Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Parksville Reminiscing

If one were to tally the amount of meals she would consume in about 2 weeks, it would be about 42. However, if those two weeks happen to fall within a holiday (Christmas to be exact) the food intake could easily double...maybe quadruple. Well my friends, you're about to endure in a two week long account of the meals and goodies I inhaled over the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to blog while I was at home due to the inability to upload photos...so it all comes down to one mighty post! However, to save your reading eyes and my typing digits, I am going to cut it down to the MAIN meals I consumed...

Looking back on the month, it's hard to skip over some of the amazing things I ate...but it's a must!

I arrived in Victoria at around 10 pm on December 20 after a prolonged delay at the Kelowna airport. I was so anxious sitting on the plane in Kelowna as I had already been travelling for about 6 hours with numerous stops...I just wanted to get to my destination! But when I finally got to Victoria, my sister Chloaye was there to greet me. My holiday had begun instantaneously.

When we got back to her new dwelling (the sweetest little cottage which I fell in love with) my parents and cousins were there to welcome me home...with chili in hands, mom was prepared to feed my grumbling stomach!

We went to bed soon after as we had to wake up early in order to get to Parksville at a decent hour. In the morning we had a quick bowl of oats (I introduced them to my banana infused oatmeal which I believe they liked...or at least pretended too!) and then hit the road---well after dropping off our geriatric dogs at our cousins' house.

After a couple of hours of driving we were all quite famished so we stopped in Nanaimo for a pita...mmmm, how I do love a good pita. Chlo, dad and I all got falafel while my mother got a chicken one. There were little to no words spoken during lunch---a good indcator as to how hungry we were.

We continued onto Parksville after lunch and quick stop at Shoppers (quite frankly, my family can't go anywhere without a little detour to the local Shoppers...)

At around 3 pm we got to my aunt and uncle's condo in Parksville. It was so exciting to see all of them as it had been quite some time!

We all hung out for a bit and then made our first dinner together. However, Angie and Mariel were the two main chefs that evening. Chicken, tofu vegetable medly, and brushcetta were the main items on the menu. Leaving out the chicken---this was my plate.

The tofu dish was soo yummy...it consisted of a medly of broccoli, squash, zucchini, and green onion.

After dinner we indulged in mommy's "protein balls" (a name we gave this dessert over the holidays so we didn't feel bad eating one- or a dozen) and some squares.

I had a nanaimo bar because I am a sucker for chocolate!

After a lot of food and wine (this is only the beginning,) we went to bed.

In the morning we had some Christmas stolen and biscotti before we went for a nice long walk on the beach.

Chlo testing how much water and impact her galoshes can take.

When we got back to the condo, we had some of mom's homemade bean soup and rice crackers. Daphne is a real soup master.

After lunch we drove out to the seafood store (so we could get there before it closed) because we were planning to have a real seafood feast for dinner. Then we went for a walk through an old forest...the tree trunks were huggee.

By the time the sun went down, it started to get quite nippy so we decided to head back to the condo to make our feast.

Dad decided to take over the seafood preparation...everyone let him do his thing until we found out that he didn't debeard the mussels---who knew mussels had to be debearded................

The seafood dish was filled with scallops, mussels, clams, red snapper, halibut, and crab which soaked in a bath of cilantro, coconut milk, white wine, and thai curry paste. It was absolutely heavenly. To accompany the main dish, we had a green salad (which Mariel made) and some baked french bread.

After dinner we played some intense Cranium...Peter and I were partners---let's just say we were NOT a well-matched team. Chlo and mom smoked everyone! After a very long game of Cranium, everyone was exhausted so we hit the sheets.

Being on Ontario time still, I woke up bright and early and went for a run along the beach. It was so beautiful with the sun rising. When I got back I had some scrambled eggs and toast...a good protein fix.

After breakfast we decided to go to Qualicum Beach to explore the downtown...or uptown, rather. That resulted in some serious antique shop perusing.

When our stomachs started talking, we decided to drive back to Parksville for another take on mom's homemade soup: Split Pea (One of my favs!!)

For our last dinner in Parksville, we tried to use up all of the food in the fridge. No one likes a food-waster...So we had a fun little take on a salad: roasted egglant and endive leaves and a white wine shrimp pasta which Mariel made. The "salad" that Angie made was incredible.

Roasted Eggplant Salad

2 Asian eggplants
2 large tomatoes, sliced as thin as you can
2 Tbsp. chopped white onion
6 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
5 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. vinegar of your choice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Large leaf of romaine or several endive leaves, for serving
Greek olives or sliced radish, for garnish

Preheat the broiler.

Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and broil until soft, approximately 10 minutes per side. Be sure they're cooked through.

Let them cool, then peel off the skin and discard it.

Chop the eggplant into bite sized chunks.

Mix the chopped eggplant, tomatoes, onion, parsley, oil, and vinegar.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve on either a large romaine lettuce leaf or several endive leaves, garnishing with Greek olives or sliced radishes.

After dinner we had another little game's night...but we played Taboo this time. Dad never really understood the game though; I am going to cut him some slack though and just blame it on the wine.

The next day I woke up early again for another run down the beach.

It was our last morning in Parksville before we headed back to Victoria, so Ian made us a nice pancake breakfast. He added his special touch too...a trick he swears by...flattening the cakes with a spatula...mmm......

I loaded mine up with PB, strawberry jam, yogurt, and maple syrup.

I realized half way through breaky that I should probably capture it...

After breaky, we packed up our things and were enroute back to Victoria.

We stopped at a little coffee shop on the way back for a bite to eat and a coffee...dad and I split a spinach calzone---wasn't too amazing so I won't dwell on it.

Well that is Parksville in a nut shell...but I'll give you a little break so that you can digest the past 3 days of food and events!

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