer that for some time would call in and ask that I put a large coffee aside, you see she wanted it cold. After doing this for about two weeks I finally asked her why she wanted cold coffee....

She puts it in the fridge and pours it over ice for an iced coffee drink.

Oh my gosh, I often throw out pots of coffee when we close. In winter I always pour a cup for my ride home but summer is too hot for coffee.

So now, if I have good leftover coffee when we close I pour it into a travel mug, add some vanilla, sugar and cream, bring it home, pour it over ice, stir and enjoy.

How fabulous! Especially with a banana chocolate chip muffin...recipe will follow soon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bear damage

We have lots of bears here in Wildwood because most yards are full of fruit and nut trees. Since moving here three years ago I've not had a huge bear problem because I pick all my fruit to make jam. Plum is one of my favorite and I also freeze the plums in halves for a delicious plum coffee cake that I serve at Magpie's. This year the plums were a little sour so I decided to leave them for a few days. We had a horrible spring and although our summer was hot and dry the plums are just ready now. Bad decision...

Thanks to some heavy tree pruning by my neighbourhood bear this is what's left of my plum tree.

And he was so nice that he also fertilized the grass, bottom right hand corner, again thanks Mr. Bear.

But he didn't eat all the plums...I still picked a huge pail.

Friday, September 10, 2010


You probably already know what happens if you turn your back on your zucchini plants only for a day or two, they grow to incredible sizes.

This zucchini is to big to saute and serve as a side dish, it will be have big seeds and spongy meat, but it's perfect for cream of zucchini soup.

Roughly chop the zucchini as well as a medium peeled potato which will act as a thickener, an onion and some garlic.

Saute an onion and garlic in some olive oil.

Then add the zucchini and potato.

Add enough chicken stock to cover the veggies, add some salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until the veggies are soft.

Using a stick blender, cream the the veggies, add some cream, not much, a tablespoon of pesto if you have it, or add some fresh herbs, like basil, thyme or tarragon, reheat and serve with a slice of French bread, heaven.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blackeberry Festival

Every year Powell River hosts a wonderful and much anticipated festival, the Blackberry Festival. Blackberries are very abundant here. There seems to be more blackberries in Powell River than anywhere I have lived before, well in my opinion. To some folks blackberries can be a real garden pest, but here they are celebrated. The festival runs for a full week and ends with the street party. Marine Ave. is closed to cars, vendors set up and people take over.

This video will give a good idea of what the street party is all about.

Art and I served up waffles with Blackberry topping and whipped cream. It was lots of work but in exchange we experienced an amazing night.

Here I am with my daughter in law in our new Magpie's Diner t-shirts.

The street was full of people.

And we totally exploited my grand-daughter's cuteness, she was at the front of the booth getting folks to stop by with her happy little face.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Back with a vengeance

Well I'm back. I've managed to finish some projects, not all, and start some new ones. Biggest project that is almost complete is the Magpie's Diner website. I still have to add pictures of the food I serve, which I thought would be easy, but it's actually harder than I thought.
I was trying to take a picture of a dish before it was served....but by the time I could get the dish centered and focused the food would get cold. Best I cook a dish for myself, take all the time I need, then eat it, hot or cold.

New this fall at the diner is a special Italian dinner event. My sister and I are cooking a very special menu based on dishes my mom would cook for us on very special occasions.

If you are in Powell River and have no place to eat on Oct. 20th.....come on over.