Clay Baker Chicken

IMG_3044When my parents first moved to Thetis in the late 70’s, after having summered on the island since the early 60’s, they moved into a small trailer while they built their home.  They also built small chicken & duck houses, and bought chickens and ducks, a few at a time, ‘til they had a flock.  Along with this endeavor came the learned art of poultry butchery.

I would travel over every couple of weeks for a few island days away from my Vancouver life.  One of my favourite meals was this chicken.  It was never made from a store bought bird; always from a young rooster who’s destiny was in the pot.  I still use the same clay baker – one is all you’ll need for the rest of your life, an incredible investment.  Continue reading

Hamburger Buns


IMG_2416 Thetis Island is a ferry dependent community with very few services.  If you don’t have something at hand, it is rarely worth making a trip to Vancouver Island just to get it.  You might ask a few people, but in most instances, we learn to make do.  This is probably a skill that everyone should have, regardless of where they live.  The essential component of disaster preparedness is to plan ahead.

But what if all you want is hamburger buns? Use this recipe, as is so easy, and always successful.  I’ve been using this same recipe for years.  It gives a light, yet firm bun that holds up even when sauces saturate it.  These buns nicely fit a quarter pound burger, or a big scoop of pulled pork.  Offer to bring them to a BBQ, and your friends will love you for it.  I have no idea why I’m thinking of BBQ late in February, but I am!  I guess ‘cause the birds & frogs are chirping, the earliest leaves just starting to unfurl.  Yup, summer’s ‘round the corner. Continue reading

Fireside Mushroom Soup

IMG_3008When the days are short, and cabin fever is at its peak, a walk in the woods does wonders for the soul.  The brilliant green of the hanging moss, the leaves from last fall finally composting away, and the mosses creeping over stones and fallen logs are great reminders that we live in a rainforest.  Sometimes the sun will cut through a slit in the clouds, highlighting a group of trees, or a small tree growing out of a mother log.  As the trail wanders back to home, one feels renewed and ready for a quiet time by the woodstove, enjoying a bowl of soup.  Continue reading

Orange & Ginger Compote

IMG_2854Tapioca, rice pudding, bread pudding, & custard are some of the most loved comfort-food desserts.  Easy to make, not super sweet, and good for you at the same time. To serve any of these desserts for a special occasion add a spoonful of this compote to add some colour and a bit of zing without overwhelming the gentle quality of the dessert.  It would probably work well on a bowl of rich vanilla ice cream as well. Continue reading

Polenta & Veggie Slice

IMG_2910A warm breakfast without eggs or gluten is easy to do ahead of time by making this savory polenta slice.  It makes enough for 4 good-sized servings, and has enough of a nutritional punch to keep you going for several hours.  Simply reheat it either by using the microwave or gently frying in a bit of oil or butter.  If you want to add more protein, put some grated cheese on top, and broil it until the cheese is melted.  My favourite add on is to top a slice of polenta with a poached egg.  Either way, it is delicious and nutritious, an easy start to your day.  Continue reading