A Shucking Shock: The Fanny Bay Oyster Experience

It started with an olive. The moment Kaylee bit into the gerignola and said “mmm” I knew I had her. This kid has an adventurous palate and is curious about food despite her standard “I don’t yike that” reaction to everything I put in front of her. Cole, on the other hand, has turned out to be a 4 yr old garburetor.

That being said, never trust a 4 yr. old.

The dried apple slices that he has been devouring at home were suddenly completely unpalatable in his lunch at daycare.  Kaylee, who told me on day one that she didn’t like carrots, grabbed a bunch today in the grocery store and said “I love carrots!” She also picked out a basket of strawberries yesterday and refused to eat them today, saying she didn’t like them. Man, somedays I feel like I’m dealing with the gastronomic spawn of Jekyll and Hyde. But I refuse to give up.

A bag of spinach bought at Siefferts Farms has proven to be a miracle vegetable. Each huge leaf looks like a big green brain and weighs about the same. The leaves are crunchy, bright and full of flavour and for the past 3 nights, the kids have devoured bowls full at meal time. In fact, Cole (showing his empty bowl above) ate two heaping servings of it before he touched his pizza. How weird is that.
There’s also been some sweet treats we’ve enjoyed. In the neighbouring town of Cumberland, a must-stop is the Cumberland Village Bakery where they’ve been making the same style donuts for over 60 yrs. Cole and I had the opportunity to sample them yesterday while we explored the old mining town.
Cumberland is not what I expected. Desolate shacks are interspersed with tidy yards and main street is a mix of new and old with and a handful of trendy boutiques, a natural foods store, a great little museum, a hostel, and a building that houses a tattoo parlour and a hair salon decked out in the visionary remants of someone’s acid trip. Also spotted was the Dreadlocked Birkenstocker, a common inhabitant of the area.

 

Cumberland reminds me of how Canmore (a town just outside of Banff, Alberta) used to be in the early 80s.  In the newer part of Cumberland, cedar accented houses finished in hues of steely blues and mossy greens line the streets. Totally Canmore.

Since discovering Natural Pastures cheeses at Brambles, Edible Island and the Comox Farmers’ Market, the kids haven’t stopped asking for the cheese curds, so today Kaylee and I made a visit to their storefront. Apparently we couldn’t have timed it better as Wednesday is curd making day. The curds were so fresh, they weren’t squeaking, they were screaming! We tasted the Aged Farmhouse style cheese and snapped up a block of that…very Asiago-like. Yum.
But the highlight of the day was supper. Along with sauteed Qualicum Beach scallops and goat cheese ravioli with a shallot and tarragon cream sauce, I put a plate of freshly shucked raw oysters on the table–eight little kusshi’s from Fanny Bay’s retail store at Buckley Bay, about 15 minutes down the road.
 I was down to my last two, and received the shock of my life: Kaylee wanted to try one. “Me too, me too!” echoed Cole. I was stunned. I never saw this one coming. The girl who told me she didn’t yike carrots, didn’t yike tuna casserole, or carrot soup, or mashed potatoes, or chicken, or rice, or….you get the point…sucked back the little kusshi like a pro. Not wanting to be outdone, Cole knocked his back and then proceeded to lick the inside as well as the outside of the shell. I couldn’t work my camera fast enough. If only their mother could see them now.
It makes me wonder, if oysters are possible, what’s next…sushi? Hmm…now there’s a good idea!

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