Regardless of where we are in the world we are always striving to create and maintain a balanced lifestyle of work, play, health and fitness. This can be difficult when you don’t have a permanent home, so we are truly grateful when given the opportunity to spend time with others who share a similar mindset and have their own unique ways of finding balance.
While visiting my hometown of Vancouver, Canada we were fortunate to be hosted by our good friends, Craig and Sylvia. Not only are they fabulous friends and hosts but they are also right in the center of one of the most desirable cities in the world. Living in a beautiful high rise in the heart of downtown provides spectacular views and easy access to all that the city has to offer but it also provides a challenge when your idea of balance includes an activity that is normally reserved for people in the burbs or countryside.
Our hosts have lived in the trendy Yaletown area of Vancouver for many years and they understandably love it. Walk a block in any direction and they have their choice of amazing restaurants, hip bars and fabulous shopping. Walk a few blocks further and you’ll find art galleries, theatres and live music venues for non stop entertainment plus an array of parks, seawalls and various facilities for keeping fit and active. There really is everything one could want…unless of course what you want is a garden.
Having grown up on Vancouver Island on a large, peaceful piece of property with a mother who loved to garden, Craig’s idea of balance includes the therapy of tending to plants and watching them grow. Unfortunately living in a concrete jungle on the 30th floor of a downtown condo is not really conducive to nurturing this passion. But where there’s a will there’s a way. Determined to incorporate gardening and eating clean into his city life Craig has created a beautiful and functional patio garden which he painstakingly tends to every evening after work and for several hours on the weekend. He is so passionate about his garden that rather than buy starter plants in the spring he actually starts most of his plants from seed. For any of you who have tried to do this you know what dedication that takes, however the rewards are delicious!
Fortunately for us our timing was perfect as we arrived at the beginning of early summer harvest time. In celebration we were treated to a very special dinner aptly titled “From Patio To Plate”. Nathans parents had driven us up from Seattle and were also invited for the feast so the six of us enjoyed a fabulous evening of fresh food, fine wine and great conversation… now that’s a good balance!
Every course in the “From Patio To Plate” dining experience contained one or more ingredients from Craig’s bountiful garden.
The first course was a salad comprised of beets, baby greens and herbs from the patio garden along with organic goat cheese and walnuts with an olive oil, lemon and garlic homemade dressing. It was so delicious that even the non beet lovers devoured it proving that there really is a huge difference between store bought and fresh organically grown produce.
The main course was sautéed greens, snap peas and baby potatoes with herbs and garlic fresh from the patio garden served with organic filet mignon and Copper River Salmon. Simply delicious!
Desert was an assortment of fruit garnished with mint from the patio garden. The figs were drizzled with honey and sprinkled with walnuts…simple, healthy and absolutely delicious!
As if on cue we ended our evening with a beautiful sunset view over the city and mountains. What a perfect night…healthy food, a stunning view and good people to share it with creates a balance of mind, body and soul.