With our move to Sooke, we're closer to farms, fresh produce daily, and markets held on weekends that I'm dying to peruse with basket in hand. Now, sitting out on the front deck, a small boat with someone checking for crabs in the middle of the bay, I have a bowl of layered fresh vegetables and sesame seeds, mixed in with avocado and olives, topped with lettuce, dressing, and blackberries which I picked today as I walked down our little path that runs from the yard to the beach!
To make it a little more picturesque, the sun is shining, and mum and I have our books open at the spine from when we passed the later part of this morning with a book in one hand. Mornings are sweeter with the sea out front, and little places planned to explore in the town. From one of the bakeries where fresh bread is baked daily I found gluten free rolls sold in packs, which are perfect for sandwiches and slightly toasted as well. From Little Vienna bakery we left with Canadian-made Brie and two packs of rolls tucked under our arms, which were enjoyed with lunch yesterday and again for breakfast, a perfect base for strawberry jam, because when life is as sweet and delicious as this, breakfast should be too.
So finally unpacked after a series busy days filled with cleaning and packing our home, to a long journey on Sunday and arriving to what seemed like an endless pile of boxes, it was finally the day to walk the dog and adventure into more of the area. Taking the last two days to sort and unpack, mum and I have finally arranged the house as we like, and have made dinner in this gorgeous kitchen for dad when he came home from work. Like holiday, we've spent the last few days without television or Internet, and have instead enjoyed sitting out with a soft sea breeze, or have taken walks with the dog just as the light begins to fade and the colours of sunset cascade across the sky.
Jutting out from the mainland, Whiffin Spit separates the bay from the ocean which connects Canada and the U.S. and where many couples and dog walkers spend some peaceful moments between Sooke's relaxed atmosphere and the beauty of the sea. In twilight we walked out, chilled by the sudden breeze, and shocked by what seems to be an early onset of fall.
However with fall also comes each farmer's fresh and local produce sold at weekly markets held in the centre of town, or sometimes set out in stands at the bottom of driveways, or in small home shops. We bought eggs today from one of these places, set up in a little shed with cottage signs to point out jams and produce to be sold. For a carton of fresh eggs we paid five dollars to a little tin, and also perused the freezer laden with pies, including black currant, peach cobbler, or traditional apple, that had been made and then frozen to sell. I admired the basket of jumbo squash as well, and mum found a jar of rose jelly, but we left them for a later trip, a sort of reminder to come back, if the quaint appearance of the farm wasn't enough.
Although, I guess that one farm just wasn't enough, and driving out of Sooke to the West Shore, we stopped at another home farm on our way through winding roads. A couple had lived there for the past twenty years, and in cutting down trees which made up their property, they had created a flourishing garden of fruit trees, root vegetables, lettuce and kale, and flowers. Down by the road there was a small produce stand, but we drove up to where they grew their flowers and lettuce, and in doing so were also able to meet the makers of the garden, and produce, and hear a bit of their story. The most amazing thing about living here is the availability of local seafood, fresh produce, and above all, kind hearted people who offer a wave, or a friendly hello.
Picked from the fields as we waited, these beets are bright and full of flavour, and as the farmer said himself, "you couldn't get fresher than this," as we held them up and admired the full bunch shining brightly and dripping with water after being quickly cleaned off. We left the farm today happy and with arms full, a basket of fresh figs accompanying our bunch of beets, a fruit I had scoured Montreal markets for and was surprised to find so easily. Bright green and also freshly picked, I'm ready to slice them up and eat slightly warmed, a few seconds in the microwave will do it, with a bit of Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey, a perfect snack for a drizzly afternoon, and as the woman who sold them to us advised, the best way to enjoy these figs and their delicious, natural, sweetness.
I almost couldn't wait until I had the figs chopped up on a plate, or until I had snapped a couple of photos of their colours and beautiful core. Taken away by the sweetness of it all, the figs, the honey, and the view, oh the view and that delicious warm sea breeze, I was so caught up in the bundles of fruit around me that I completely believed time was endless. That driving around and exploring the area, the farms and the cute cafes which are tucked between nondescript buildings, would last forever.
At least figs are an endless treat, fruit and its natural sweetness is something I could never tire of.
And in sitting down with this plate on my lap, I was oblivious to some of the thoughts that run through my mind as I have often sat out in the sunny spots on the deck, that perhaps I will be soon enough looking for a job, and planning the next thing as quickly as this move has seemed to have come and gone in a flurry of packing, unpacking and cleaning.
If I can remember how blissful figs make me feel, I'd keep them beside me all the time. Or rather, I think I will spend more than a few of my days filling pots with juicy, ripe blackberries again, and coming home with that accomplished feeling with arms wide and full with beets, figs, and eggs, and next time, kale, garlic, squash, or seafood from the docks.
Labels: beets, breakfast, fall, figs, fruit, gluten free, honey, snack, yogourt