Flavour Trip: Salal the unsung hero of B.C.’s coastal berries

Meet the humble salal berry, an earthy, waxy and sweet unsung berry hero

Hiking through most coastal forests in British Columbia, you’re likely to encounter thick, leafy salal bushes or Gaultheria Shallon. In the spring delicate bell-like flowers, white or baby pink in colour, hang in linear herd of five to fifteen. In early summer, the blooms transform into berries that reach their peak flavour and a blackish, deep purple colour from late July to mid-September.

Meet salal berries, B.C.’s unsung hero of coastal berries. It’s one of the province’s most plentiful, delicious and under appreciated wild edibles…. Read more on Edible Vancouver & Wine Country High Summer edition.  Read more

The Mid-Week Anthology ~ August 2016 ~

Can't get enough of the AESTATE wall tapestries.
Can’t get enough of the AESTATE wall tapestries.

I miss doing these curated lists. But frankly, the interwebs cruising has not happened much these days. We’re settling into our new place, developing in our new life rhythms and hanging out with old (visiting) friends and getting to know new island buds. This summer has been fantastically, exhaustingly, excitingly busy. Our neighbour warned us that there was literally a-festival-a-weekend here on Haida Gwaii, and she was not joking.

My summer highlights so far? Swimming at Gray Bay,  remembering my inner activist during the Buffy St. Marie set at Edge of the World, watching the Clan Together Born pole go up and watching our son scramble for parade candy. We thought we would be doing a lot more campfire cooking this year but believe it our not our rainforest-fringed island home is experiencing a level 3 drought. It’s green here with pretty major swatches of brown, so there are not a lot of campfires these days.

And now onto some sweet stories, recipes and fixations.

We found a sweet off-grid glamping getaway during a misty, fun weekend in Masset, BC. More about our stay at North Beach Cabins coming soon.

My new favourite Society 6 shop the AEState: think tropics, cacti & buffalo.

Story-listening: thanks to Jallian at Savoir There for her podcast recommendation for The Moth.

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Westcoast to Winnipeg – This Summer’s 5 Best Summer Sips

Victoria's Olo serves up a savoury summer sip: the What's up Doc?
Victoria’s Olo serves up a savoury summer sip: the What’s up Doc?

Summer is in full swing. My instagram feed is full of magic hour photos of patios, picnics and colourful cocktails. My real life feed is full of toddler trips to the beach, road trips with visiting family and when I can manage, a fancy cocktail or three. I love having folks for a bevvie on our deck. There’s nothing better than a tumbler full of quirky flavours spiked with some interesting spirits to mark the end of the day or the beginning of the weekend. I’ve been alternating my TGIF bevies between rose cordial spritzers and strong, extra sour mojitos. (The never ending pot of mint on our deck is a total enabler.)

Last year I interviewed some of Canada’s best bartenders for their favourite summer cocktail recipes and was completely inspired to up my host game. This summer, I decided to continue canvasing Canada’s cocktail stars to highlight the crazy talent we have in front of our bar stools from sea to sea to sea. Whether you love savoury sips with carrot garnishes or a rainbow twist on an old classic, I reckon you’ll swoon over the drink recipes below. Read more

It’s all about prep: Tips for easy Camping + Cooking

Campfire cooking: a little prep goes a long way. Pictured: my recipe for paprika/onion potatoes. Don't you love my fire engine red Coleman enamel plates?
Campfire cooking: a little prep goes a long way. Pictured: my recipe for paprika/onion potatoes and essential mug of camp beer.

As these dog days of summer scorch on, I can’t stop planning daydreaming up more weekend sojourns.

So far, my little fam has escaped to the bush for two mini-camping-esque trips: a woodsy sleepover just outside of Edmonton and a quick glamping stay at the CUTEST cabins in Drumheller.  Now it’s time to graduate to a two night camping adventure: we’re headed to Lesser Slave Lake (one of Alberta’s biggest lakes) to camp with friends. We’re hoping to play on the beach, watch some meteor showers and eat delicious food with great friends making the trek from Northeast B.C. This weekend’s meals won’t be all hot dogs and s’mores. Instead, we’ll be cooking up some of our awesome backyard bounty and farmers market finds.

Earlier this summer, before all our fantasy camping trips were becoming reality, I contacted a chef and avid camper for some camp cooking pro tips. Canadian Tire camping Ambassador Chef Josh Wolfe** is a Vancouver-based camper and chef (of Good Wolfe Kitchen and Fresh Local Wild food truck fame), who loves to demonstrate his love of fishing, cooking and eating outdoors.   Read more