Passions Magazine - Winter 2018/2019

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passion passions ISSUE 6 | WINTER 2019



PENNY SHANTZ Olympic Curler Calgary '88

Cozying up to winter



4 6 16



















Notch Hill

Warming spirits for a cold winter’s night


Dreaming of next year’s garden



VANCOUVER 26 AISLAND MOMENT COVER Penny Shantz (middle) with Fairwinds residents/curlers, Roy and Judy Devereaux



LIGHT A CANDLE IN THE DARK Winter is officially here, complete with our first, albeit brief, snowfall. Rather than lament the shorter days and colder weather, in this issue of Passions we are hunkering down and exploring some of the advantages the season has to offer. The Danes call it hygge; the Swedes refer to it as mysig, the Norwegians prefer koselig… and here cozy is the name of the game. Whenever I need an extra dose of cozy, I reach for my favourite cable knit sweater, a mug of Purdy’s hot chocolate with whip… there’s pretty much no food or drink that isn’t vastly improved with a load of whipped cream, but this is especially true of hot chocolate. Then I light a candle or two and snuggle up in my much-loved reading chair with the latest issue of Bon-Appetit. One of the best things about this time of year is, if it’s dark from 4:30 pm on, you get to light more candles. There really is nothing quite as romantic as winter. Throughout these pages, you can savour Chef Shawn Sannes’ mouth-watering comfort food recipe for Braised Beef Short Ribs, check out some of our favourite things about winter including the classic Canadian game of curling as seen through the eyes of Fairwinds’ resident and Olympian Penny Shantz, and conjure the aroma of freshly baked bread as you read the love story behind Wild Culture Bakery in Qualicum Beach. You’ll also find some great ideas for winter excursions including a short trip to catch a glimpse of our annual herring run, discover some interesting hobbies, and learn about the latest updates on developments in the community. So, what do you do to make winter a warmer and brighter season? We’d love to know! We always welcome your feedback at

Julie Jaworski, PASSIONS Editor


How Sweet It Is! by Sandy Robson Dark and dreamy, smooth and satisfying, sweet or with a saucy little bite, straight up, or stirred up, hot or cold, in a bar, on my lunch break... I’ll take them one at a time or all at once.... yes, yes, yes! Oh, did I mention that I really love chocolate?! Always have, always will and I am not going to buy into any calorie induced, sugar-guilt either... I know my facts baby, and chocolate is good for me.... oh yeah! Chocolate lovers can definitely feel the love while embarking on a journey of delightfully rich and creamy discovery across Vancouver Island. Join me as I explore some of my favourite chocolate stops beginning in Victoria with a classic… Rogers’ Chocolates. Open the door to their heritage storefront on Government Street and the wafting aromas will tell you that chocolate reigns supreme here. Founded in 1885, Rogers’ hand-wrapped confections have been a favourite of Victorians and chocolate lovers everywhere for generations. You can find a selection of their chocolates at Chocolates Plus in Qualicum Beach or order online at Also in Victoria, chocolatier David Booth’s childhood fascination with confections has culminated in the creation of Terrible Truffles. He handcrafts a variety of terribly tempting truffles such as The Aztec, infused with fresh cream and crushed sweet red peppercorns and Cassis truffles with pretty in pink blackcurrant centres wrapped in snowy white chocolate. Organic Fair Inc. is a family-owned organic farm located in Cobble Hill where they turn organic, fair trade chocolate into a variety of flavourful bars including the Goldenmilk, a bar of dark chocolate blended with turmeric, black pepper,


ginger, and cinnamon. Try their Provence bar with lavender, rosemary and sweet orange, and/or the Westcoaster, a blend of toasted hazelnuts with dried wild blueberries. Visit their online store: Early entrants into the organic chocolate movement, Denman Island Chocolates, has been creating wonderfully rich, organic dark chocolate bars enlivened with hazelnuts, espresso beans, candied ginger, dried raspberries, and orange zest since 1998. If you are travelling up-Island, pop in to Dark Side Chocolates in Cumberland, where they combine the finest creams and flavours with organic chocolate to create their own decadent offerings. Try the Hot Chocolate Bomb for a trip to cocoa nirvana. And out on the wild and remote west coast of Vancouver Island you can be rest assured that the deliciously calming influence of chocolate can be felt there, too. Chocolate Tofino provides a sweet respite from winter storms as you savour a Clayoquot Blackberry Buttercream or Wildflower Honey Ganache. Do I wax rhapsodic? Well, chocolate has been known to have that effect on people. Research has found that eating chocolate helps raise mood-lifting chemicals (endorphins and serotonin) in the brain and the antioxidant properties of chocolate have been shown to have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. So, I say pass me another truffle and enjoy your own favourite chocolate treat while living the sweet life here at home.



Gather Round the Hearth There is something very primal about sitting by a fire and with advances in technology everyone can enjoy the warmth and comfort of a fireplace in the heart of their home. Open fireplaces are fast disappearing from modern homes, but a wood-burning insert can help transform an outdated fireplace into an efficient source of heat using an existing chimney and fireplace opening. When used with dry wood and a well-drafting chimney system, modern non-catalytic inserts burn fuel efficiently by controlling the delivery of air to the fire. THE SMALLEST OF WOOD STOVES are actually built with boats in mind but can also be used in cabins, workshops, and in the latest home trend… tiny houses. Sardine from Dickinson Marine ( in Surrey is made of cast iron and porcelain and a dollhouse-like 12 by 12 inches while Tiny Life Supply ( based in Smithers, offers options like Brigantia which fits perfectly between 2 by 6 studs and can run off natural gas or propane.

With FREESTANDING WOODSTOVES you can choose the classic, cast iron style or opt for updated looks covered in shiny enamel or clad in soapstone and they range in size depending on your available space and the square footage you want to heat. Advances in burning technology allows more heat to be extracted from the wood, while also producing fewer emissions than in the past. At Pioneer Fireplace in Parksville they carry wood stoves (as well as electric and gas) including inserts from Jøtul and freestanding stoves manufactured by Pacific Energy based in Duncan.

GAS FIREPLACES are a popular option here on the West Coast and offer the on/off ease of use that is no more difficult to operate than your television. They are low maintenance and easy to clean. Many include smart remotes or apps for your phone that control the flame, blower speed, thermostatic mode, and have programmable timers. And the look of the flames produced by natural gas or propane have come a long way with flames flickering amongst log sets, stone, glass or even chunks of black ceramic “coal.”

In Victoria, Sherwood Industries was Canada’s first PELLET STOVE manufacturer and they distribute under their Enviro brand across North America. They can be freestanding units or inserts, and burn small pellets made of compressed wood (recycled from sawmills) or corn for heat. Only a small flame is visible within the unit, but you can customize some formats with ceramic logs for a more traditional fire-like ambiance. Pellets burn cleaner than wood, and there is no chimney required. Access to an electrical outlet is required, as a fan is used to push heated air into the room.


The beauty of ELECTRIC FIREPLACES is their flexibility and ease of installation with no venting or gas lines needed. They can pretty much go anywhere in your home and if you are in a rental, the unit can move when you do. Styles range from traditional to contemporary and can include mantles or be set flush into a wall. The latest in flame technology is impressive.

 ETHANOL FIREPLACES are also well-suited to apartments, townhomes, restaurants, and other business spaces since no chimney, vent, gas or electric lines are required. Ethanol is eco-friendly, smoke free and odourless. Simply hang the unit on a wall or sit it on a floor or tabletop, pour ethanol fuel into the burner, light and enjoy.


of Bread Mastery WILD CULTURE BAKERY KNOWS THE SECRET IS IN THE INGREDIENTS by Aly Winks photos by Rae-Anne LaPlante


ike many good love stories, John Traynor’s involves a chance encounter on a cold night in a foreign country. The country was Switzerland on the shores of Lake Geneva, and the event changed the course of his life, although he would not realize it for a good while longer. It was the object of his affection that makes this story unique – a quality rye bread served with sausage. “I realized at that moment I’d never in my life had what I now call ‘real’ bread,” he reflects, as delicious scents waft out of his own bakery—Wild Culture—which is housed in an old converted stable on six beautiful acres in Qualicum Beach.

The dreary West Coast day is warmed by the ovens, as smiling faces above aprons experiment with new truffle recipes of fennel, caramel, sea salt and white, milk and dark chocolate. These are sold alongside lemon tarts, carrot cake, olive oil cake, a host of other delights and, of course, numerous loaves of authentic French style sourdough (levain) bread. And on Fridays, unique thin crust sourdough pizzas. “As many of my contemporaries did, I traveled through Europe as a young man and discovered food that simply did not exist in Canada outside the kitchens of some first-generation immigrants at the time,” Traynor says. “It caused a bread

revolution that ignited across North America.” Time passed and Traynor and his wife, Jean, found themselves in a position to buy a bakery from a French baker named Roger, in Cumberland, who specialized in levainstyle French bread made from organic grains and sourdough culture. Roger taught John all he knew and his passion grew deeper for the heritage and importance of good bread at the table. One of the last parts of the transaction was the transfer of the levain culture from Roger to John. “Roger nervously called the next morning to see how it was doing, how it handled the travel,” John says. “That was 21 years ago 7 PASSIONS PASSIONS || WINTER WINTER 2019 2019

and the culture is still going strong. I call it able to provide that.” ‘the princess’ and Jean and I joke that ‘she’ “It’s a healthy product has ruled our lives ever since.” made from only a few “On the days we are open, the working ingredients (most of environment of the bakery is very warm the breads contain and humid, ideal conditions for the levain flour, water, salt and culture to thrive,” John says. the sourdough starter). Wild Culture is a true artisan bakery. The combination of the The team is an extended family to John and sourdough culture and the Jean, everyone important, true “foodies,” ancient grains seem to be each generously bringing unique talents less of an issue for people who to work. It shows. “With the baking, we’re have trouble with gluten,” Jean committed to authentic and traditional says. “We get many people who methods, using organic ingredients don’t want to have to give up all bread whenever possible, and ancient grains— and seem to have an easier time with some of emmer, spelt, and the original wheat first our loaves. I think it must be the purity of the farmed in Canada, Red Fife.” They do grains and the sourdough. I’m not a scientist much of their own milling on site to ensure and we don’t offer it up as an alternative, but freshness and nutritional quality. people have shared that with us.” Originally, they only wholesaled to The baked treats are similarly created with high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods. real ingredients—actual lemon in the lemon However, the bakery business can be curd for tarts, seasonal fruit for the cakes, gruelling and the two found themselves often from their own garden or orchard—to needing to make some challenging promote health and remind people what business decisions when the price natural ingredients really taste like. of grain sky-rocketed “I believe that one of the during the Recession of marks of a good bakery 2008. While others looked is the quality of its lemon to find ways of scaling up, tart,” John says. “Making it THERE IS ALMOST ALWAYS they took a chance on right is challenging, and we scaling down. have a loyal clientele who A LINE-UP WAITING “In 2010, we opened our sell us out of it nearly every FOR US TO OPEN... doors here and moved from day.” a seven-day-a-week The carrot cake is PEOPLE CHAT TO EACH operation to three days,” another signature recipe. John says. “It was nerveThey hunted high and low, OTHER, SHARE STORIES, wracking but we know now the bakers taking turns it was the right decision.” tweaking and testing, but AND HAVE A CHANCE TO It didn’t slow them down nothing quite worked. for long. They employ “Then my sons said, BE TOGETHER. THEY ARE about a dozen people and ‘Mom,why aren’t you using supply a small, localMimi’s (Grandmother’s) HAPPY—BREAD only, wholesale service to recipe?’ and I realized, of Heaven on Earth, Naked course,” Jean said. “No one AND THESE DELICIOUS Naturals in Qualicum ever made better carrot Beach and Parksville, cake—we now serve it TREATS MAKE PEOPLE and Springford Farms exactly as she made it and on Northwest Bay Road people love it.” HAPPY. IT IS REALLY in Nanoose. The bread is “Good food brings also served at Creekmore’s people together, it becomes WONDERFUL TO BE ABLE Coffee in Coombs, and common ground, and at Realm Food Co. in everyone is happy when TO PROVIDE THAT. Parksville. they feel satisfied from a “Our customers were good meal,” Jean says. JW happy to adjust,” Jean says. “Over the years, we have “Those who wanted the been selling bread, but product just started coming really, we have been when we were open. It also building connections.” became a lot more fun for Wild Culture is located at 692 Bennett Rd. us. Now, in the morning, there is almost in Qualicum Beach and is open noon to always a line-up waiting for us to open, and 6 pm, Wednesday to Friday. They sell there is community and connection. People fresh bread and baked goods every day chat to each other, share stories, and have and pizzas on Fridays. Check them out at a chance to be together. They are happy—, on Facebook and bread and these delicious treats make Instagram, or call 250-752-0077. people happy. It is really wonderful to be 8 8 PASSIONS PASSIONS| |WINTER WINTER2019 2019




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a Champion

AMONG US Being on the Olympic team taught me the true meaning of one team, one goal.

PENNY SHANTZ Olympic Curler, Coach, President of Parksville Curling Club, Fairwinds Resident

photo by Rae-Anne LaPlante

by Kait Burgan




armth can come from within, or from without, of course and while a curling rink might not be the coziest of places, for Fairwinds resident, Penny Shantz, the air and sleek sheets of ice have been bringing her comfort, and accolades for most of her life. “I curl with the same girl that I curled with in 1983. Our dads curled together,” she says. Penny is so at ease in the rink that she jokes about being able to sleep on the ice. “Curling is about the friendships you have made throughout the years and how they never leave you. It’s great to go back to Provincial or Canadian Seniors and see and play your friends. It feels the same, like one big family. So fun!” To say that curling is all about fun for Penny wouldn’t be accurate at all. With more than 13 competitive titles to her credit, it’s the 1988 Calgary Olympics that stand out above them all. Leading for Linda Moore, Lindsay Sparkes and Debbie Jones Walker, Penny, whose last name was Ryan at the time, played for Team Canada and took home Gold. Curling was a Demonstration Sport back then, not becoming a full medal competition until 1998. “Being on the Olympic team taught me the true mean-ing of one team, one goal. We had a dream, and we all committed to our dream,” Penny wrote in an article for a Scotiabank magazine. Penny was the Branch Manager at Scotia-


bank in Parksville until she retired. “I believe that if you want something, you can achieve it. Just work hard, make sure it’s realistic and attainable, and the result will come.” Penny carries this philosophy with her outside the rink as well. “I like to give back,” she says, adding that she’s involved with Haven House and is working to start up a KidsSport chapter in Parksville. KidsSport is a national not-for-profit organisation that provides financial assistance for registration fees and equipment to kids aged 18 and under. “I’m looking forward to that. I see success. You set a goal and define it and take the steps to get there.” Penny moved to Fairwinds in 2007 from Victoria. She and her husband made the drive up for a round of golf one day and had lunch at Schooner Cove. They knew right away it was special. When they got home, they looked at Open House listings and saw a house they liked. They took another drive up and bought it. “I think Fairwinds (and Nanoose) is one of the best-kept secrets. People don’t know how beautiful it is.” These days, Penny curls on Mondays and Fridays and took on the role of President for the Parksville Curling Club in April 2018. Previously, she was President and also served on the Board of Directors of the Kelowna Curling Club. “I’ve been to lots of other curling clubs,” she says. “This [Parksville] club is unbelievable. Some members are retired, some are working, and the curlers come from diverse backgrounds, so you get the best of the best who know what they’re doing.” Penny is the 2018 BC Senior Ladies Curling Champion, as well as the 2017, 2014 and 2012 BC Senior Ladies Champion. There aren’t many sports, especially Olympic ones, that are as accessible, supportive or patriotic as curling. With robust calls of Hurry, Go Hard, Up, Whoa and a glossary of enduring terminology from Biter to Wick, it’s a game that has had a stronghold on people’s hearts for centuries; a game that warms us not just because of the physical exercise, but because of the goals that can be accomplished and the friends that are made.



WINTER 2019 1

THE HAPPY LIGHT by Verilux provides a natural and safe full spectrum light for practical everyday use. Ideal for combating our cloudy, grey winter skies here on the West Coast. Also beneficial for those working shifts, with jetlag, or SAD and insomnia.


A WALK IN THE SNOW. Yes, we wish it would fall softly on the lawn and shrubs and avoid the roadways, but there is no denying the magic of a winter snowfall.

3 POPCORN From electric air to on-the-stove poppers, nothing says home movie night like the scent of fresh, buttered popcorn!

4 GLERUPS are felted wool slippers from Denmark, the home of winter coziness (hygge).

5 SOUS VIDE… did you get one for Christmas? This “new” way of cooking is sweeping the kitchens of the foodie world! Sous vide (pronounced soo-veed) is a French term meaning “under vacuum” and is a technique that seals food in a bag, then cooks it to a very precise temperature in a water bath.


OPPOSITE TOP L to R Colleen Robson, Penny Shantz, Karen Lepine - 2018 Canadian Seniors Curling Championships in Stratford, ON MIDDLE L to R Lynne Noble, Penny Shantz, Colleen Robson and Kathy Branch - 2017 Canadian Seniors Curling Championships in Fredericton, NB BOTTOM L to R Linda Moore, Lindsay Sparkes, Deb Jones-Walker, Penny Ryan (Shantz), Patti Vande (Wuthrich) - 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, AB

7 GET ROCKING… staying active during winter can be a challenge but you can have fun and stay fit with a Canadian classic… curling. Contact our local clubs in Parksville and Qualicum Beach about learning the sport or joining a league if you are already up on your sweeping! Both are also on Facebook.

GLØGG… like Canada, Nordic countries know all about winter and gløgg provides a little warmth in an otherwise cold and dreary time of year. Generally it involves red wine, cardamom, cinnamon and other warming spices along with vodka, Cognac, or even aquavit for the Norwegians. Skål!







article & photos by Catherine Bell

Want to add a top notch trail to that ‘must do’ hiking list? Well here it is! Notch Hill is one of the many hikes within the Fairwinds privatee recreation trail system. It is a 2.6 kilometer loop trail with an elevation gain of 157 m, making it a great moderate hike. Depending on fitness level, a return trip without stops takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes. My husband and I have added this one to our repertoire for its aerobic workout and amazing scenic rewards. During the ascent you will be amongst the most incredible groves of native trees: Arbutus – Canada’s only native broadleaf evergreen, and Garry Oak – an impressive ecosystem exclusive to BC. They bring to mind the lyrics of local jazz icon Diana Krall’s “Departure Bay,” with the opening lines being, “The fading scent of summertime, arbutus trees and firs… .” Once at the top, views of Nanoose Bay and Harbour, Mt. Arrowsmith, Nanaimo and Georgia Strait will leave you speechless. The friendly folk you will meet along the way are nature lovers, hikers, runners, birders as well as those training for an event, just to name a few (A friend of ours actually targeted the Notch as 14 PASSIONS | WINTER 2019

Pick up your free copy of the Fairwinds hiking and trail map at Fairwinds Wellness Centre.

the perfect training hike, complete with weighted backpack, to help prepare for the Chilkoot Trail in northern BC.). The Notch Hill trail showcases the natural beauty that surrounds our Fairwinds Community. We feel so very fortunate to have this gem right in our own backyard. To get to Notch Hill from Nanaimo, head north on the Island Highway (Hwy 19) to Nanoose Bay, and turn right at the lights on Northwest Bay Road. Do the reverse from Parksville, north. There is a Petro Canada gas station on the corner. Continue on Northwest Bay Road (1 km), and turn right onto Powder Point Road. Once you reach the four way stop (1.5 km), Powder Point Road becomes Fairwinds Drive. Continue on Fairwinds Drive to the trailhead within the gravel parking lot on the right (2 km). There is additional pull-off parking on the left. GPS coordinates read N 9°16.5309' W 124°09.1074'. So whether it’s a meandering stroll or a purposeful challenging hike, why not take it up a Notch?!

35 contemporary townhomes designed to blend seamlessly into the beauty of their natural surroundings.

Future Development at The Landing

DID YOU KNOW? The first European settler in Nanoose Bay was Joao Inacio, who named his home

Lakes District Future Development

Notch Hill Ranch after the silhouette of the hill that marked his location from the

Future Single Family Homesites

sea and land. Mr. Inacio, known here as John Enos was born in 1834 in the Azores.


Like many young men of his time, he went to sea at an early age, landing in Boston Massachusetts in 1852. From there, he headed west for the California gold rush and then north to BC in 1858 for the Fraser gold rush. A near fatal accident and a variety of jobs later, in 1862, he settled on the Nanoose Peninsula.




FOR HOBBIES by Jen Groundwater

THE WORD “HOBBY” ISN’T VERY FASHIONABLE THESE DAYS. People talk a lot about their “interests,” “passions,” even “obsessions,” but there is something of the diminutive about the word “hobby.” It’s a cozy little word that somehow evokes stamp collecting, hooked rugs and jigsaw puzzles – activities from days gone by. And yet, a quick search of the hashtag #hobbies on social media reveals that hobbies are alive and well – and adapting to the 21st century with flair. Cake decorating, magic tricks, photography, embroidery, juggling, model building, woodworking… there is literally no end to the creative ways people spend their free time.

REAL TIME, NOT ONLINE The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines a hobby as a “favourite leisure-time activity or occupation.” These days, one could argue that scrolling through social media or bingewatching Netflix are hobbies, because most of us spend a lot of leisure time doing these activities. But instinctively, we know that’s not right. There’s a subtle distinction between consuming something someone else has made and actually creating – or doing – something yourself. And it’s in that space of creativity and enjoyment that we find the true meaning of hobbies. You don’t need to be a serious practitioner, but you do need to be an active participant. A hobby is something you do simply because it makes you happy to do it. Sure, you might want to post a picture of your completed quilt,


sourdough loaf or live-edge table on Instagram, but the real pleasure is found in the process of creation, not the number of likes you get.

HOBBIES MAKE YOU HAPPY Research has proven that activities related to “pleasure and mastery” are powerful antidotes to depression and anxiety. Incorporating more of these activities into your daily routine is an actual cognitive behavioural therapy technique. It turns out playing around is actually good for you, especially if you’re learning something new in the process. Engaging in our hobbies can help us to enter the flow state, that happy zone where we’re completely absorbed by what we’re doing, sometimes to the point where we’re not even aware of time passing. It was first identified by the psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Csikszentmihalyi writes that not only does the flow state boost our brains

with feel-good chemicals like dopamine, it also “builds the self-confidence that allows us to develop skills and make significant contributions to humankind.” Wow. If you don’t have a hobby, you’d best find one – and quickly!


Don’t worry too much about picking the perfect activity. What you liked to do as a kid is a good place to start: Lego, model-making, even colouring are all perfectly valid adult hobbies nowadays. Or try something trendier like making kombucha, blending essential oils, chair yoga or Nordic pole walking. Is there a hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Don’t delay another day! Find a way to get into your chosen activity, and let the good times flow.

TEN UNUSUALLY NAMED HOBBIES Lapidary—cutting and polishing gems Hypertufa—making garden pots from artificial stone Ikebana—the Japanese art of flower arranging Parkour—outdoor training technique inspired by military obstacle courses Spelunking—exploring caves Ferret legging—putting a ferret in one’s pants and seeing how long you can keep it there Hikaru dorodango—creating shiny orbs from dirt Entomophagy—eating bugs Pysanky—the Ukrainian art of decorating Easter eggs Geocaching—navigating to hidden caches using a GPS


PHOTOS OPPOSITE L to R Straight chisel for wood carving, “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience,” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. THIS PAGE CLOCKWISE from TOP LEFT Covering cake in Royal Icing, Crazy Quilt, Easter eggs decorated in the Ukranian style (Pysanky), Examples of Hikaru Dorodango, cleverly displayed atop curtain rings.



This time of year,

one of my go-to recipes is braised beef short ribs – they’re a classic winter dish. My righthand man in the kitchen, Taylor Whitelock, and I used to work in a restaurant where every night, someone seared 12 dozen ribs for the following day. I think short ribs are in our blood! They’re incredibly tasty, which makes them the ideal main dish for a cozy dinner on a chilly winter’s day, especially if you pair them with buttery mashed potatoes and sweet butternut squash (PS: they’re all super-easy to make!). Save the short ribs for a day when you’re not short on time. Ideally you should start a day ahead, but at the very least, they take several hours to cook. It’s great if you can devote your day to the dish. “Wait – what?!” I can hear you muttering, “a whole day to baby some meat?” But don’t toss this recipe aside! Braising ribs takes time, not effort. Once the meat goes into the oven,

PHOTOS This meal was cooked and all photos were shot in the beautiful kitchen of the recently completed Fairwinds home, Bromley Place.


by Shawn Sannes photos by Sean Fenzl

you can curl up by the fire, take a nap, drink a glass of wine, walk the dog… you’re basically home free while the house fills with the rich aroma of roasting meat. The secret to ribs is to season and sear them for a golden caramelization that enhances the meat’s flavour profile and seals in the juices and textures so it will hold up in the oven. Then you cover them with plenty of liquid (wine and water or stock) to soak up all the flavours as the meat cooks. I like to up the ribs’ comfort factor with creamy mashed potatoes, roasted butternut squash with red onion, sage and honey, and green beans. Top this with a generous ladle of the braising liquid and mwah! Dinner is served.

Side-dish Secrets

Mashed potatoes are the simplest thing in the world but getting them exactly right is a process. First off, go with Yukon Golds. Their higher sugar content makes them the best for mashing without becoming gluey. Peel them, cut into one-inch cubes, boil in salted water until just cooked all the way through, and drain them until they’re as dry as can be. Whip them up using a food mill, ricer or masher, and then whisk in hot milk and butter. (FYI: the reason mashed potatoes are so good in restaurants is that chefs don’t skimp on the butter, so don’t be shy.) The squash is easy-peasy – just peel and cube, then toss in olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes* in a 350° oven. Take it out, add some fresh sage and a dollop of honey, then cook another 15 minutes. I like to add a red onion, roasted separately for more colour and flavour. Blanch the green beans and toss them with olive oil and salt. When you plate the dish, add some bright veggies for a pop of colour – grape tomatoes and julienned radishes look nice – and garnish with parsley. Serve with a big red wine and take your time to savour the fruits of your labour. Your guests will want to linger in the warm light around the table so a winter-driven dessert like pecan pie, pumpkin pie, crème brulée or lemon tarts would be the perfect way to stretch out the meal. All in all, you can’t go wrong with short ribs. They’re like something Grandma would make – if Grandma worked at a restaurant. *I used a pan, but you can use a regular baking sheet in the oven.


Serve with a big red wine and take your time to savour the fruits of your labour.


Chef Shawn’s Beef Short Ribs Serves 4

What to use One piece bone-in short rib, with four bones Kosher salt Extra-virgin olive oil 1 Spanish onion 2 stalks celery 2 carrots, peeled 2 cloves garlic 1 ½ cups tomato paste 2 to 3 cups red wine 2 cups water 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string (or 1 tbsp dried) 2 bay leaves

What to do Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop onion, celery and carrot into roughly ½-inch pieces; mince garlic, then purée these four ingredients into a coarse paste. Set aside. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof pan, heat olive oil to a high heat, add ribs (in batches if necessary) and sear until golden and caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove seared ribs, drain fat, then add more oil, the vegetable purée, and a bit of salt. Brown purée for several minutes at high heat. Add tomato paste once vegetables are thoroughly browned. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, then add the wine and scrape bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is reduced by half. Return ribs to pan and add water (enough to almost cover meat, roughly 2 cups). Add thyme and bay leaves. Cover pan and place in preheated oven for 3 hours, turning ribs once at halfway mark. Check periodically and add more water if necessary. Remove cover during last 20 minutes so liquid reduces more. Strain the braising liquid and skim off fat,* then serve meat and liquid over mashed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables. *If making ahead, refrigerate overnight and skim off fat, then reheat entire dish in oven at 350°, adding more liquid if necessary.





by Noah Faust-Robinson

SOUTH ISLAND In order to further experience the world of Vancouver Island made spirits, an overnight trip to the craft brewing and distilling haven of Victoria is a must. During the two-hour drive south on Highway 19, stop in at Merridale Cidery and Distillery in Cobble Hill to taste a variety of small batch spirits and cider


and tour the orchard. Once in Victoria, follow the

For a winter activity to warm you to the

distilling process from start to finish at Victoria

core, look no further than a day trip to

Caledonian Distillery and Twa Dogs Brewery. Here,

award-winning Shelter Point Distillery

single malt whiskeys and craft beers are made

in Oyster River on Vancouver Island.

using Canadian barley in the Scottish tradition,

This artisanal distillery strives to create world-class small batch spirits

and visitors can enjoy a flight or pint amongst the

using traditional Scottish distilling methods. What makes Shelter Point

brewing and distilling equipment. A short drive

truly unique is the land itself, with 380 acres of oceanfront farmland

up the Saanich Peninsula, Victoria Distillers

including 1350 metres along the Oyster River, the majority of which

makes spirits inspired by innovative cocktails.

is donated as a nature park. It is the perfect environment for distilling

Take a tour of their waterfront operation, from

handcrafted spirits. Fields of carefully farmed barley and a naturally

botanicals to bottling, and enjoy a tasting of

occurring spring water aquifer provide the two key ingredients.

their newest premium spirits in the cocktail

Free tastings and tours of the facility are available throughout

lounge. Book your stay at any number of

the week. To get to Shelter Point from Fairwinds, take Highway

downtown bed-and-breakfasts, or for views

19 north for an hour and turn right at exit 144 onto Hamm Road.

of the harbour, stay at the historic Empress

Turn left onto the Old Island Highway, and after three kilometers,

Hotel or Hotel Grand Pacific, which also hosts

turn right onto Terrain Road to find the distillery straight ahead.

the Victoria Whiskey Festival every January.

Traditional copper stills at Shelter Point Distillery, Single Malt Whiskey in the distillery’s own Glencairn glass.

FROM TOP Victoria Distillers’ picturesque waterfront location in Sidney BC, Merridale farmhouse, Twa Dogs’ Douthy Neibor (Thirsty Neighbour) IPA.




Inspiration by Sandy Robson Winter may not be a gardener’s favourite season, but there are pleasures to be found despite the cold temperatures and grey skies. This is the time to settle in with a cup of tea and a handful of seed catalogues as you dream of next year’s garden. You can order a selection of catalogues to enjoy from nurseries on the Island, across Canada and even internationally. Many have their full catalogues online to peruse at your leisure which I do enjoy, but for me there is still something satisfying about having the actual printed version to pour over, highlighter in hand, to mark the contenders for this year’s order.


Heritage Harvest Seed’s 2019 catalogue is jam packed with rare and endangered heirloom varieties of vegetable, flower and herb seeds. Based in Carman, Manitoba all of their seeds are open pollinated, non-hybrid, non-GMO, and the heirloom varieties are at least 50 years old with many having interesting back stories that are featured within the publication. On my wishlist this year are Black

Canterbury Dwarf bush beans whose origins are pre1800, Albino beets from Holland, and the drought tolerant Canada Crookneck squash believed to have been originally grown by the Iroquois. The company can be found online at: and they are also on Facebook.

West Coast Seeds are based in

Delta, BC but you can find their seeds for sale at many local retailers including KenDor Garden Centre in Qualicum Beach and Cultivate in Parksville. They have an extensive website and online store, with an informative archived garden blog offering tips on everything from how to care for your garden tools, saving seeds, and growing guides, to information on when to plant, how to deal with blossom end rot, and more. Order a catalogue at: and browse through the 900+ varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds. The 100page plus, full-colour format is filled with photos to fire up the imagination with visions of the season to come.

Salt Spring Seeds is dedicated to safe and sustainable agriculture and specializes in heritage and heirloom openpollinated and non-GMO seed varieties of vegetables and other plants. The mail order seed company is run by Dan Jason a passionate educator, gardener and writer. They have a print version of their seed catalogue that can be ordered from their website for a nominal fee or you can browse and shop the online store at: And you can follow Dan on Facebook. Richters specializes in herbs and sells seeds, plants and plug trays, as well as dried herbs and oils. They offer an amazing variety of herbs from ashwagandha and licorice to scented geraniums and zaatar. Over the years I have ordered seeds and even plants from Richters and everything has arrived safe and sound… all the way from Toronto! Find them online at: or on Facebook.



all in a winter's work... Shorter days and cooler weather have not deterred our hard working construction crew from making excellent progress on these exciting Fairwinds projects.


THE LANDING... Demolition continues inside the building, and crews have now completed foundations for the two elevator shafts. Two new sets of permanent staircases are in place, along with an impressive Moment Frame that will expand the space between the soon-to-be kitchen and dining room of the restaurant. Keep your eyes peeled for workers as they begin to install the glazing and continue work on the building’s layered roofing system. Stay tuned for more details on Fairwinds’ new community hub as they become available.

FAIRWINDS BAR AND GRILL is currently undergoing some updates. New flooring, paint and decorative touches are in the works. We look forward to showcasing the new look for our restaurant and banquet space in the coming weeks.



TIMBER RIDGE Site preparation is slated to begin early this year. Soon, crews will start to transform this 11-acre parcel, bringing services and utilities onto the property and setting the stage for the construction of 35 contemporary townhomes.

Get the latest news on this project as it becomes available. Register at for updates and stay informed!

THE WESTERLY... Things are moving along at a steady pace at this waterfront project. Crews have begun to pour the concrete slab that will serve as the building’s main floor. The maze of shoring currently in the lower parking levels will be removed and work its way up the building to support additional levels as they are poured. The building’s massive foundation has begun to vanish as crews backfill the exterior walls and prepare to pour the entry ramp into the parking levels. The Westerly is slated for completion in the Fall and willl be home to 39 condominiums overlooking Fairwinds Marina and the Strait of Georgia. FUN FACT FACT... The Westerly’s main floor slab will be comprised of 1,500 cubic meters of concrete, over 8,000 re-bar stirrups, and 1,400 re-bar hairpins that support the structure. ((See the construction photo above left for a close-up of the hairpins.)


for your calendar... CABIN FEVER Fairwinds Community Association (FCA) Welcoming Committee and Fairwinds are happy to announce that CABIN FEVER buffet dinners have returned! These informal and friendly gatherings will be held on THURSDAY evenings. Take these opportunities to see old friends and make new ones! Random open seating is encouraged. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! DATES: February 7 and March 14 TIME: Cocktails begin at 5 pm; dinner at 6 pm. PLACE: Fairwinds Bar & Grill COST: $25 for dinner Reservations required; contact Jeff at or 250-468-7666 ext. 224

a winter’s worth of movie nights by Aly Winks While living in the cool Canadian climate may have some drawbacks, the winter season also invites some of life’s most comforting, universal bonding experiences with loved-ones. One of those is the opportunity to hunker down and get cozy under a blanket with one or two of your favourite people while you are transported into a new world of adventure, or a favourite city with familiar voices and old friends. It’s the iconic home movie night. The aroma of air-popped or microwaved buttery popcorn fills the air and pairs with perhaps a glass of wine or a mug of tea. You settle in and go on a journey of love, laughter, fear and excitement, heartbreak or soul-moving poignancy. Cheeks may be stained with tears or facial muscles ache from laughter. On a cool, wintery afternoon, Fairwinds golfers and employees shared their favourite movies – classic and current. So, get out your popcorn bowl and favourite blanket. Here is a list to keep you busy all winter.

10 Caddie Shack: “Funniest golf movie ever made.” 9

Last of the Mohicans or Dr. Strangelove shared by Fairwinds artist and resident Sheila Warren


Bend it Like Beckham: “It is just purely entertaining – heartwarming and funny.”


For a mind-bending evening, watch both Bladerunners back-to-back.


The English Patient: “The acting is just fabulous. Kristin Scott Thomas, Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche star, and the book was written by Canadian author Michael Ondaatje.”


The Woman in Gold: “It tells a fascinating story of a lesserknown part of the horrors of World War II.”


The Truman Show: “Jim Carrey at his best and it makes such an interesting point about our conditioning with television and media in general.”


The Harry Potter Series: “The stories are so fantastic, the world is magical and it’s almost endless hours of watching.”


The Devil Wears Prada: “My double obsession – fashion and magazines so of course I love it.” PASSIONS editor, Julie Jaworski.


Bohemian Rhapsody – the number one new favourite shared by six different golfers is the Queen biopic, depicting the iconic career of Freddy Mercury and his band. Reasons given included its exceptional music and shear entertainment value.

CALLING ALL GARDENERS! Do you have a garden you’d like to share? Fairwinds is looking for exceptional gardens to participate in our first ever Charity Garden Tour planned for late Spring. We are looking for unique approaches to plant selection, yard design and landscape architecture. If you know of an attractive garden that you think would be suitable to our tour, we would be very interested in talking to you! Contact us at


Wynken, Blynken, and Nod Eugene Field, 1850 - 1895 Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night Sailed off in a wooden shoe, Sailed on a river of crystal light Into a sea of dew. “Where are you going, and what do you wish?” The old moon asked the three. “We have come to fish for the herring-fish That live in this beautiful sea; Nets of silver and gold have we," Said Wynken, Blynken, And Nod. (excerpt)



Between mid-March and early April

Fairwinds residents can head down to the shoreline for a glimpse of the amazing spawning migration of Pacific Herring. The telltale turquoise blue water, a result of the herring milt mingling with the salt water, indicates where the herring have spawned and can be seen in bays along the east coast of Vancouver Island, including Nanoose Bay. Depending on where the openings are for the commercial fishery you will likely see the fleet moving up and down the coastline as they travel to and from dropping off their catch. The Parksville-Qualicum Beach waterfront in particular comes to life as fishers rush to set their nets and pull in the silvery prize. The spawn also attracts a wide variety of marine life, from Brant geese and surf scoters (sea ducks) to seals and sea lions that you will see floating off shore in large groups.


Play More. Play Preferred Joining the Fairwinds PLAYERS CLUB is the best way to play, and save!

Receive a complimentary round with a power cart, along with preferred green fee rates, pull carts and a host of other discounts all year long.


plus tax

annual fee

Contact the golf shop today for details or visit for information.

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