Tag Archive for driedgers farm market

Backyard Adventures: Langley

Well, here we are, nine months into this pandemic, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to be able to travel anywhere soon. Any adventures you may have will be limited to your back yard.

Langley is just under an hour’s drive from my house, and it has a surprising amount of fun things to do, see and eat, so let me outline a few of my adventures I’ve had in the past few months in the valley.

Fort Langley

Fort Langley Historical Site: Built in the late 1800s, Fort Langley was a trading outpost. Here trappers and indigenous people would trade for goods provided by the Hudson’s Bay Company. It’s a fun trip back in time to visit the Fort and see how things were a century ago. The last time I was there, none of the actual buildings were open, so there wasn’t much you could do that was interactive, other than walk around and look at things. I think they are open in a more normal capacity now.

Fort Langley: When you leave the Fort, don’t leave the town, there’s loads of great stuff there. Wander around the charming streets and up the block to take a gander at the town hall, and try to remember all the movies and TV shows you’ve seen that have used it as a location. They are shooting there pretty much all the time.

blacksmith bakery

What to eat: I love Blacksmith Bakery for coffee or light snack/lunch. The food is beautiful, homemade, and so, so good. If you’re a bit more hungry, hit up Little Donkey for a big ol’ burrito. They have loads of vegan/vegetarian options. Fort Langley is also home to Veggie Bob’s kitchen, where the serve up plant-based comfort foods. And because I am a girl who cannot resist a good book store, I love to drop by Wendel’s Books. They have a great cafe as well.

Farms and Pies, Oh My!

It’s always so amazing to me that just a short drive from the big city takes you to the most wonderful farmland. There are loads of farms in the Fraser Valley, obviously, but Langley is home to a couple great ones.

Driediger’s Farm: in season, you can U-pick berries here; if you’re lazy, like me, you can just buy them from the farmstand. They also have a little farm market here, with locally-grown and produced goods.

Krause Berry Farm: a much bigger operation than Driedger’s, Krause includes not just a farm stand, but a winery and a drive-in waffle stand. Yeah, that’s right, I said waffles. By the way, they sell the most epic, legendary pies here. The winery is one of the most original I’ve been to; the tasting bar seats are made of saddles.

Aldor Acres

Aldor Acres: a fun spot to come with the kiddos, they have a petting zoo, pumpkins during pumpkin season, and Christmas trees later in the year. They also have a “Farmacy” where the sell local goods.

Wine Down Time

You don’t have to go to the Okanagan to visit a winery! There are quite a few in Langley. My favourite is Backyard Wines. They have an indoor tasting room, but also an outdoor picnic area where you can buy a glass or a bottle of wine, and a little charcuterie and hang out.

backyard wines

There’s also Township 7, Chamberton Estate Winery, and Vista D’Oro, where they make and sell the most delicious port, as well as preserves.

Vegan Tastiness

Vegan Poutine

I just recently discovered Down 2 Earth Plant Parlour. This entirely plant-based cafe  (which is super cute by the way) focuses on vegan comfort food. Try the poutine. Seriously.

Live your Top Chef Dream

You wanna be a gourmet? You gotta hit up Well Seasoned before you leave town. They not only have everything you need to make the perfect risotto, but they have loads of frozen gourmet treats you could bring home, defrost, cook and then proceed to take credit for. They also offer cooking classes in the back. The owner, Angie Quaale, literally wrote the book on where to eat in the Fraser Valley.

backyard winery

Blueberry Lemon Bars {Vegan}

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Bars

Well, it’s officially summer here in Vancouver, though the weather seems to be a bit confused as to what season it is. However, July 15 is Blueberry Day, so hence today’s recipe.

To add to the long list of why 2020 sucks, our summer has been pretty cold and rainy so far. OH! And! Apparently it’s also a banner year for mosquitoes. So yeah. Good times.

What this situation calls for is baked goods, because, let’s face it, there’s no situation that cannot be improved by the application of cake.Lemon Blueberry Bars

Given that none of us can venture too far this summer, Michael and I are making plans to explore our “backyard,” by which I mean, our province. We recently headed out to Fort Langley last week to explore.

If you’ve never been to Fort Langley, it’s pretty awesome. It has such charm, and some really lovely places to browse. In addition to the historical Fort (which is only half open, sadly), the town itself has some pretty interesting things to see, including Blacksmith Bakery, which I highly recommend.

BC Blueberries

On our way home, we hit up a couple of berry farms, and came home with some locally-grown berry booty; strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

Pie ensued. Also a lemon tart with garnished with glazed fresh berries.

Lemon Tart

But the blueberries… what to do with them?

Lemon and blueberries make good friends, so I decided to pair the two. This is a really simple recipe that I think turned out quite elegant and lovely.

Blueberry Lemon Bars Vegan

Blueberry Lemon Shortbread Bars {Vegan}

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • zest of one lemon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch

Method

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or using a hand-held mixer in a large bowl, cream together the vegan butter and the sugar. Mix well together until they are light and creamy. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix to combine. Add in the flour in three batches, mixing in between each until incorporated. Take a little more than half of the mixture and press it into a 8″x8″ greased (or parchment-lined) square pan. Set aside while you make the filling.
  2. In a medium-sized pot, place the water, blueberries, half the lemon juice and sugar. Bring up to a boil and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Us a potato masher to squish up the blueberries a little. Place the flour or cornstarch in a small mason jar with the remaining lemon juice and shake well to combine. Add the slurry to your blueberry mixture, bring it back up to the boil and allow to cook down for an additional 5 minutes, until thickened.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Pour the blueberry compote over the shortbread layer in your pan. Then break the remaining shortbread up into chunks with your hands and scatter it over the blueberry mixture. You want there to be peeks of blueberries through the crust. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the blueberries are bubbly. Cool and cut into squares to serve.