The long weekend was finally here. Yes!!! Finally some time to unwind and get away from the hustle of the city and enjoy the festivities and events of summer.
First thing on the list was the Pride Parade in downtown Vancouver. It is a yearly tradition which start off in downtown and carries over to the beach. As always there was much excitement and events with the yearly pride parade as hundreds of people gathered and hunkered down at the beach to watch the colourful parade. People were just partying, throwing out mardi gras beads, laughing and enjoying themselves. As aside from that there were also beach goers too, just lazying around the beach soaking up the sun. If anything Civic long weekend would be the weekend to do it as temperatures peaked in the high 20’s.
Powell Street Festival, I did not know they had it on Civic Holiday but boy did I not regret it. The festival took place at Oppenheimer Park and highlighted Japanese food and culture. I must say the organizers did a fantastic job. There were hundreds gathered at the park all munching away at Japanese goodies. I think the most original idea for food was Spam Sushi. 🙂 Japanese shaved ice was another popular stop for most people who gathered. It was a thirst quenching treat from the blazing hot sun.
What was interesting was that pride parade goers also migrated over to the Powell Street Festival to enjoy the festivities there as well.
Next stop, berry picking, at Emma Lea Farms, summer would not be complete without doses of berry picking. In my opinion, it is probably the best way to relax. You are away from the city and everything slows down once you are on a farm. Basically you are out with nature. For me its probably nostalgic because one I can relax and to I get a thrill of picking ripe berries, especially strawberries. They are probably the most fragrant fruit out there locally. I just love taking a whiff of the sweet fragrance of strawberries. Yes it is true that you do get a sore back from bending and standing over a period of time, but I found a new respect for the farmers. They have to wake up early in the morning and work a full day picking berries. Kudos the farmers who had to hand pick them. Big Ouch for the back.
This was the second time for blueberry picking and boy oh boy were they humongous. I guess the amount of sun and temperature does do the berries nicely. It was a treat just to see them. They were nice and plump like little round disks. All beckoning, “Pick Me, Pick Me.” I ended up with a bucket full which was approximately 10 pounds. Not a bad harvest for a few hours work. Enough for ice cream, shakes, pies, muffins and cake.
A raspberry shake was the cherry on top of as beautiful day. As an added bonus, it was made from fresh picked berries from the farm…so delicious and satisfying.
The Civic Long Weekend could not be complete without a drive to the beach. This time I chose White Rock. For me it had always been my choice for beaches away from town. So relaxing…whether it is strolling along the strip searching for food and ice cream, walking the board walk, playing in the water or soaking on the beach, White Rock Ocean Park was the place to be. Time somehow stands still there as it was less busy than downtown. Sand building was an added bonus. To me the city has developed much. One side of the strip is literally packed with restaurants, bars and ice cream parlors, all of them buzzing with business with the beach on the other. In comparison, it resembles like downtown on Denman by English Bay minus the traffic and the skyscrapers.
I managed to stay long enough for dinner and catch the sunset at White Rock quite surreal. Unlike the city, the surroundings were quite open allowing for a better view of the sunset…magnificant.
Milk and Cookies
As a grand finally for a blissful long weekend. I decide to make cookies. I have been wanting to bake cookies for a while and that coupled with my chocolate obsession, I decided to make cookies….chocolate cookies.
Keys to a successful cookie:
- cream butter and sugar sufficiently-this will create a lighter cookie batter
- use baking soda sparingly-too much will result in a salty aftertaste
- when spooning batter onto cookie sheet- leave enough space for expansion
Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups 65% dark chocolate ( I used 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar (I only used 1 1/2 sugar)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extra (I used 1/2 vanilla bean)
1. Sift flour, baking soda and salt in bowl, set aside
3. Cream butter, sugar and brown sugar together until light and fluffy
4. Add eggs, vanilla, flour mixture and chocolate
5. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper, form dough into balls and bake at 325F for 18 mins.