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Julie’s Note: Mom wrote this before she left (they are somewhere in Germany right now)…but if you aren’t familiar with their Bed & Breakfast (Anne’s Oceanfront Hideaway on Salt Spring Island) it might not make sense. Their B&B has four rooms, so they can have a maximum of 8 guests at any time. When they serve breakfast, it’s in four courses, and they cater to all diet restrictions and likes/dislikes. They put out an incredible breakfast each day. One guest described them as a real detriment to lunch!

Usually there are only one or two special diets at any one breakfast. It is not a difficult task, with a bit of planning, to cater to one or two special diets in a morning. But one weekend we were hit with the challenge of all time… for two days we had a Vegan (no animal products), a Vegetarian (no meat or fish, but eggs and cheese okay), a lactose intolerant (no dairy products), and a Celiac (Gluten Free – no wheat rye, oats, barley or derivatives like malt) plus four other people that would eat anything sharing a brekafast table. Two said “the more meat and sweet the happier we will be”.

When we sat down to plan, we were very worried we would make a mistake. To minimize the chaos and confusion we decided to use as much of the same foods for the special diets as possible to avoid cross contamination and to have each meal look similar to the other.

We separated the kitchen into seven different work stations:

  • two different stations for breads,
  • two stations for the cereal dish,
  • two different stations for the hot entrees,
  • and one for the fruit and juice.

We used:

  • Puffed Rice sweetened with juice from the health food store (no malt/no grains)
  • Flavoured Soy Yogurt (no dairy/animal)
  • Soy Cheddar Cheese Cheese grated (no dairy/animal)
  • Firm Tofu smoke flavor (no animal)
  • Rice Milk (no dairy/animal)
  • Almond Butter
  • Rice Soft Tortilla  Shells (no grains)
  • Rice Bread and Cinnamon Buns

We made up the four special diets first. We had made a name card for each diet in each course.

The individual cereal dishes (cereal, yogurt, pear half, raspberry syrup, sprinkle of almonds ) were put on the table with the water juice and fruit plate.

Two bun/bread baskets: Rice Toast and Rice Cinnamon Buns (celiac), Rick’s Milkless Muffins and Peanut Butter Tea Biscuits( all others).

The hot entree was a bit more of a challenge. We were serving salmon scrambled wraps (which normally has eggs, salmon, cream, cheese and a few other ingredients in it). We used the rice tortilla wraps so the Celiac became a non issue for the hot entree. The vegan had tofu and vegetables in his wrap. The vegetarian had the egg mix with cheese minus the salmon, and the lactose intolerant had the egg mix with salmon minus the cheese. The remainder had the full meal deal complete with eggs, salmon and cheese.

None of them knew there were special diets at the table as they looked quite similar at first glance and unless they checked up on what ingredients we used, no one knew.

It was also the only time in thirteen years that eight people had eight different hot beverages.  We had hot chocolate, reg coffee, decaf coffee, English Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey Tea, Decaf Orange Pekoe Tea, Peppermint Tea, Chamomile Tea, and hot water. Oh yes there was rice milk, 2% milk, half n half, soy margarine and butter as well.

On day two we were still vigilant but more experienced and calmer while prepping for the morning fare of Portobella Benedict.

TIP: We use name placards for seating at the table.  Needless to say this proved to be a saving grace during the two days.

When we moved to the West Coast we sold our Cessna 182 airplane and decided to buy a sailboat. We joined the Power & Sail Squadron group to teach us navigation and boating safety.  “No more red port wine left”, but was it going or returning? Which side am I supposed to be on? Oh thank goodness he is a power boat and is supposed to yield to a sailboat. What do you mean a freighter can’t stop?  Okay he is bigger I will yield! And what was the buoy marker for again? Oh yes go around the rock you can’t see.

It was much easier to hope in the co-pilot seat in the airplane and let Rick do the work… but it was fun learning to be a sailor.

After several weeks of lessons we ventured off on our own. Yep land lubbers, prairie folk, stubble jumpers, hay seeds on the high seas. Well we were never far from land but it sounds adventurous!

My sister found a sailboat in Comox.  With great anticipation and the confidence from two courses we set sail in the Comox harbour pulling our blowup dinghy.  We hadn’t cleared the harbour when we realized the dinghy was underwater. We pulled it in and latched it to the deck but we couldn’t see, so we moved it to the side. Well that didn’t work either. We were going in circles in the middle of the harbour trying to deal with our damn dinghy. Finally we let some of the air out, latched it to deck and off we went. We had some nice wind for a little while then we had to run the motor as we headed for Nanaimo. Sailing is such fun.

Nanaimo didn’t happen as the sun was going down and we needed to stop. We found a bit of a bay and anchored.  We cooked a gourmet dinner of mac and cheese on our little propane bottle stove then snuggled into our berth for the night. It was a peaceful night bobbing up and down, rocking and rolling on the water, bracing our feet against the bow of the boat and hanging on to the post so we didn’t fall out of bed, laughing so hard we had tears running down our faces. You could tell when a cruise ship  went by as we almost ended up on the floor! We got an early start next morning, we had tepid coffee, bread and fruit by flashlight and we were off before the sun was up.

We made Nanaimo Harbour in time for a late lunch. We anchored  in the harbour and watched the many different boats coming in and anchoring for the night.  When we  went to sleep the harbour was full of at least three dozen boats. When we woke up there were about five left. We never heard a thing.

The short cut home is through Dodd Narrows, which pushes the water through the channel faster than our sailboat can go at top speed under full sail or motor.  We waited for slack tide which is about an hour window where the tide is changing direction. I was quite concerned about this narrow passage  as there are several eddies ( whirlpools) and big rocks that can cause problems.  Also there were fourteen boats waiting to go through. I tied everything down, put on my life jacket, waited and worried.  I noticed other boats had people hanging off the decks, walking around and generally enjoying the day while I watched every eddy and rock we passed with trepidation. There may be times when there are problems but the guide book seemed to have overstated the gravity for this run at least.

Well now we can hoist the sails and head for home!  Except there is no wind. We can put our tacking lessons to good use.  Two hours later we could still see the house on the point. Rick does not want another gourmet Coleman meal and he does not want to be a cork or a rocker for another night. Motor it is!

We pulled up to our mooring buoy at dusk, hooked the rope, tied off the bow line, blew up our dinghy and rowed into shore.  I enjoyed the day but no more overnighters because sailboats rock and rock and rock!

Note from Julie: Mom wrote this post before she set off on their trip to the Ukraine, France and Germany. Right about now they should be floating into Yalta en route to Odessa (from there they will be flying into Paris). The only thing I can say to make you less jealous is that it’s only 9 degrees in Odessa today (48oF).

Back to work or back to school means breakfast on the run in many households. How do you make sure you’ve got a healthy and hearty breakfast that you can grab on your way through the door? Here’s an idea for a Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookie. Full of fiber, protein, and healthy goodnees, but tasty enough you may even serve it as a cookie treat in the afternoon – try this Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookie!

Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookie

What you’ll need:

* 1/4 Cup butter, softened
* 2/3 Cup Natural or Unsweetened Peanut Butter
* 1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
* 4 Egg Whites
* 2 Egg Yolks
* 1 teaspoon vanilla
* 2 large ripe bananas mashed
* 1/2 Cup Ground Flaxseed
* 1 1/2 Cups Buckwheat Flour
* 4 1/2 Cups rolled oats
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 Cups Raisins

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar. Beat until smooth.
  3. Beat in eggs gently,  then add vanilla and banana. Mix well.
  4. Add flaxseed, buckwheat, oats, baking soda and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add more oats if the mixture is really sticky.
  5. Add in raisins and stir a few times to distribute them throughout the batter.
  6. Using 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out 1/4 cup chunks of cookie batter. Roll into a ball.
  7. Place dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press down lightly with a fork.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through the center.
  9. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes to cool before eating.

TIP: Freeze a large batch for quick snacks when you least expect to need them!

Julie’s Comment: Ok so I used chocolate chips instead of raisins… my husband is always so disappointed when I use raisins and not chocolate chips! Oh, and I forgot to press them down with a fork so we ended up with Peanut Butter Breakfast Balls. Well, we can all be only SO perfect you know!! I will make another batch another day and I assure you that they will be masterpieces!! Or, if you make them and have a great picture to share please send it to me!! You will of course get credit for the picture complete with your website if you have one! THANKS!

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We’ve just arrived in Kiev and are getting ready to do a river boat cruise with some friends of ours from Victoria, BC. My daughter Julie is going to be posting this for me while I am away. I do plan to write about my travels though so check back for that!! We’re going to be gone 32 days!!

Recently, I was sent a website on bananas and its uses.  Then later on while stumbling around on the internet, I came across another banana website. I’m really going bananas. – because I also just finished reading a book on Bananas!!

I love this business!  We meet new people from all over the world from every walk of life.  Once in awhile we connect on a different level with some of those guests. A couple of months ago we had the privilege of connecting with just such a pair. I knew there had to be  story when I saw him drive up in a vehicle with the

Bananarchy by Harvey Walker

Bananarchy by Harvey Walker

license plate “walbangr”

Harvey Walker is an Alberta based Best Selling Author.  He wrote “BANANARCHY”a great read that I highly recommend for some great head shaking laughs.

Not only is it fun, he has researched the content with appropriate experts and added recipes using a variety of ingredients and of course bananas.

One of the simpler recipes reprinted with Harvey’s permission:


1/2 OZ. Kahlua

1/2 oz. Bailey’s

1/2 oz. creme de banana

I leave it to your imagination what to do with it!

He has several other recipes in the book such as Banana Loaf, Banana Pudding, other Banana drinks and delights.

Harvey has written and published a few short stories and is presently working on a sequel to Bananarchy.  Wonder what else he will come up with?


If you are interested in a copy of Harvey’s book please send a note to Wallbanger Ink,   Box 32, Site 216, RR2,   St. Albert, AB T8N 1M9   CANADA

His email is

Chewy, our black lab, and Rick head out every morning for their walk. When we used to get the Time Colonist newspaper, they would pick it up on their way in. Rick would pick it up and give it to Chewy to carry back to the house. She would proudly prance on home with the blue plastic wrapped paper. Sometimes though, they were out walking before the paper had been delivered so it wouldn’t be there to pick up.

One of the mornings the paper wasn’t there when they went by, Rick decided to train Chewy to go and pick up the newspaper for him. He started by walking part way then sending Chewy to retrieve it. Slowly he was able to send her from the house instead of walking part way with her. She would happily return with her head held high paper in her mouth.

One morning, after she was gone a l-o-n-g time, she returned without the paper. Rick tried to send her back but she wouldn’t go, so he walked out with her. The paper wasn’t there. He kept asking her where she left the paper – thinking she had lost her focus while bringing it back. Maybe she’d gone into the bush to chase a quail?

Later that day, we were coming back from our shopping in town, and we found the paper on our road! The delivery had been late!! We left it there and when we returned home we sent Chewy back for the paper which she proudly returned to Rick.

Paper Delivery Dog

When give a task, never doubt the Paper Delivery Dog.

Look forward to weekly inspiration in the form of an e-mail recipe from Anne’s Oceanfront Hideaway’s Four Star Bed and Breakfast. Delightful treats, special diet recipes and breakfast favourites will hit your inbox every Monday. And, when you sign up for this free e-mail you’ll receive a fantastic brunch planner! ALL FREE!

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  • Tips for setting the mood for your brunch,
  • Fantastic Ideas for your theme,
  • Two four-course menus complete with shopping list and recipes,
  • Tips for prepping your meal ahead of time so you can enjoy the brunch as much as your guests,
  • Special table setting tips from Anne’s.

You’ll get all of this FREE, when you sign up to get the weekly recipes from Breakfast with the Broads.

Start planning a brunch that will have your friends talking for months!

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Thanks for joining us for brunch!!

Each year the huge crab apple tree in our backyard prolifically produces a plethora of small bright red fruits. While the fruit makes wonderful jelly and is also very tasty when dried, it is a real challenge to keep up. Every year I think we should cut it down as it continues to grow bigger and bigger and produce more and more little red apples. Yes, yes, I know that is what it is supposed to do, but how big is it going to grow and how much fruit is it going to produce?

Starting mid August we pick up crab apples so they don’t get crushed and then tracked into the house. Rick picks them up before he goes for his morning walk and then again when he comes back. We go out after we serve breakfast and pick up more apples, before our guests leave for the day and before new guests check in. Still, we have apples tracking into the house which adds extra work to the daily routine.

So we’re debating again…should we cut it down? We decided not to. It looks beautiful and it feeds some of the wildlife that visit us. The raccoons and the woodpeckers feast each year for weeks.

And the highlight these days are the two does and a buck that visit every day and night to vacuum up the fruit. Normally I curse at them as they destroy my tulips and eat my grapes, but right now they are a big help as they catch the fallen fruits that land on the lawn as well as the driveway. It’s much less work for us to do, and it’s really nice to watch them at work.

Last week we had bark mulch brought in and beautifully spread through the flower beds and around the trees. This week it is full of hoof prints. But I guess I can’t complain because these three beautiful – four legged vaccum cleaners don’t use electricity, eat within a hundred miles of where their food is grown, give back to their environment and are fun to watch . It doesn’t get any more eco-friendly than that!


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September 2008