I know green and blue aren’t the traditional colours to celebrate Canada Day but they are Canucks colours. I should say first that I’m not exactly a hockey fan – I don’t know any of the rules or how the game works, but it’s the togetherness, fans united, that counts I think.
The Canucks-Bruins playoff was a big thing – I didn’t realize how big until I saw it even in British online publications (with headlines like, “If you thought football fans were mad, think again”)! What made more headlines, though, were the Vancouver, B.C. riots. A lot has already been said about the riots and a lot of people have already covered it and spoken their opinions. Myself, I’m not happy that the riots happened and that people behaved in that manner; what disappointed me more, though, were the people who badmouthed Vancouver – not just because I was born and raised in this city (don’t get me wrong, I love my city) but that most of those comments weren’t even from people who had visited or at some point lived in Vancouver. To me, it is akin to a tourist saying that somewhere – a city, country, etc. – is a bad place or attributing its people to something undesirable, especially if it’s for television, when it is really just an opinion and one’s own perspective. (I’m not saying you have to like a city – if you don’t, that’s fine, but don’t badmouth it. For example, what I saw of San Francisco last year I liked and someday I’d like to explore more, whereas there are people I know who have been to San Fran and did not like it the least bit. To each his own.)
The riots, and the behaviour exhibited, were not truly representative of Vancouver and its people. What happened before the playoffs, the togetherness of the Canucks fans, though, is memorable and should be remembered: fans whooping and cheering, as cars drove by horns were honked and hands sticking out of car windows giving high fives to strangers on the streets. The hope of winning. It was an incredible thing to witness. It was a tough game and, yes, the Canucks lost this time – but it should be that joy that is remembered most of all.
That being said, before I share today’s recipe I’d like to share some of my favourite things about Vancouver and in no particular order.
(Click after the jump for my Vancouver favourites and for the recipe!)
- UBC Farm – The only organic farm in the City of Vancouver. Away from the din and hubbub of urban life, you wouldn’t believe that it even existed here. I wrote a post not too long ago about their gardening program (including a recipe for a salad dressing). [Website]
- The Tea Room – a bakery and kitchenware store on 10th Avenue, it’s a great place to relax and have lunch or dessert, or just discover a great kitchen find. (They even have a backdoor patio and a back room as well that can be reserved for parties, etc.) May I recommend the fruit galette, princess cake, mango mousse cake…? There are lots of desserts I could recommend and they are regularly rotated. (Note: there aren’t many gluten-free or other allergy specific foods, with the exception of chocolate covered stawberries off the top of my head.) They also have a great selection of teas. I’ve visited several times, including my birthday. [Website]
- Fluevog’s – If you love shoes, you’ll love Fluevog’s. ‘Nuff said, go to the website now.
- Granville Island Market – Whether you’re a tourist or living in Vancouver, this is a place everyone should go visit. Parking can be crazy but it’s worth going for the artisan shops – handblown glass, pastries (including world famous Thomas Haas chocolate sparkle cookies and decently priced), jewellery, hand-crafted materials – and having a good time. There are also farmers’ markets. [Website]
- Kidsbooks – Located on Broadway, it’s the place to find great kids’ books (including audiobooks on CD) with a wide range of ages including young adult fiction. Whenever I go there I always find a great new read. [Website]
- Sephora – At Pacific Centre in Downtown Vancouver, it pretty much has everything. The first time I went there I came away completely jazzed, with the feeling I could have bought the entire store, or at least most of it – there is SO MUCH! If you’ve never been to Sephora before, beware. You won’t go in there without seeing something you like. [Website]
- Urban Yarns – Knitting and yarn stores are more of my Mum’s thing but I also like looking at yarn, especially when scarves are involved. (I’m a scarf fiend and have a drawer full of them like it’s nobody’s business. I actually found a scarf today that was started and I’m finishing it – knitting seems to be one of those things in life that once you learn, you never forget.) [Website]
- Food Trucks – Vancouver is becoming more diversified in its food scene and that includes food trucks. Edible Vancouver ran a great article on it a couple of months ago, which you can read here. If you have an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, you must download this free app. It gives you a map of all the food trucks in Vancouver, including their hours and any special deals for the day, and the list is always being added to.
Dairy-Free Green Tea Ice Cream with Blueberry Sauce
1 tub So Delicious Coconut Milk Green Tea Ice Cream
1 dry pint fresh blueberries (use frozen if fresh aren’t available)
Rinse the blueberries and pick through them, discarding any green or bad berries. Place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a little water to prevent scorching. Gently cook over medium to low heat, until berries have released their juices and have softened. Remove from heat and cool. (It’s okay if it isn’t a thick sauce.)
Scoop two to three scoops of ice cream per person into bowls or tall glasses. Drizzle or spoon the cooled blueberry sauce over and serve immediately.