Since the first Christmas with my favourite girl, we have enjoyed PANETTONE every year during the Christmas Season. I had never heard of it but she had just returned from a year or so in Rome and was very familiar with it.

If you have not tried PANETTONE, you simply must! Panettone is an Italian type of sweet bread originally from Milan. It’s usually prepared and enjoyed in Western and Southern Europe  for the Christmas Season. The main ingredients are flour, candied fruit and raisins. It’s formed into a cupola shape about 12-15 cm high. Panettone makes excellent toast to savour with your Christmas morning brunch.  It also makes fabulous French Toast. It also has a long shelf life and If you are a bread baker there are several recipes on the Internet.

This is one I bought recently at the Coombs Old Country Market.


I think most specialty food stores stock them and Amazon have a whole raft of them if you are an on-line shopper. It’s nicely packaged and sometimes comes in a big tin.

So kick it up a notch and try some PANETTONE this year❗️ It also makes a very nice gift if you are going to friends over the holidays.  As they say in 🇮🇹 Italy,




Tonight was one of those ‘ I don’t feel like cooking’ nights. So on my way home I popped into the NOODLE BOX in Nanaimo. I had checked out their website in advance so knew what to order. The NOODLE BOX is a fast food joint that began in Victoria as a small food cart in Chinatown. It became popular with people lining up even in the rain for their food. In 2003 the first store opened in Victoria and now there are 18 locations in BC & Alberta. 

I found their North Nanaimo location in the mall that houses Brown’s Social House, across from Superstore. You can eat in, very casual and basic, or takeout. There is also a store near the Port Theatre in Nanaimo. 

Having decided to try the Ginger Beef for takeout. I chose MEDIUM HEAT!  I took it home and 30 minutes later it was still warm and did not need reheating. Was it hot? As in 🌶 spicy hot? Oh yes❗️🌶.  The medium was almost too hot for me. But it was really good. Beef with some vegetables noodles over Jasmine Rice. And a generous portion as well. 

You can order a range of Heat🌶. 


Mild medium🌶


Medium Hot🌶🌶🌶


Scorching  Hot 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶 Guaranteed to burn. 

Scorching hot might actually set your hair on fire. Order this and keep an extinguisher close by. 

I like hot but even the medium was too much for me. So I’d go with Mild Medium🌶 next time. 

If you like Asian food, consider the NOODLE BOX.  Most of the dishes are only $9.00. Cooked to order, by the way. 




Here is their website.

Just saying…



A couple of weeks ago I wrote about an elderly gentleman who was sweeping up a parking lot at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. I vowed that if I ever saw him again I’d try to chat with him. Well today, while visiting my favourite girl in the Rehab Unit at Nanaimo Regional I saw the same guy right by my car. I ran outside to catch up with him and found out this. 

Gordon is a Nanaimo native who lives with his wife in the Kiwanis Lodge near the hospital. He had a career with the CO-OP.  Gordon is 82 years old and cleans up ALL the parking lots at the hospital. For free. He has sort of adopted them. 

I asked him why he does it. He said he has always worked and in his retirement he needed something to do so he chose parking lots. He travels from his home on 4 wheel red electric scooter. With broom and dust bin in hand he cleans up all the garbage, coffee cups, pop cans and whatever else. 

This is Gordon. Hats off to him. Providing a great community service at 82 years old. 



Breakfast Options

Breakfast is one of our favourite meals and particularly one enjoyed in a restaurant. Breakfast can range from an Egg McMuffin at MacDonald’s to a lavish Buffett at a Four Seasons Hotel and everything in between. 

Two contrasting breakfasts experienced recently are worthy of comment. The first is the special $5.00 breakfast at QUALITY FOODS in Qualicum. Two eggs, you choose the style, two strips of bacon, hash browns, and your choice of toast, 2 pieces. FIVE BUCKS! I’ve had it twice and both times it was good. All properly cooked and satisfying. FIVE BUCKS! 

On the other hand, in Nanaimo the other day,  I slinked into a White Spot and not realizing that my eyes were bigger than my stomach, I ordered the NAT’S HEARTY BREAKFAST.  WHOA! Two eggs, two pancakes, three sausages and hash browns, shredded or smashed. I checked the White Spot website and discovered that my choices added up to more than 1200 calories and 2800 mg of Sodium.  Good Grief. 

It was good, although at my age and activity level,  Nat’s Hearty was just too much. Couldn’t eat it all. This is a meal for someone who is a Triathlon activist. 

Did I mention the price? With a coffee and 20% tip it passed $22.00. For one breakfast.

Next breakfast out will be at Quality Foods. Having said that, I must retry BREAD & HONEY in Parksville. 

Just saying…

British Fish & Chips

One restaurant I keep hearing about is the BRITISH BOBBY in PARKSVILLE.  Well, today, two good friends  treated me to my first lunch at the Bobby. Supposedly, they have the best Fish & Chips in the area. Certainly makes sense for a British Restaurant.  If the Brits can’t turn our superior Fish & Chips, who can? 

We all ordered Cod & Chips although Halibut and Haddock are also offered The portions were acceptably large.  The Cole Slaw was very good if a bit skimpy and the Tarter Sauce was really good. As to the main items, the fish was tasty but the batter was not really crispy and the chips were just regular old chips. Sadly, I was rather disappointed. This joint did not match its reputation, in my mind. In recent weeks I have enjoyed Fish & Chips at the Lantzville Pub and the White Spot. Both were superior to the British Bobby, in my opinion. No wonder the national dish of England is now Chicken Tikka Masala. The lunch menu includes Sandwiches, Bacon & Eggs. The lunch Special, One Piece Cod & Chips at $9.49 is certainly good value. For dinner an expanded menu includes burgers, and some other typical English dishes. 

To be fair, the service was prompt and friendly and our server even had an English accent. Very authentic at least. 

But the decor!  British, indeed.  Overwhelmingly tacky. Every inch of the joint is covered with things British. Pictures!  Brick a Brac! Union Jacks! Racy cartoons!   For me it is just too much. The decor could give you brain cramps.  And it’s dark inside. It reminded me of a basement ‘rumpus room’.

If you really like a place that has lots of stuff, British stuff, you may enjoy a visit. Reportedly, they are packed on weekends and one needs a reservation.  Amazing. 

British Bobby is located in a strip mall that it shares with Serious Coffee on #19A in the lower East Side of PARKSVILLE.  1209 Island Highway East

You can check out the menu and some photos here:

Just saying…

Touching Senior’s Moment

Yesterday, while visiting at Nanaimo Regional Hospital, I looked out a fourth floor window to see a large parking lot. It would hold 50 cars or more. An elderly gentleman riding an electric scooter rolled into the parking lot. He carefully parked the scooter and with a broom and a long handled dust bin proceeded to clean up the entire parking lot. Stall by stall, he worked away. He was quite hunched over and moved slowly. But swept up every bit of garbage in that lot.


Perhaps he has adopted the lot and regularly shows up to ensure its tidiness. In any event, it was amazing and delightful to see. He showed a real sense of purpose and a sense of pride.

I am going again today and if he is cleaning another lot I’m going to have a chat with him. What a fine citizen.


Just saying…