Who am I?

I come from a long line of people who were passionate about the sensual, earthy pleasure of a good meal.

A typical meal at my Mother’s table would be green beans, well cooked, mashed potatoes, and plenty of elk cutlets fried up like schnitzel, with horseradish and ketchup as condiments. A stack of white bread & butter with homemade jam topped things off just right. Words cannot convey the wonderfulness of this meal.

At my Gramma’s there was always a dense, moist, homemade cake on the table and chewy oatmeal cookies in the cookie jar. A favorite treat for us Grandchildren was home-canned tomato juice with fingers of buttered toast for dunking. Another wonderful treat was hot, homemade yeast rolls, slathered with butter, and accompanied by tender little green onions from the garden. Ah, heaven!

When I was a teenager my Grampa and Dad took up fishing and brought home salmon and sturgeon from the Wide River. Have you ever had fish and chips made from sturgeon? It’s sort of like halibut, but the grain of the flesh, the flakes, are much finer. Lovely, mild, succulent, white fish. But it has to be skinned, or it will taste yucky.

My grandmother experimented with a little smoker and got really good at making richly seasoned venison summer sausage. She also kept her own hens, so we learned to discern the difference between her richly-flavored free run eggs and the insipid, watery ones from the store.

My Mom canned a lot, and when she was doing peaches, we’d slice up about a gallon of fresh peaches, douse them with heavy cream and a little sugar, then call my Grampa and Aunt Clarice to come down for a feast. We’d all set to, and the house would be quiet for a few minutes except for little sighs and murmurs of pleasure.

For many years, my Dad worked away from home during the week. When he was working on the coast, sometimes he’d bring home a gunnysack full of fresh cooked Dungeness crab packed in ice. My Aunts and Uncles and cousins would come over and they’d all fill up on fresh crab, saltine crackers, and cold beer chasers.

Dad was quite the food guide too. I can’t count the times my Dad would urge us to sprinkle a little salt on our watermelon, or cantaloupe, or apples. “You should try it; just a little salt really brings out the flavor.” And he was right. You should try it.

So you see, in my family, food was enjoyed with absolute abandon. We took for granted that time spent preparing food was always worthwhile. Growing vegetables, berries, and fruit was worth the effort because they tasted so much better than store bought. And enjoying the combination of good food and good company was about as good as life gets.

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5 Responses to “Who am I?”

  1. I love this blog! I don’t eat out much in Powell River, but I totally get where you’re coming from here… food does not need to be fancy to be good. I rarely eat out because three-day old reheated vegetable whatever from the back of the fridge is still 1000000 times more inspiring than (and about 1/10 the cost of) someone else’s notion of fine cuisine.

    Still, when you find those exceptions to that rule…

  2. I came across your blog looking for the new fusion restaurant in town and like what you’ve taken the time to do. It is now a featured resource on the restaurant page of Powell River Direct.com, an information resource and directory for the area.

  3. Thank you! I hope my reviews will be of use to diners in our area. I looked at PR Direct’s site, but didn’t see any featured resources at first. Finally I saw the Facts, Fun and Resources over on the right side. Thanks for listing me along with these other great resources.

  4. Hi
    I am interested in helping my friend Harry – owner of Gourmet Canton restaurant get some exposure for his restaurant. I find the food there really excellent – so a review by you would be interesting.
    But the interesting news to me is that they have just started offering reasonably priced lunch specials (under $10). Most other ethnic restaurants lunches are priced at 12$ plus. I would like to get the word out about this – any ideas?
    Jim Eagles

  5. I’ve been spending a lot of time up north, but when I get back into town I will try to give Gourmet Canton another try.

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