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eG Foodblog: Ann_T - Vancouver Island


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Ann_T, today I'm jealous that you have that butcher shop within reach.  How wonderful!  Now I have to go figure out the exchange rate so I can see what the prices are in $US.

Are there many places like that where you live? 

Mmmmmm, corn and butter.  No salt?

FabulousFoodBabe, there are a number of farms in the area where you can buy free range chicken, beef, duck and of course fresh produce. I bought a baby goat from one of the local farmers back in April. I still have quite a bit of it still in the freezer.

I should have said just corn, butter, salt and pepper. Got to have fresh ground pepper too. But when corn is ready it takes centre stage. We will make a meal of just corn, nothing else. Thankfully I have a husband who loves fresh corn as much as I do. We both grew up in Ontario. He is from the Windsor area and I'm from the Toronto area.

Ann,

I clicked on your blog and my screen rolled right down to the picture of Cowichan Bay meats and I was washed away with wonderful memories.

My mother grew up in Cowichan Bay in a house put together from several cottages, right across from the original Cowichan Inn.  My grandparents owned a marina and guiding business there. 

Food memories are flooding back now, the 'Indian candy' smoked salmon made by Minnie, who lived with my grannie, the home made lemonade, figs warm off the tree outside the kitchen window.  The berries we picked by the pail to made pies and crumbles. 

My Cowichan Indian sweaters, driving go-carts around my cousins place in Maple Bay, catching a dog fish, getting hooked with the gaf hook as my father fell backwards out of the fishing boat...

Thanks for the memories.

Wow Kerry, you do have some wonderful memories. I'm glad my pictures are jogging them for you. I'll try to post a few more of the local scenery this week.

Gorgoeous osso buco Ann.  What gives it that creamy yellow goodness?

Your website is beautiful, by the way.  You seem to cook and bake a lot of great food.  Do you teach cooking or do anything else professionally in the buisiness or is this all for leisure?

Thanks Shaya.

I just love good food and I like to cook and bake. Just for leisure. I've been a stay at home wife/mom for 27 years.

The veal shanks are browned and cooked with onions, garlic and a carrot (I hate carrots, but can handle the flavour and sweetness that one adds) , seasoned with fresh rosemary and sage, a little white wine and some chicken broth. And then roasted in the oven, basting often, until tender. I covered them for the first hour and just basted for the last hour. I used the stick blender to puree the veggies into the sauce.

Ann, what's your food background?  Where did you live before moving to Vancouver Island?

Susan, I don't really have a food background, except for the fact that I have always loved to cook and to eat. I'm originally from the Toronto area but have moved around a bit. Just after we were married we moved to Grand Rapids Michigan for a couple of years. I took a few hands on cooking lessons from Pat Davis. She ran a cooking school in her home. Matthew was born while we were in Grand Rapids so he actually has dual citizenship. We moved back to the Toronto area and lived there for the next 12 years and then ended up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for 5 years before moving to Vancouver back in 1998. Then we ended up in Dunkirk, NY for two years. I really liked living there. I was only an hour from Buffalo, Erie, PA and Jamestown , and all of these cities had Wegman grocery stores. So I went into Buffalo at least once a week and usually into Erie and Jamestown once a week too. And we were less than three hours from Toronto. So we would get down to Toronto quite often.

We moved back out west the summer of 2001 and lived in Nanaimo for 3 1/2 years before selling our house and moving to Vancouver for a year. Moe was working on a few things and it was easier to do from Vancouver. Matt lives in Victoria and we really missed seeing him whenever we felt like it so we moved back to the island last December. Since we are less than an hour from Victoria we see a lot of Matt now. Thankfully he is happy to have us so close too. My son is a real foodie too and is becoming quite a good cook. I recently gave him my Cuisinart . It was an excuse to buy a new one for myself. Here are my new toys.

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Breakfast wasn't too exciting. But the bread is homemade french bread and the honey is local. I didn't hear any complaints.

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Oh and I forgot to post a picture of my fridge. Since I shop on a regular basis, I don't keep a lot in it and I'm not big on leftovers so I try to not save anything that I will just end up throwing out a week later.

gallery_28661_3262_66080.jpg

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Nice looking bread, Ann! I'd really like to move from baking my home-y, old-fashioned breads to learning how to bake even older (?), but new-fashioned artisinal-style breads. I'm assuming you baked that yourself? How did you learn?

~ Lori in PA

My blog: http://inmykitcheninmylife.blogspot.com/

My egullet blog: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=89647&hl=

"Cooking is not a chore, it is a joy."

- Julia Child

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Oh and I forgot to post a picture of my fridge. Since I shop on a regular basis, I don't keep a lot in it and I'm not big on leftovers so I try to not save anything that I will just end up throwing out a week later.

gallery_28661_3262_66080.jpg

A truly destitute man is not one without riches, but the poor wretch who has never partaken of lobster. - anonymous
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Besides how great your cooking is but you are a talented at photography.. These veal shanks I am sure, were a hard subject and they just look so good..

gallery_28661_3262_322171.jpg

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Ann, what's your food background?  Where did you live before moving to Vancouver Island?

Susan, I don't really have a food background, except for the fact that I have always loved to cook and to eat. I'm originally from the Toronto area but have moved around a bit. Just after we were married we moved to Grand Rapids Michigan for a couple of years. I took a few hands on cooking lessons from Pat Davis. She ran a cooking school in her home. Matthew was born while we were in Grand Rapids so he actually has dual citizenship. We moved back to the Toronto area and lived there for the next 12 years and then ended up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for 5 years before moving to Vancouver back in 1998. Then we ended up in Dunkirk, NY for two years. I really liked living there. I was only an hour from Buffalo, Erie, PA and Jamestown , and all of these cities had Wegman grocery stores. So I went into Bu

ffalo at least once a week and usually into Erie and Jamestown once a week too. And we were less than three hours from Toronto. So we would get down to Toronto quite often.

We moved back out west the summer of 2001 and lived in Nanaimo for 3 1/2 years before selling our house and moving to Vancouver for a year. Moe was working on a few things and it was easier to do from Vancouver. Matt lives in Victoria and we really missed seeing him whenever we felt like it so we moved back to the island last December. Since we are less than an hour from Victoria we see a lot of Matt now. Thankfully he is happy to have us so close too. My son is a real foodie too and is becoming quite a good cook. I recently gave him my Cuisinart . It was an excuse to buy a new one for myself. Here are my new toys.

gallery_28661_3262_147664.jpg

ann- glad you liked dunkirk but too bad you got there after the Koch(pronounced Cook's ) brewery closed. it was down on the lake across from Top of the Mark restaurant/bar. i graduated from SUC Fredonia and remember going up to the falls at least 3 or 4 times as year , checking out the local wineries, and hitting Buffalo for wings and beef on weck, one of god's most perfect sandwiches. Nanaimo, huh? any Nanaimo bars in the future of the blog? love the pictures of your beautiful section of the world - keep 'em coming... and thank you.

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Oooh, fun! I didn't know you were over here, Ann, since I don't visit the Dinners thread (I can hardly make it to Pastry & Baking these days, it seems). I've always drooled over your pics on GardenWeb. How fun to see you blogging here!

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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Nice looking bread, Ann!  I'd really like to move from baking my home-y, old-fashioned breads to learning how to bake even older (?), but new-fashioned artisinal-style breads.  I'm assuming you baked that yourself?  How did you learn?

Lori, I know that you can bake so making French or Italian breads will be very easy for you. Check out Julia Child's French Bread recipe . It is a good one to start with if you are looking for just a simple baguette or loaf. Do you have a stone? I bake all my breads on a large square stone that I keep in the oven.

Beautiful veal shanks... Absolutely luscious. Great stuff so far.

Thanks Grub.

Besides how great your cooking is but you are a talented at photography.. These veal shanks I am sure, were a hard subject and they just look so good..

gallery_28661_3262_322171.jpg

Thanks Daniel. Funny, I wasn't even going to post that picture but my husband (Moe) really liked that photo the best.

ann- glad you liked dunkirk but too bad you got there after the Koch(pronounced Cook's ) brewery closed.  it was down on the lake across from Top of the Mark restaurant/bar.  i graduated from SUC Fredonia and remember going up to the falls at least 3 or 4 times as year , checking out the local wineries, and hitting Buffalo for wings and beef on weck, one of god's most perfect sandwiches.  Nanaimo, huh? any Nanaimo bars in the future of the blog? love the pictures of your beautiful section of the world - keep 'em coming... and thank you.

Suzi, I agree, Beef on Weck truly is one of the most perfect sandwiches. Topped of course with a little hot horseradish.

Oooh, fun! I didn't know you were over here, Ann, since I don't visit the Dinners thread (I can hardly make it to Pastry & Baking these days, it seems). I've always drooled over your pics on GardenWeb. How fun to see you blogging here!

Hi Jennifer. Thanks for dropping by. You've been missed over on tthe CF.

Lunch today was in a little restaurant on the west coast of the Island. We did the tourist thing today and went to Sooke, stopping and looking in a few galleries and other tourist traps. The restaurant was in a little resort about 30 minutes outside of Sooke - Point-No-Point.

View from our table.

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Sandra started with a seafood chowder and I had a mushroom, blue cheese soup that was drizzled with truffle oil.

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See the little pepper grinder in the background? That is the one that I carry in my purse. Nothing better than fresh black pepper.

We both had sandwiches. Sandra had a wild salmon and mine was Beef Shortribs with carmelized onions.

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Tonight we started with Escargot in a gorgonzola cream sauce in puff pastry cups, followed by Duck Breasts with a Black pepper and pear sauce. I should have taken the duck out of the oven a minute or two sooner. I would have preferred it a little more rare.

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I don't think that we will stray far from home tomorrow. But Thursday should be fun. We are going to head over to the Saanich Peninsula and check out some of the wineries and farms in that area and visit the farmers market in Sidney Thursday night.

Edited by Ann_T (log)
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I would like to know what's in the snails' sauce, too. And also, do you have an idea of how you would improvise the mushroom and blue cheese soup at home? That looked and sounds really good.

Life is short; eat the cheese course first.

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Wow!!! The photos are amazing, as is your choice of travel---everything is just beautiful. I could pay that restaurant check for NO lunch; just the view would suffice. I LOVE ocean.

It's so good to have LOTS of your posts, all in one place. Looking forward to the rest of your travels and dining and cooking.

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Ahh, Dunkirk, one of the cities (the only?) in NY to receive an F for air quality. I know exactly the three Weggies you shopped as I have more than been in the neighborhood. The Buffalo location is the Super version, is it not? And I'm glad you liked Weck rolls somehow I always expect outsiders to be more towards neutral on the subject, how about Johnny's Lunch?

Anyway, compliments on the use of a whole leek with your pots and veg on the last page.

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Ann, those escargot had me banging my head on my computer table. It is not even 11 am, I just finished my egg, am stuffed and I want those so much!! I, too, would love to know what goes into that incredible looking gorgonzola sauce! Your sandwich, bread and salad looked amazing at lunch, too!

I was interested in the bread that you had for breakfast. I have achieved white sandwich bread (thanks to Cooks Illustrated) and am getting the urge to branch out and I have that Julia Child recipe in my collection - I guess I made it sometime and have forgotten. You've inspired me - a little cooler weather comes along and I think its time to give it a try!

I am loving this blog!

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The escargot in the puff pastry cups are really cute. Could you tell us what went into the creamy sauce?  :smile:

The sauce for the escargot is basically just shallots simmered in white wine, chicken broth, garlic, fresh thyme until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3rd of a cup. Then a cup of heavy cream is added and simmered again until reduced to 1/2 a cup. At that time I add the drained canned snails and the gorgonzola cheese and just let it cook for another 5 minutes or so. It is also good without the cheese and just a little butter added at the end. I normally make little toast cups to serve them in rather than using puff pastry. Sometimes I make slightly larger toast cups and serve them as a first course at the table. That way you get more of the escargot.

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I would like to know what's in the snails' sauce, too.  And also, do you have an idea of how you would improvise the mushroom and blue cheese soup at home?  That looked and sounds really good.

Susan, I think that soup would be very easy to recreate. It is similar to one that I already make. No real recipe. Just saute shallots, garlic and mushrooms, season with fresh thyme and add some chicken or beef broth, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and use a stick blender to partially puree some of the mushrooms. Add the cheese and drizzle with the oil. The soup was very brothy rather than creamy. I like to use a combination of fresh mushrooms with some dried porcini for a more intense flavour.

Wow!!!  The photos are amazing, as is your choice of travel---everything is just beautiful.  I could pay that restaurant check for NO lunch; just the view would suffice.  I LOVE ocean.

It's so good to have LOTS of your posts, all in one place.  Looking forward to the rest of your travels and dining and cooking.

Thanks Racheld, I was hoping that you would read my blog.

Ahh, Dunkirk, one of the cities (the only?) in NY to receive an F for air quality.  I know exactly the three Weggies you shopped as I have more than been in the neighborhood.  The Buffalo location is the Super version, is it not?  And I'm glad you liked Weck rolls somehow I always expect outsiders to be more towards neutral on the subject, how about Johnny's Lunch? 

Anyway, compliments on the use of a whole leek with your pots and veg on the last page.

Coquus, I shopped at a number of of the Wegmans in the Buffalo area but my favour was the super version over behind the Blvd. Mall off of Sheridan. I called it the flagship store because it really was a step above the others. I think Wegmans is one of the best grocery chains. I wish we had them in Canada.

Ann, those escargot had me banging my head on my computer table.  It is not even 11 am, I just finished my egg, am stuffed and I want those so much!!  I, too, would love to know what goes into that incredible looking gorgonzola sauce!  Your sandwich, bread and salad looked amazing at lunch, too! 

I was interested in the bread that you had for breakfast.  I have achieved white sandwich bread (thanks to Cooks Illustrated) and am getting the urge to branch out and I have that Julia Child recipe in my collection - I guess I made it sometime and have forgotten.  You've inspired me - a little cooler weather comes along and I think its time to give it a try! 

I am loving this blog!

Kim, I have to make bread year around. Moe can always tell when I give him someone elses bread. Actually I don't mind because I like making bread. We are kind of boring though, because we are definitely white bread eaters. Either Italian or French. I put together a pictorial (Italian Bread) for some friends on another cooking forum. It is a very wet dough and some were having problems with it. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. And I have lots of pictures of breads stored on Smugmug.

We are going to just hang around town today and probably have lunch at home. I'm still thinking about dinner. Leaning towards chicken breasts stuffed with a mushroom duxelle, although that may change between now and dinner.

Ann

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Ann, I used to lurk over at the cooking thread in GardenWeb, and I'm pleased to see you here, because you always impressed me with your food and cooking abilities.

How nice to see you are doing a blog. :smile:

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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Well, I see that I should be spending more time in the Dinner Thread than I do - I've clearly been missing out on good stuff!

Ann, your meals look amazing. And you truly have an "eye" for recording them. Very, very nicely photographed.

I'm really looking forward to more. (And I'm craving snails now, thank you very much). :smile:

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"Coquus, I shopped at a number of of the Wegmans in the Buffalo area but my favour was the super version over behind the Blvd. Mall off of Sheridan. I called it the flagship store because it really was a step above the others. I think Wegmans is one of the best grocery chains. I wish we had them in Canada."

It certainly is, however if you lived in or near a decent city it would be obsolete. The one I was referring to was the one near Milestrip Rd. across from the Mall, Eastern Hills? It's funny that the one you mention is also near a mall, and the only other Buffalo location I have been too is near another mall, the Galleria. I'll have to check out the flagship store, however I do believe the flagship store is located in Rochester, two stories I hear. They won't build one in my town, apparently the only new ones are slated for Joisey. I really don't have a big need for Wegman's in my life however, but I do get my organic shampoo there whenever I happen to be around, and maybe look to see how rotten the $39US dollar a pound mushrooms have gotten. Who buys morels in late June anyway. I guess it's no different than what Tops tries to sell as avocodos.

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Ann, of all the posts in the dinner! thread, yours are the ones I most like to re-create. Besides the fact that you're a fellow Canadian. But mostly, I want a butcher like that! When we come west to visit family, I'm going to head straight for that meat shop. I'm enjoying your blog.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Ann,

Allow me to say, I am very impressed by your lunch selection... That looks so perfect and what a bold choice.. Awesome..

Was it half as good as it looks.. I would throw that salad off the plate to make room for my forearms..

gallery_28661_3262_12624.jpg

Edited by Daniel (log)
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Ann, I used to lurk over at the cooking thread in GardenWeb, and I'm pleased to see you here, because you always impressed me with your food and cooking abilities.

How nice to see you are doing a blog.  :smile:

Thanks Saskanuck. Is this the name that you used on the Gardenweb?

Well, I see that I should be spending more time in the Dinner Thread than I do - I've clearly been missing out on good stuff! 

Ann, your meals look amazing.  And you truly have an "eye" for recording them.  Very, very nicely photographed. 

Thanks H. du Bois.

It certainly is, however if you lived in or near a decent city it would be obsolete.  The one I was referring to was the one near Milestrip Rd. across from the Mall, Eastern Hills?  It's funny that the one you mention is also near a mall, and the only other Buffalo location I have been too is near another mall, the Galleria.  I'll have to check out the flagship store, however I do believe the flagship store is located in Rochester, two stories I hear.  They won't build one in my town, apparently the only new ones are slated for Joisey.  I really don't have a big need for Wegman's in my life however, but I do get my organic shampoo there whenever I happen to be around, and maybe look to see how rotten the $39US dollar a pound mushrooms have gotten.  Who buys morels in late June anyway.  I guess it's no different than what Tops tries to sell as avocodos.

Coquus, I've been to the one near the Galleria and another one near the McKinley Mall. I think it was this one that was actually the closest too me in Dunkirk. I liked going to the one off of Sheridian because then I could stop for lunch at the Taste of India in the Northtown Mall and then visit the Premier Wine store before heading home. I often took the scenic route along highway 5.

Ann, of all the posts in the dinner! thread, yours are the ones I most like to re-create.  Besides the fact that you're a fellow Canadian.  But mostly, I want a butcher like that!  When we come west to visit family, I'm going to head straight for that meat shop.  I'm enjoying your blog.

Oh Marlene, it is so nice to hear that you are recreating something that I've made.

Ann,

Allow me to say, I am very impressed by your lunch selection...  That looks so perfect and what a bold choice..  Awesome..

Was it half as good as it looks.. I would throw that salad off the plate to make room for my forearms.. 

gallery_28661_3262_12624.jpg

 

Daniel, I was so glad that I chose the Short Rib sandwich. It was even better than I expected it to be. OOH and it was messy too.

We stayed close to home today. Lunch was a favourite of mine and something that I can't get out here. When Sandra came out from Toronto she brought me a big piece of Peameal Bacon. I love Peameal bacon. It is really common everywhere in Ontario and I would have thougth all over Canada. But unfortunately not in BC. Or at least not in Vancouver or on the Island. We had toasted Peameal bacon and tomato sandwiches on homemade bread. I split the loaf lengthwise and toasted it.

gallery_28661_3262_119424.jpg

Dinner was Chicken Breasts stuffed with Mushroom Duxelles. This was requested by Moe. Something I hadn't made for him recently and his way of helping with the Blog. I used up some of the veggies picked up at the farmers markets earlier this week.

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Ready for the oven.

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Local blueberries are in season so we had Blueberry Turnovers for dessert. I used frozen puff pastry and just used the same filling that I would normally use for a blueberry pie.

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I promised Sandra that I would make Bagels while she was here. So that is what is on the agenda tomorrow morning.

Good Night.

Ann

Edited by Ann_T (log)
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