It was more like a dozen meals, shared with friends this weekend. My wonderful globe-trotting friends Kathy and Frank were booked into a beautiful ocean front resort on the west coast of Vancouver Island (that they had tried for a couple years to get in to!)
Serendipitously for me, the Captain’s Quarters at Orveas Bay Resort (the most luxurious of the accommodation options there) had a second bedroom available to me…. tucked into the eaves of a gorgeous home. It’s certainly not a cabin, but a home…full of beautiful cabinetry , books, candles, flowers, art, wicker, antiques, model sail boats…I slept like a princess in a sleigh bed with lovely linens around me…
We share a love of food and I wanted to treat them to a special meal so I brought along some grass fed beef shank steaks from my treasured organic farm supplier in Abbotsford. I flew from Vancouver to Victoria in a tiny float plane and my luggage allowance was pretty slim! I laughed because half my little carry-on bag last Thursday was half meat, and only half was clothes and toiletries.
(Actually, I had planned ahead and Kathy had already taken a pre-packed bag of mine with hiking boots, a fluffy robe and a woolly sweater from the week before) – she and Frank were travelling by car, ahead of me, having planned four days in Tofino before I joined them at Orveas Bay, and I would return home with them with unlimited luggage options!
Friday night, I got to cook Osso Buco – a lovely dish. You start by browning the meat then put it in the roasting pan while you prepare a sauce that will cook with it.
Sauteed onions, leeks, carrots and garlic are joined by tomatoes, lemon, wine and broth and this is put into a pan with the beef. You simmer/bake this for a couple hours, remove the meat, then put the broth/vegetable mixture through a strainer, forcing some of the soft vegetable mixture through it, to thicken the sauce. The sauce is then boiled down a bit to a thicker reduction, and poured back on the waiting meat. The tomatoes add a lovely dimension to the meaty sauce. It’s great for when you want a beef fix!
But it was so much more than a meal with friends – it was about showing appreciation and gratitude for their generosity, about celebrating being in a sublimely beautiful locale, and sharing passions and interests.
It’s been a weekend of food and wine, lounging around in the sun, taking side trips to beaches, a visit from a bear, crackling fires and relaxing music at night, deeply sound sleeps.
I love these guys. And I love this place. I’ll be back.