Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A delicious weekend in Victoria

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend staying with the sous-chef's Aunt and Uncle in Victoria. I bonded with these two right away over many common interests but we really connected over a love of FOOD. I've had some curries whipped up by these two when they've been over to visit and been bowled over with deliciousness. When they knew I'd be coming over for the weekend, I think they started to plan a full on assault of my tastebuds. Everything I ate was absolutely amazing, and even more impressive is that fact that a good portion of their produce is grown in their massive backyard garden.

After a late ferry over on Friday night, I was greeted to a dessert of homemade strawberry meringue pie. What a way to welcome a house guest! Made with local strawberries, this dessert was positively bursting with bright, fresh, flavours. I'm not sure if it was the pastry or the meringue, but there was also a nice, subtle saltiness that went really nicely with the sweet, gooey, strawberries.
The next day was a "fix your own breakfast" type of day. But still there was a kitchen full of fresh fruit, delicious baked banana bread and homemade granola. Awesome.

 Lunch was served outside in the backyard and was a picnice of baguette slices and bread with a variety of homemade (of course) dips and spreads. A cheese plate, olive tapenade, red pepper spread, artichoke heart dip, and tuna salad. There was also fresh, delicious, crisp lettuce from the garden and chips and salsa. I loved everything, but in particular the creamy, salty tuna and artichoke spreads, and the mix of flavours in the awesome olive and nut tapenade. They know what they are doing with a food processor in this house.

Dinner was also al fresco in the backyard garden dining area. This salad was simple and really delicious. Made with lettuce picked from the garden, slivered red peppers, and an amazing citrus dressing (fresh lemon zest, juice, and pulp with olive oil, salt and pepper, and rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar). This was so fresh and light, I could've eaten this large bowl all to myself.

Also on the table were grilled veggie skewers featuring eggplant (from their green house), cherry tomatoes, peppers and huge mushrooms. These were marinated with sweet thai pepper sauce, garlic, and olive oil. The flavours were a nice contrast of bright flavours (cherry tomatoes and peppers) and meaty, smoky flavours with the mushrooms and eggplant.

The main was cedar plank BBQ salmon fillets with chives, garlic, ginger, teriyaki sauce, and cumin with grilled yellow squash, zuchinni, and peppers. The flavours on this plate were so light and bright and everything tasted so fresh and the salmon was cooked perfectly so it melted in my mouth.

An amazing summer dinner plate!

It didn't stop there.....dessert was an amazing Mango and Raspberry pie. I never have thought about combining these flavours, but now, I'm going to crave this combo. Sweet and a bit sour with explosive flavour. The crust of this pie was a blended crumbly pumpkin seed and fig crust.

Burger Patties
Potato Salad

Home made Dill Pickle Wedges
Of course the next day, we had fresh blueberry pancakes with a variety of jams, jellies, syrups and spreads. We fended for ourselves for lunch and then before heading off to the ferry to sail back to Vancouver, they treated us to another amazing backyard dinner- homemade burgers (beef and tempeh for the vegs), potato salad with celery, snow peas (from the garden) and sundried tomatoes, and roasted yam fries.
Let's just say me and my taste buds are planning my next trip back!!!!!

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