Recipe: Island Steamers with Fennel, Tomato and Lime


28 Jun Recipe: Island Steamers with Fennel, Tomato and Lime

Dear Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge,

According to numerous news reports, you are coming to Canada and making Prince Edward Island one of your destinations. An excellent choice.

While I haven’t been to the smallest province in our Dominion since I was a teenager, I assure you, it’s charming. Red sand beaches, red-haired heroines and red-skinned potatoes. What more could you want from a country with a bright red maple leaf slapped smack dab in the middle of its flag? We’re nothing if not colour coordinated.

I know I’m not going to meet you on this occasion either,  which is a shame, because I, too, was an Anne of Green Gables fan as a child. I’m sure we have lots more in common, but judging from your whirlwind itinerary, we wouldn’t have much time to mine the depths of our shared experiences even if we did meet up.

I realize it’s customary to give visiting royalty gifts that reflect the location toured. Since this is just a cyber meeting, and one-sided at that, I’m going to talk about the gift I would have given you had our paths crossed. Unlike the Apple Ginger Truffles I made in honour of your wedding, this is something that won’t mess your lovely outfit. As an added bonus, it can fit in your carry-on so you don’t have to worry about paying extra luggage fees.

If our paths were to cross, I would give you a copy of Flavours of Prince Edward Island: A Culinary Journey by Jeff McCourt, Allan Williams & Austin Clement. Portable, informative, and with evocative photos that cover most aspects of island life, this is the perfect gift for you. When your friends ask you what Prince Edward Island was like, just hand them the book. When you hanker for Crab-Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Cranberry Chutney or Chocolate Potato Cake with Red Raspberry Mud Puddles, call in the kitchen staff and just hand them the book. But be sure to ask for it back. They might want to keep it.

This gift even holds the potential for controversy, which I am lead to believe is imperative for a successful Royal Tour. While it is baby seal-free, PEI has a bluefin tuna industry. That will get the critics riled up. To be on the safe side, I suggest you quietly skip pages 86  to 101 and instead focus on the environmentally responsible mussels —  and decadent desserts.

Enjoy your stay.
Your humble subject,

PS: Can I borrow your tiara?


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  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 16:56h, 28 June Reply

    You are so funny! I love reading your blogs. I’d like a turn with the tiara myself, as long as it comes with some “house hold help” too.
    Too right – always desserts first.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:50h, 29 June Reply

      I believe all tiaras come with someone to polish them. I’m sure the person assigned would be glad to do some general dusting a light housework if bribed with cookies.

  • terry
    Posted at 07:43h, 29 June Reply

    I can almost smell these. They look fantastic. I am a huge clam/mussel fan and love the idea that it can be made ahead!!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:55h, 29 June Reply

      I’m a huge mussel and clam fan, too. And when you add coconut milk and lime? How could you go wrong?

  • Miranda
    Posted at 22:39h, 04 July Reply

    Mmm, I can only imagine how this tastes right now. I love these flavors, and for some reason the smell of fennel reminds me of a mild licorice. Yummy recipe!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:46h, 09 August Reply

      Anything with coconut milk has me salivating. I love these simple recipes that look and taste impressive. I’m just learning about the joys of fennel and now ask myself why it took me so long!

  • Annapet
    Posted at 16:29h, 11 July Reply

    You made me giggle and I am still smiling. My jaw hurting…I just love being a girl, and I want to borrow her tiara, too!

    This is my kind of food. Must get some clams to cook with!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 17:45h, 09 August Reply

      Enjoy your clams! A meal fit for a Duchess if you ask me. And the best part? The book has been shortlisted for a Canadian Culinary Book Award — so the whole book is worthy!

  • Joyti
    Posted at 17:02h, 11 July Reply

    Lovely! I too was an ‘Anne of Green Gables’ fan.
    And the dish looks delicious. The flavors sound terrific

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