Cheese-making on Gabriola at Paul’s Place. “Learn to make cheese at Paula’s Place on Gabriola”, said the invite. We’re all in for that! One of many things to do on Gabriola, this one beats the cake.
The bunch of us from the Gabriola Royal LePage office, wound our way through a long driveway into Paula’s Madd Acres for an afternoon of learning and creating our own soft cheeses. Do I want to sit on my duff, or be up and around this fabulous kitchen. Well, yes! Our choice of a Christmas season event this year, and we loved every minute, as we stepped into a west coast contemporary chalet of a huge size, toasty warm, decorated for the Christmas season, family style.
Quite by accidental opportunity of a cow next door we’ll call Agatha, Paula found her niche, engaging in the cheese-making circle expanding into Vancouver, holding classes, offering the supplies, and no-drama. “I’ve got your back”, approach is Paula’s motto.
Having grown up on a farm, she yearned for her own patch, and for her family. It’s very clear a family lives here tucked into the woods on 80 acres. Yes, 80 acres! Can you imagine. A large acreage not that far from the cities of Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, on the west coast of Canada. Let me detour a wee bit. Looking for acreage large or small? I can find it for you
For cheese, you need milk, and there was a cow next door, called Agatha. One thing and another, and Paula was making cheese for friends, when she got the call. “Hey, a bunch of us want to come to your place and learn how to make cheese!” The rest is history.
Paula backs up her love of the art, with facts, and methods, do’s and don’ts. But, there’s lots of flex in creating a sweet, or savoury, salty, or spicy presented in tubs, or logs, or tip upside down in layers. I couldn’t tear myself away from the sun dried tomato, layered with pesto, on top of a soft cheese, swimming in a great olive oil. Baguette, Cabernet sauvignon, paired with that cheese and I’m trotting down the path to Nelder’s Pond for a feast overlooking another spectacular nature scape here on Gabriola. Share? Of course. You bring the cured meat, with a chutney. O! You too? How about a salad, and there you have it. A feast of kings in the wilds.
Gabriola, if you look us up, has a vibrant artisan community bursting at the seams, passionate of their chosen genres of expression. At the centre of the spoke, is the Gabriola Arts Council and the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce. Most if not all artists work in the peaceful-tude of their own homes, and studios. You might need to call ahead if you’re planning a visit, though over the Thanksgiving Weekend in October, and if you have tremendous stamina most if not all studios are open for a prowl through. Some come for their pre-Christmas shopping, and others as a feast of the senses, looking for that special treasure. Where homes on Gabriola have studios and these could be doubled-up with like-minded artisan friends.
Stop for a bite to eat, or coffee, or afternoon tea and you’ll find that most businesses are abuzz with the friendly likes of us, and the tapestry of characters, unique individuals alike.
In fact, all year round, every weekend, every season, there is an event not to be missed. Some days there are several and I just can’t get to all of them much as I’d like to.
When I say in my Real Estate On Gabriola site, that we’re a full-on community living a rural lifestyle but with our toe in the city if we choose to, that is because it’s true. I chose to move to Gabriola from Vancouver, from the big city to a small island of about 4500 people. And, I’ve never looked back.
Want to know more? Even explore the idea of living in a rural community where we have all you’d ever want or need, then call me. I’m a good listener. Give me the go ahead, and I’ll find that perfect place for you here on Gabriola. If you are looking elsewhere, I can put you in touch with a great agent anywhere in Canada. If you need to sell first – no problem. You’re in the right hands.