If I were to select the contents of a perfect day, the lineup might look like this: an early morning visit to the coffee shop, then Jupiter for a still-warm grainy blueberry and white chocolate muffin almost the size of a small cantaloupe to nibble on as we stroll down the beach. The bulk of the afternoon spent on the beach at Tonquin park running in the waves, digging channels to the ocean in the sand, building castles and dragons, watching bald eagles and finding starfish. (W has a sunburnt plumbers’ butt from bending over to dig and examine things in the sand, exposing a wedge of pale 4 year old flesh between his shirt and swimmers.) I didn’t bring my camera. I attempted a Julie: unplugged sort of afternoon, and tried not to cringe at every missed photo op.
After, a famished late lunch of crispy cod clubs (thick slabs of fresh fish coated in Panko, with crispy bacon, rock shrimp, guacamole, tomato, onion and lettuce, served with fries cut and cooked as we wait at tables fashioned from old ship spools and driftwood) at Wildside Grill. Later, an evening around a beach fire, roasting marshmallows and making real s’mores. Idyllic, no?
My mom has invented a new drink to help wean her off Diet Coke (which she used to wean herself off real Coke): iced green tea with a key lime squeezed in. Unsweetened, because she’s diabetic, but I’d add a drizzle of honey. Because we came back from the Saturday morning Tofino market with a fresh basil plant and a bag of basil, she tossed a couple leaves in the glass too. Here’s how she makes it: brews green tea using 2 teabags, then chills it in the fridge. Pours herself a glass over ice, and adds an entire key lime – those are the little ones, the shape and size of ping pong balls – and she says it’s not the same with different types of tea, nor with plain old green Persian limes. I like the fact that it’s real green tea, not one of those bottled green tea beverages with tea coming in last on the ingredient list after the artificial flavours and preservatives.
At the end of the afternoon when everyone curled up with their books (and Mike with his iPod) I pulled out the laptop and popped in to check on a few of my favourite blogs. A Russian Gratin with Raspberries reeled me in instantly, and seemed the perfect thing to do with the disappointing (pulpy and flavourless but nevertheless brutally expensive) peaches we bought at the Tofino Co-op. I made it with wedged peaches, roasted for ten minutes first to get them softened a little, but they released too much juice and it wound up a beautiful but ultimately soupy, curdled-looking mess.
We picked at it anyway while playing Scrabble, but decided we needed a dessert do-over. I may attempt to follow instructions and use raspberries next time, but I have Big Plans for tomorrow. Hint: it will include plums.