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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Food, food and more food...oh and of course some booze too!

I have to say that the salmon we had for dinner last evening was the best we have ever tasted! The sockeye salmon from the French Creek Seafood shop was AMAZING! We used a recipe that our good friends in Burlington, ON recommended from Epicurious. You can Google ‘Cedar Planked Salmon’ on Epicurious if you want the recipe. Amazing!

The salmon was to die for! Who needs to eat out in fancy restaurants when the food at home is so tasty and delicious...and cheap too! $7.06 for the salmon last night for dinner.

This morning we had decided we were heading up the Farmer’s Market in Courtenay. I can’t believe it took us so long to realize there was a Saturday morning market in Courtenay! We’ve been here since December 1st and this is our first time heading to the market.

We were wondering where we would be able to park near the Farmer’s market, since the last time we were in Courtenay, we parked at the parking lot where they hold the market. Luckily we saw a sign that said ‘Public parking’ and we scooted down a street for our free parking.

Jerry looking good from up above at the market.

We parked below the Market near the Florence Filberg Centre. I went down the ‘rabbit hole’ of trying to understand who Florence Filberg was and why she has a Centre named after her. That has to be a blog story for another day as there is enough to write about today.

We walked up the back steps to the parking lot at the Farmer’s market and started to explore.

The entrance to the Framer’s Market in Courtenay. It was a grey +5C day when we got to the market.

Farmer’s Market Courtenay.

We hadn’t eaten breakfast yet as we had heard there were great baked goods at the market, and we were not disappointed with what we found!

We went to Alderlane Farmhouse Bakery for fresh cinnamon buns and croissants. I should add that I did my big workout this morning in Newman, so I was pretty hungry for some fresh baked goods by the time we got to the market!

Alderlane Bakery is half way between Courtenay and Campbell River and they work out of their home preparing their wares for the market. They are only open to the public at their home on Friday‘s from 3-6pm.

Chocolate almond croissant.

Apple cinnamon bun with nuts.

The croissant was as good as anything I’ve ever had in Paris! Oh my goodness was it good!

We also picked up a bag of their freshly made granola for our breakfasts back in Newman.

That was one big chocolate, almond croissant!

Somebody loved his cinnamon bun!

We had to get some apple juice from Island Orchards as we had finished off the apple juice we had bought from the farm stand North of Courtenay this week. $10 for a jug.

I asked if I could take a picture of their apple wagon as it was so cute!

Most people seem to bring their baskets with them to the market so we fit in, with our new wicker basket, to put all of our purchases in.

Richard with our basket coming back from dropping off baked goods in Jerry! The father and son having a picnic had the neatest electric go-kart. I will post a video of the go-kart on Facebook. The father made the go-Kart using the base of a Segway.

Basket on a shopper’s arm.

I had to stop at Sea Side Sweets for a lemon curd tart, Asiago cheese scones and chocolate brownies. I asked where these folks were located and they tried to explain to me where they lived a few times, and not being from the area, nothing made sense to me. Finally the husband said - 30 minutes north of here. They live in Merville apparently. They do not have a retail outlet, but only cook for the market. They looked like they would be sold out today and they said, they usually do sell out and they know based on previous weekends, how much they need to bring to the market, so they sell out.

We also picked a pound of homemade cheese smokies for dinner from a farmer who had a stand at the market and who makes his own pork sausages.

Sausages in B.C. are not called sausages. They are called SMOKIES!

We finally headed inside the historic Native Sons Hall for the rest of the Farmer’s Market. The Native Sons Hall is the largest free span log building in Canada. Robert Filberg (there’s that name again - Filberg), Manager of Comox Logging and Railway Company, helped provide the vision for a log building to honour those who worked in the logging industry. They had W.J Hagarty design the building and Bill Eastman one of Canada’s foremost bridge builders, supervise the construction. Filberg donated the enormous 65 foot long Douglas fir logs used for joists and roof trusses. Comox Logging and Railway salvaged many of these logs from the 1922 fire that devastated the Black Creek and Merville (where our baked goods came from!) area. Over the years, the hall has served as the community centre for the arts, sports, conventions, boat shows, gymnasium, dance hall, roller rink and post office.

Historic Native Sons Hall. Notice the solid wood beams in the ceiling.

Boat show at Native Son’s Hall. I wonder who did their financing?

We wandered around inside the Farmer’s Market and what did we stumble upon but spirits being sold from a local Distillery!

We were unable to have a sampling of this very unique vodka made from honey! Wayward Distillery is based in Courtenay and uses honey to make Vodka. Actually the vodka starts life as 100% pure B.C. honey which they gently ferment into mead. They then distill the mead into vodka using custom designed stills to separate out the harshness. Richard is sipping on his second vodka now and before he got too far into his drinks, he did say that he would rate this vodka 9/10. ‘Unruly Vodka’ won a gold medal at the Canadian Artisan Spirits competition in 2018, and many of their other libations have also won medals too.

At the distillery in Courtenay (behind Walmart), there is a cocktail lounge where they use their unique spirits, to create very unusual cocktails. I think we will have to go for a tour of the distillery, but no cocktail lounge for us!

Bourbon barrel aged gin, Drunken hive rum, Depth Charge - espresso & cocao bean liquor, Krupnik - spiced honey liqueur.

While we didn’t buy any mushrooms from this vendor, there was quite a line up of people waiting to buy very strange, foraged, wild mushrooms.

We had not really walked around to shop downtown Courtenay on 5th street, so after finishing up at the market we decided to go for a walk up and down 5th street.

We know that coffee in B.C. is like a semi religious beverage. Everyone prefers one favourite coffee shop over another one and ‘chain’ coffee shops are not highly praised.

This is Mud sharks coffee shop in Courtenay. It is not a problem to sit out on a patio at +5C, when you have heaters and great ambience!

Mud sharks. We found out that they also have a great menu, so maybe another spot to try out next time we are in Courtenay!

Only in B.C. would you see a sign like this. Eagle’s are so prevalent here, people understand that 2 metres equates to an eagle’s wing span!

I thought this sign in a waxing bar was very appropriate!

Line up at Hot Chocolates a Courtenay candy store loved by the locals!

Hand painted mural in downtown Courtenay.

Choice names for some hot sauces in the window of a store in Courtenay.

Some choice coasters in the window of a store in Courtenay!

We decided we were hungry and had great leftovers to eat for lunch back in Newman, so we walked back to Jerry, loaded up and headed back to Newman.

When we arrived back at Newman we saw that Matt, the RV park owner was outside. He came over as we were unloading the car and we ended up speaking to him for about 40 minutes. We were frozen solid by the time we had brought our groceries inside! The sun had come out briefly in Courtenay and I was able to walk around downtown without a coat on....and we still had not had any lunch!

The sky over Fanny Bay this afternoon made it feel colder than it was outside!

Just as I was getting the laundry out of our washer/dryer combo, Richard yelled in that St. Steve and Karen had dropped by. I quickly got on a warmer coat and a hat and went out to visit with them. St. Steve wanted to check that the hinges we had gotten from Kentucky to make sure they were the right ones to fix Newman’s basement door. He looked at them and said they were the right hinges! Thank goodness for that!

St. Steve wants to change the main valve and change the regulator to a ‘t’ regulator on our propane tank in Newman, so we can extend our propane capacity. St. Steve had just picked up some ‘rust check’ lubricant at Canadian Tire in Courtenay, so to loosen the regulator that is seized on Newman’s propane tank, St. Steve sprayed some of the lubricant to try and loosen it up. We have to use up our propane fully though before St. Steve can come and do this job, otherwise, we won’t have any heat or hot water! The next week looks like we are going to get some very cold days on the Island. A few of the days next week will be below 0C for the entire day! We need our propane to last us to get through these cold days, and then St. Steve can come and do his magic on Newman!

We’re playing with our favourite golf buddies down at Qualicum Beach tomorrow morning. It looks like it will only be +2C when we tee off at 9:20am tomorrow. Well that could mean having to pull the old goretex rain pants out of my golf bag to wear! I’ve got to keep this leg warm, or it will seize up on me!

I guess it could be worse. I hear we had ‘white out’ conditions in Fort Erie today, with snow, but the good news, is the shoreline does not appear to have sustained any further damage. Thank goodness for that!

And tomorrow we can cheer on Tampa and the GOAT! Of course Richard is cheering for KC so that will be interesting inside Newman tomorrow!

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