After a bit of a hiatus (a coworker leaving/training a new one, gearing up for two HCWS fundraisers and being out of town for most weekends in August will almost force a hiatus) but I’m happy to be back with one more recipe from our trip to Cowichan Bay.
For our one-year anniversary Steve and I decided to take a trip to a tiny town (population 5,000) outside of Victoria, British Columbia. I was actually on a hunt for a dude ranch style vacation (yes, I have finally seen City Slickers, and yes Steve makes fun of me every time he hears me say dude ranch vacation) when I stumbled on this wonderful post from my favorite blogger Molly. I was hooked instantly.
Cowichan Bay is a dramatically picturesque town. Serene, quiet yet buzzing with the songs of birds, the tide coming in and the occasional tap at the window from a misguided bug. It’s a place where you read, nap, and go for long walks. It’s soul cleansing. The first morning we woke up at Affinity Guest House, Dwight greeted me with a cup of coffee reminiscent of Italy and told me that his ideal breakfast was a mountain of crepes that were impossible to finish and I knew at that moment that Steve and I were in the right place. We did eat a mountain of quinoa and almond crepes that morning topped with fresh raspberries and blackberries, homemade apple butter and local maple syrup. Dwight and Vanessa continued to spoil us. Everyday they let us pick fresh raspberries, and munch on bush beans, tomatoes and sugar snap peas straight from Vanessa’s garden. I almost swooned at the amount of garlic she had, which at first I thought was corn (naive city girl. I can’t wait to grow my own with the bulbs Vanessa helped me smuggle into my suitcase 🙂
There is a small strip of “downtown” where you can buy fresh bread baked daily, homemade ice-cream, soups and salads that will rock your world and once you’ve filled up on local goodness you can suit up in a Deadliest Catch wetsuit/lifejacket/coat and jump into an inflatable boat (that Steve had to pee off of 45 minutes into the trip) with 10 other tourists and let your passionate guide, Simon, drive you an hour an half out to the ocean to admire over hundred Orca whales traveling to the San Juan Islands. Talk about magical…small boat…. loads of whales…. breathtaking.
We ate a lot on this trip – my mouth is watering just thinking about it but of all the delicious food we ate I want to share with you an Affinity Guest House specialty…Blueberry Lemon Oat Scones.
These scones celebrate summer but are so comforting that you can eat them into fall (I would just add a little cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to the mix when October rolls around). Blueberries and lemon go really well together. I don’t know why, they just do. It one of those great pairs in life – like coke and popcorn. The oats add chewiness and the buttermilk adds a bit of a tang. You also don’t have to feel guilty about eating these because they are healthy!
The most important thing to remember is to keep everything cold. If you do that you will have nice flaky scones. My trick is to measure out the oats, buttermilk and shortening and put them in the freezer immediately and then start on the rest of the recipe. That seemed to work really well.
Blueberry Lemon Oat Scones
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 18 minutes
1 3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2cup shortening (remember the colder the better for scones!)
3/4 cups oats
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
Zest of one lemon
And finally add: 2/3 cup of buttermilk (this is really the secret to a good scone)
Mix as little as possible with a spoon, knead lightly and press dough onto greased baking sheet in the shape of a big pie, cut into triangles and make sure there is space between them. Bake for about 18 minutes at 375 make sure the oven is at full temperature. If you really want to get fancy, broil for an extra minute with icing sugar on the scones.