Vancouver Island Food Adventures

Success! The twins loved Vij’s curried coconut beef, and curried pork. At $14 a package, it might seem a bit steep, but I had enough left over for two more portions the next day. Both curry dishes were rich in flavour, and the meat was surprisingly tender. I served both curries over a super-easy and delicious coconut rice recipe found at Epicurious.com.

The highly rated Vancouver chef sells his frozen and ready-to-eat products at many shops in BC; I found them at my new favourite food store, Brambles, in Courtenay. I see, by Vij’s Rangoli website, that a couple of food stores in Calgary sell Vij’s product, but wait…not Edmonton? What’s up with that? Come on Edmonton retailers, please don’t let me think that Calgary is carrying more cool stuff than us. And yes, I’m all for cooking from scratch, but every now and when fast food is a tempting alternative, this is the kind of fast food I like, free of preservatives, artificial flavours and colourings.
We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning on the weekend and took the opportunity to explore the area north of Comox, ending up at a little slice of heaven called Miracle Beach. The forest area has miles of trails and the beach was hard packed sand that the kids were able to run on. Lots of little clam and mussel shells kept them entertained while I watched a group of seals bobbing up and down in the water. The sound of waves lapping against the shore always makes everything right with the world.
A short drive North of Miracle Beach is the city of Campbell River, home of Hurricane Carolina captain,  Rod Brind’Amour. I am still scarred by Brind’Amour’s hockey prowess during the 2005/2006 playoffs against my beloved Oilers and I wanted to see first-hand where the Beast of BC came from.

Campbell River is a rugged and beautiful city but on a Sunday most of the boutiques were closed including some interesting, privately-owned food stores. We stopped at the Lookout, a restaurant that overlooks Discovery Pass and Quadra Island. A poster of the Hurricane’s captain hoisting the Stanley Cup greeted us in the foyer (damn you Brind’Amour!).

We ordered fish and chips and were happy with the locally-caught cod and halibut. I took a chance and requested the squid appetizer which was sauteed with banana peppers, onions and capers. I put the little o-rings on the twins’ plates and surprise, surprise, they ate it up. I told them it was like octopus, which was fine until Cole started talking about the octopus friend on their favourite cartoon, Dora the Explorer. It reminded me of when we served rabbit to our kids and had one of them ask if it was Thumper.

Driving home, I told the kids how happy I was to be with them and that I loved them very much. Cole, replied “I love you man.” Ahh yes, precious times with the twins.

Tonight’s menu? No idea…probably not rabbit though.

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