Monday, October 6, 2008


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Salt Spring sea view

We traveled south on Vancouver Island this weekend and took a ferry to a much larger island than ours (Denman Is.)-- Salt Spring Island. DH has a stepdaughter (Kathy) and three step-grandchildren there, and even 2 step great-grandchildren! (We have a complicated blended family because we were both widowed when we got married, with large families in tow!) Denman Island has a population of about 1500 now, and Salt Spring has about 14,000, so it's almost like going to the "big city" for us, with rural and alternative twists!

After a leisurely drive down, stopping in Nanaimo, which is where you get the big ferry to Vancouver) to check out DH's favorite music store, Fascinating Rhythm, and have a delicious vegan Lebanese lunch at Aladdin's Cafe. (They have a generous vegetarian plate with spicy carrots, fantastic tabbouli, baba ganoush, creamy hummous, vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, olives, homemade pita, and felafel.) Nicely sated, we continued on to the little town of Crofton, where you catch the salt Spring ferry.

We arrived with plenty of time to settle in and have a good chat with Kathy and her husband before they took us to the Rock Salt Restaurant & Cafe in tiny Fulford Harbour, near their house. This is a charming restaurant with an interesting menu. They make everything from scratch and try to use as many local and organic products as possible. There were plenty of vegan options (and vegetarian stuff that could be made vegan).

I had the Organic Smoked Tofu Burger (Salt Spring's Soya Nova Tofu makes it-- delicious smoked tofu!) seared in tamarind chipotle bbq sauce, and topped with sweet caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms (I ask them to leave off the cheese), on a homemade ciabatta bun. There was a delicious Asian slaw on the side.

DH had the Roasted Yam (actually sweet potato) Quesadilla, grilled with tamarind tomato chipotle sauce, toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, green onion, served with salsa, and Asian slaw (you can ask to have the cheese left off). Kathy had the Tokyo Spinach Salad, which consisted of warm sugar baked yams, cucumber, julienne carrots and toasted sesame seeds tossed in house-made miso vinaigrette. All of our dishes were delicious and filling. They had a very nice house wine, too! I would recommend eating there if you ever visit Salt Spring!

Even though the weather was lousy, we had a good time. On Saturday, DH and I walked all over Ganges, the main town, which is really bustling-- it's hard to find a parking space! We meandered through the Saturday market, which is smaller than it was in the summer, but still entertaining. We walked along the dock to see all the boats, and we checked out the local shops, including the health food store. In the afternoon we went back to Kathy's house, just as it started to pour!

Kathy's back deck in the rain

Kathy's beautiful sumac tree through the rain

DH had made his famous spaghetti sauce to bring, because the family always misses his spaghetti. (The recipe is in my book Nonna's Italian Kitchen-- Brian's Ragu.) Because we had a crowd, we stretched it out by adding some red wine, mushrooms, and a package of Yves Ground Round. With a beautiful salad by Kathy (with Annie's Natural's [vegan] Green Goddess Dressing-- I had never had this before, since I rarely buy salad dressing, but it was yummy!), dishes of avocado and olives, red wine, and Brians' great bread(recipe here), we had plenty for 9 adults and two kids (also there was Kathy's daughter and husband and two children; Kathy's son and his girlfriend; and Aimee, Kathy's niece and Brian's step-grandaughter, who graduated from high school this summer.

(Unfortunately, the light wasn't good, so the photos are a bit fuzzy.)

Brian's spaghetti

A beautiful salad!

Brian's bread

For dessert, Kathy made a delicious apple crumble, which got eaten before I could take a picture!

I was happy to get home on Sunday (we attended a play in Nanaimo on the way home-- first live theater I've seen in a long time!), but it was a lovely, relaxing weekend!

I hope you had a good one, too!


julie hasson said...

It looks like you had a really fun weekend Bryanna! The food sounds wonderful, and I love the pics of Brian's Bread and spaghetti.

River (Wing-It Vegan) said...

Looks like you had a great weekend, and some great food as well! Thanks for sharing the pictures, the sumac tree is gorgeous!

Sheree' said...

Sounds perfect! Landscape, food, and family, what more could one ask for.

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I just realized that we are almost neighbors. I live in the Comox Valley. I still have to visit your Island & Saltspring also. Can't wait.