Friday, May 28, 2010

Creepy Yet Delicious

Sometimes the best food can be downright creepy.

This afternoon I was sitting at my computer desk, when I heard a knock on the door of the motorhome.  Turns out it was our neighbour, who came bearing gifts. 

The gift turned out to be a bag of freshly caught prawns.  He proudly handed them to me, and made sure that I was aware that the prawns were 'still alive'.

Thanking him, I gingerly carried the wriggling, twisting bag inside, holding it out as far from my body as was humanly possible.  When the writhing inside the bag became too much for me to bear, I screamed and dropped the bag into the sink.

Terry came running out, and we spent the next half hour freaking out over what we were to do with these things.  Our shrimp normally comes 'sans head' and certainly not threatening to fight back!  We Googled 'how to clean and cook live shrimp', and were rewarded with instructions to 'tear the heads off' while alive, then prepare.  This was certainly something neither of us was prepared to do.  Frantically, we phoned my sister to see if she could provide us with a solution.  "Boil 'em", she advised, "then clean 'em".

We both had a computer class to attend that evening, so decided to let the little darlings sit in their bag of ice and, hopefully, 'go into the light' before we returned home.  That might make the cooking and cleaning process a little less horrifying (for all of us!).

Well, of course that didn't happen.... We arrived home 3-hours later, only to find the prawns still alive and kicking (albeit a little less vigorously).   Not for long.  The pot of water was boiled and readied, and the gang was unceremoniously dumped in.

After a quick boil, Terry steeled himself and separated the little darlings' heads from their bodies, and before long, we had a delightful meal of 'peel and eat' prawns, drenched in garlic butter.  Yummmmm....   Check it out.

The weather has taken a turn here on the island.  We're having cooler weather, with periods of rain.  It's not cold, but it is certainly not as nice as we had been experiencing.

Trying to make the best of it, we seize the moments and have managed to do a little touring.  Last weekend we drove up island, and explored.  We checked out view lots for sale high up the mountain in the Malahat area.  Absolutely fantastic views, but clearly in the 'snow' area of the island.

We drove around Shawnigan Lake, and stopped to check out the beach at Maple Bay.

Maple Bay is very beautiful.  We walked down to the beach and drooled over the waterfront and water view houses that graced the hillsides.  A mere $950,000 will buy you a lovely rustic 900 sq. ft. cabin in this neck of the woods!

What's not to love about this??  This is a shot of the beautiful blooms growing along the fence on the walkway down to the beach at Maple Bay.

I've also managed to drag Terry out for some 'hikes'.  One day we did a walk-about on the grounds and trails of Royal Roads University, which isn't too far from our RV Park.  The grounds are lovely, and their gardens are apparently quite renowned (comprised of a Japanese, Italian and rose garden).  Time was too short for us to walk the gardens, but we did managed to do close to 2-hours of walking their old-growth forest trails. We also learned that Hatley Park has its own 'micro-climate', giving it the warmest winter temperatures in Canada.  Imagine that.

We also walked the path system of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park on the holiday Monday.  It is obviously a very popular place - particularly on the long weekend!  We shared the trail with many walkers, joggers, dog walkers, and even horses.  The 10K trail circles the lake(s), and winds through the forest.  We'll definitely be back to do the 10K run, but will do so mid-week to avoid the crowds.

Rob and Judy Turner kindly took us out for a boat ride today.  The water was like a mirror.  We stopped in Cowichan Bay for lunch, and sat outside on the patio of a waterfront restaurant enjoying the unexpected sunshine.  How civilized.

Looks like we have ourselves a boat!  Rob and Terry had recently discussed the possibility of us purchasing a half-share of their boat (a 27.8' Winns Vista), and today they sealed the deal.  It is a lovely boat (pictures to follow on my next blog).  We're looking forward to spending some time exploring the waters with it.

Here's a shot of a group of seals we saw basking on some rocks today while cruising.

We're crossing every finger and every toe right now - praying that we're blessed with warm weather and sunshine for our sailing trip next week!

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