My older sister has just bought a small home on Thetis. I tell you, this island is somehow in our blood. We have a small photograph of our grandparents standing on the rocks by the Chemainus boat slip in 1921, with Thetis in the background. This might not seem unusual, but my grandfather met my grandmother in London while convalescing after WW1. He came home to Canada, and then turned around and went back to England, bringing her to the Fraser Valley to be his bride. It was on their honeymoon, while travelling around Vancouver Island, that the photo was taken.
Now another of their granddaughters is making a home here. She was on the island last weekend, measuring rooms, going over the water system and such, with the present owner. She brought along a friend, and we gathered for dinner one evening. I knew what I was serving, so was very relaxed as our evening slipped along. At least I thought I knew what we were going to eat. When I got out the Brussels Sprouts, I realized I had only enough for three or four per person. I was going to sauté some mushrooms and decided to extend them with some baby kale. Here’s what I ended up doing, and towards the end of the meal we decided the recipe was a “keeper”.
Serves 4 as a side dish
2 T olive oil
¼ t dried chilies (or a bit more if you like some heat)
pinch of salt
1/2 T golden sugar, or coconut sugar (which is what I used, as it’s in my sugar bowl)
1 T white “balsamic” vinegar, or white wine
Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
Add in the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and cook until the mushrooms start to sweat ( I prefer “weep”) and turn golden, about 6 minutes.