Saturday, March 01, 2008

A Trip to Maple Bay, Day Two, Part One

Breakfast on Saturday: Fruity Pancakes and Bacon

The bright fall sunshine filtered into the rooms of the cabin at Maple Bay the following morning, finding us all variously sprawled out asleep, and eventually bringing us into wakefulness (some of us more quickly than others!). However, we had all chosen one meal each to be responsible for, and as the first watch was mine (that is, breakfast on Saturday), I had to be a bit more alert than I usually am on a Saturday morning.
As you can tell from this picture!

Hmm. Not exactly at my best first thing. But I quickly got into the spirit of things, whipping up two batches of pancake batter (one made with soy milk, of course, for those-to-whom-dairy-is-not-a-friend, and one with regular cow's milk). I used the lovely graphic green measuring spoons shown in the first picture, and those plastic pouring bowls also proved their worth in all our cooking. It was a well-equipped kitchen!

Then, of course, each batch (dairy and soy) had to be separated again into different flavours – I made various combinations of strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, banana and chocolate chip. That was a lot of pancake to keep track of!

The two cast-iron skillets at the cabin were fantastic. I've never owned a cast-iron pan before, but I can see why people do – the heat distribution was amazing, and the pancakes cooked so quickly (though the whole endeavour was quite a lengthy process – Alisha and Raisa found time for a walk to the beach before breakfast as all those pancakes accumulated!). Apparently they last for ages. And they're heavy! Good against intruders!

Raisa came through and constructed several essential cups of coffee in a pot on that free back burner while I kept the already-cooked pancakes in a warming oven until the first meal of the day was ready. Finally! A glug of syrup and a smattering of bacon (mm) completed the meal.

What was next? Well, after that fairly filling (!) breakfast we went for a little wander in the car to Duncan, as we'd heard about a farmers' market in town. Let me tell you these display baskets (and possibly, the matching gingham tablecloth and napkins) were what first attracted me to the lovely large bulbs of garlic contained within. They were deliciously fragrant. I bought two, which I later roasted whilst happily thinking of the cabin weekend.

But what kept me at that table was the cutest baby ever:

We had driven past a sign for a community garage sale on the way to the farmers' market, and thought we'd check it out. It turned out to be the largest rummage sale I'd ever seen, held in an elementary school – there were things for sale in the parking lot, things for sale in the gym, things for sale in the classrooms. It was massive! Some very nice guys were barbequeing hotdogs outside in the lot, but we were all still extremely full from breakfast, so we couldn't manage any! Plus there may have been some side frying in margarine. I'm a little unsure about margarine.

Inside the gymnasium, Michelle and I took part in a jellybean counting contest. Sadly, I must report that our jellybean-estimation skills were off, and neither of us won. The sale was amazing, though. We all won there: we found some extremely well-priced books, records, a magazine rack (5 cents! Marked down from 10!), some doilies and figurines, fabric and magazines. Food-related items that were purchased included a 5 cent cheese knife and an early James Barber cookbook that advocates a relaxing bath and a glass of alcohol in the midst of fixing a meal. That's our kind of cook!

Lunch on Saturday: Salad Rolls

Hence, upon arriving back at the cabin in time for lunch, Michelle opened a few bottles of Strongbow whilst Raisa and Meg pored over some shoes in a newly-acquired edition of the Globe & Mail. Raisa didn't tarry long, though, as she had lunch to make – some delicious salad rolls.

I don't think we've really discussed salad rolls at length before on WeDine, although apparently we did make them on June 21st, 2006, along with some lettuce wraps and spanakopita. What a meal that must have been! They are a delicious combination of (usually cold) ingredients, wrapped in a sheet of rice wrap and dipped into a savoury sauce. Here are some of the ingredients Raisa prepared: some cucumber, mango, cilantro (mm!) and cooked chicken.

Meanwhile, while Raisa was on lunch-watch, various activities took place. Alisha and Michelle drank some Strongbow and started on the crossword. Don't they look earnest?

Meg and I took our Strongbows down to the beachfront (which Alisha and Raisa had visited during my making of breakfast). Here I am, paddling happily with Strongbow in hand. James Barber would approve!

And here is Meg, who, having finished her Strongbow, found the courage to swing on this too-short length of rope that must have frayed at some point. Impressive!

Back at the cabin, I helped Raisa assemble some salad rolls. By this point she had cooked the vermicelli noodles and started soaking the rice wrappers, and assembly could begin. The wrappers (and the noodles) only take a little time to cook, making this whole meal fairly easy and quick to make.

What takes a little more time to make are the dipping sauces, of course. Raisa made two, a chili lime sauce and a peanut sauce, which were absolutely delicious. I may have swirled them together a little on my plate so that they formed one ultra-delicious sauce. Heathen! Here they look very pretty and separate.

And here is Raisa with the finished rolls! Don't they look fantastic? She also provided a lovely wine, a 2006 Australian traminer/riesling from New South Wales. Great accompaniment to salad rolls, I think. Though you may know by now that I have a distinct preference for fruity or sweeter white wines, so that's not as unbiased a response as it could be!

Phew! That's breakfast and lunch on Day Two. So, more to come in Part Two of Day Two! It's a journey in itself going through the meals we made at the cabin, but it's fantastic to relive the memories. I mean, don't you want to know what we are doing in this picture? I know I do!

Lots more to come, including delicious lamb and chocolate cake for dinner! Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Heathen sauce??? Now that's a new one for me!!!!
Those iron skillets are fantastic. Mine is 55 years old and going strong--you inherit them for several generations, that's how good they are.
Your day two sounds fantastic. With all that food a 10 mile hike seems in order for the afternoon. Can't wait to read about dinner.

moyrad said...

It's interesting how we adapt to everyone's food needs so easily (dairy-wise). It has introduced me to all sorts of goat and sheep cheeses and flavours of soy and lactose-free milk. I love how we introduce new flavour combinations to each other too. Everyone should try two food items they don't think would go together - like cherries and peanut butter or mint and orange juice - well you know what i mean. Good Eating!