Monday, August 26, 2013

Storm watching West Coast Style

The West Coast has very unpredictable weather, the old saying is, "if you don't like the weather, wait 5 minutes."  The weather changes frequently up in the Tofino area.  I watched the hourly forecast and it was calling for sun in the morning and rain around 1:00pm, at 1:14pm the wind & rain started.  So I do what every good west coaster does when up in Tofino you grab your rain gear and head out to storm watch.

This is rain country and it is quite evident when you look at the surrounding forest. The beach was all but empty with only a few souls braving the gusty winds and rain. 
I spotted a couple of intrepid surfers catching some waves.  It amazes me how they manage to get up on those moving boards in a very chilly Pacific Ocean.  

I never tire of looking at the ocean and marvel at the power she commands.  It was well worth getting drenched.  

This storm is a little one compared to the ones that happen in the fall and winter storm season and people from around the world come here to storm watch.

What a difference a day makes, sun and warm temperatures to cold, wind, and rain.  Love West Coast living!  

Kayaking Clayoquot Sound - Tofino, BC

Yesterday dawned clear, sunny, and hot, which means action adventure day for the Scooterpie clan.  After a hearty breakfast off we went to Jamie's Whaling Station and Paddles West for a kayak adventure.  

The hub and I went in a double and the girls in singles.  Our guide Jamie was awesome, she was very knowledgeable about the area, marine life and wildlife.  We had been in the water less than 2 minutes and saw a giant eagle and a seal.  

It was a perfect paddling day, no wind, no waves and it was warm.  

Scooterpie Jr and my niece enjoying their paddle time.  We saw a couple of seals, an otter, more eagles and kingfishers.  The ocean is amazing you see all of these beautiful species of kelp and eelgrass and other little aquatic beasties. I have to say I was a little nervous because we watched Shark week before we left home.  Yes there are salmon sharks here and a little further out great whites - very rare to see them though.

It is also a little unnerving trying to get your iPhone out of the dry bag and trying not to drop it in the drink while holding a kayak paddle.  

Opitsat village home of the Tla-o-qui-hat First Nation.  The village has a long deep history and it's heritage is being renewed by First Nations people who are teaching the young their history and their language .  Meares Island has the distinction of having an untouched pristine old growth rain forrest.  I thank those who allow us to paddle in and walk on their ancestral territory.  

Bull kelp beds.  This kelp almost died out when sea otters where hunted to near extinction during the fur trade.  Once sea otters were reintroduced and had a healthy population the kelp started growing back.  This kelp was used for many things from food to a war horn by the First Nations people.  It also is a good gauge for how healthy Clayoquot Sound is.
This is Strawberry Island and it has a funky little floating home community - made me homesick for my old home.  

This particular home used to be a ferry on the mainland and had been moored her for over 20 years, pretty funky place.
Our lovely paddle adventure was almost finished and I could have paddled for hours more!

Back on dry land and starving!  

If you would like to check out Jamie's Whaling Station for the unique & interesting tours from kayaking, whale watching, bear watching and hot spring tours go to .  You won't be disappointed!  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Tofino sunset

Evening walk Tofino sunset.

The perfect end to a day, white chocolate raspberry icecream from Chocolate Tofino.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tofino vacation 2013

We are in our recharge place, camping in Tofino. I left the bike at home and am content being a passenger in the Moho.  The road is awesome and motorcycle worthy and it is on my motorcycle 'to ride' list.
As is typical of Tofino in August it's foggy.  Islanders dub it Fogust.  So I am sitting by the fire sipping a lovely glass of port and enjoying the company of my family.

Pupzilla experienced her first sandy beach walk and is happily snoozing on my lap now.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not too much motorcycling - more eating

As most of you will have noticed the past few weeks my blog is running more on the food side of things.  I am a foodie!  I love when my vacation time rolls around, it gives me time to indulge in my passion for cooking.  

I have a love/hate relationship with food, during most of the year I struggle with getting food out and the utter boredom that comes along with what I term 'grind cooking', because I am grinding out dinners in an effort to get something on the table.

The last few weeks I have gone through 11 pounds if flour with all the baking I have been doing.  I have made 6 pies, 1 peach/pear torte, mixed fruit galette and 2 loaves if banana bread.  

(Today when I got up and looked in the mirror I noticed a transformation ~ I now resemble the dough girl)

I really envy Europeans their connection to their food, its almost a love affair. Food doesn't have to be exotic either, it could be simple, such as fruit & cheese.

Most Europeans do daily marketing and purchase food in smaller amounts, which translates into fresh good food.    I think North Americans have bought into the once a week, mass produced prepackaged type of grocery shopping.  It's almost as if we have lost our connection to good simple food all in the name of convenience.  I think in my house things are going to change and I am going to put a little more thought into dinners for the rest of the year, I am tired of spaghetti Thursday.

It has taken me many years to get comfortable in my kitchen and lots of trial and error on my part.  I also give my hub props for eating some of my culinary offerings.  Early on in our marriage I attempted lasagna and let's just say we dubbed the finished product 'bricksagna' we ended up going out for dinner.  My things have changed!  

Last night we had  a lovely lasagna made with fresh herbs.  We paired it with a great bottle of wine and garlic toast.  Tonight we are having the remaining lasagna and I am dreaming about what we will have tomorrow.

One last thought on foody-ism, treat yourself to a good set of knives and kitchen utensils. When we were first married I purchased a very good set of professional grade pots & pans with a copper bottom and never regretted that.   But it was only until recently that I invested in a good set of knives.  It makes everything so much easier when you aren't struggling with dull blades.  I wish I had done that sooner.  For me all the little things make cooking more enjoyable, good utensils, butter, music and of course a good glass if wine! Bon appetit!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

More baking & eating!

Made this lovely little galette for desert, my hubby is begging for protein.  Apparently man can not live by pie alone.

Tonight's menu chicken wings, Parmesan garlic asparagus & grilled peppers.

Also baked my mom & pop a blueberry pie.  Kitchen is closed tomorrow :)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Time of Plenty ~ The Sequel

I seem to be manically baking and have gone through a pound and a half of I salted butter, 3 pounds of peaches, 3 pounds of cherries and 2 pounds of blueberries, and 6 bananas.

This is what I made today.

Peach and pear torte and blueberry pie.

Banana bread.

Blueberry, apple sauce & banana bread 

I still have 2 pounds of blueberries and 6 pounds of cherries ~ yup I am going to bake more!  I love my vacation!  

Secret to good baking is fresh ingredients, good music, a joyful heart, and of course lots of butter!

Baking playlist

Frank Sinatra (Peach pie and cherry pie)
Crosby Stills Nash & Young (sings to my inner granola hippie person and I made the banana bread to that)
Cindy Lauper (peach & pear torte)
Yo Yo Ma violin (blueberry pie). Yup I have pretty eclectic taste in music.  Just waiting to see what Skrillex makes  me bake ;) 

PS - we didn't eat dinner tonight we had goodies 

To be continued......


This cream coloured scooter was stolen from Oak Bay/Victoria, BC.  BC plate S27162. The scooter also had a white helmet with pink stripes.  Please call Police 250-995-7654 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Time of plenty

It's August and it's my vacation, there are a few things I do when vacay rolls around and it is relaxing and makes it worth slogging through the whole year to get there.  

Pastry from made from scratch with butter - I am a purist - Julia Childs was right it is better with butter.

I spend time with my family, we go camping and day tripping. I bake - lots!  I am a foodie and I think my retirement dream would be to have a piece of land in the Okanagan with peach & cherry trees.  I would love to bake all day long.

I hand pitted three pounds of BC cherries

I take more time preparing meals, right down to good ingredients and relaxing music in the background.  I would rather make happy food filled with love - instead of having the just get it done attitude which the rest of the year seems to be about when cooking.  Today's pie baking was to Frank Sinatra. 

This is what 3 pounds if pitted cherries looks like.
Fresh peach pie
(All ready for baking - ps I have been texting my husband pictures of the pie process as he has been slogging it out at work - yup I am a cruel woman)
In process!

The other thing I like to do is to ride  my motorcycle for pleasure instead of commuting.  I am a year rounder and while it is cool to be able to ride for most of the year, quite honestly the wet and cold take their toll after a bit.

I also like to have a good glass of wine with a lovely summer dinner out on the patio.  
Tonight I will be the 'saint' for all the pie goodness, tomorrow who knows......

Maybe the sinner?!?!?

*Tonight's menu

Appetizer  ~ grilled asparagus wrapped in prosciutto 

Main ~slo cooked ribs & salad

Desert ~ Peach or Cherry pie 

And a lovely bottle of vino of course.

Bon appetit!

First course prosciutto with grilled asparagus.

Salad fresh summer greens with pears poached in balsamic and maple syrup topped with blue cheese crumbles & fresh blackberries