Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Portland and Victoria

An article at on the sharing economy and its growth since the Great Theft of 2008 led me off to the North Portland Preserve and Serve website. This is a great idea: they offer members the opportunity to borrow (for a nominal donation) canning equipment and large-gathering table settings.
Neither is a huge volume of stuff--the preserving equipment is basic:
4 Pressure Cooker Canners (each includes canning tool kit)
1 Water Bath Canner includes canning tool kit)
4 Food Dehydrators
2 Steam Juicers
1 Apple/Potato peeler
2 Food mills

The pressure caners are a fairly expensive item, so spreading the cost over a lot of people over time is a great idea. I would have thought there would be more water-bath canners,as they are relatively cheap (I got mine for under $5 at a local church rummage sale),  but hard to find complete with the bottle lifter. The inserts are so difficult to find that I notice Bernardin is offering a replacement insert set (locally, available through Canadian Tire). Bottles are the other big demand item; I sourced my litre-sized one through freecycle a couple of years back.
Dehydrators are another item that take up a lot of room and are better shared. One of the difficulties is that quite often you need canners and dehydrators when everyone else needs them--which makes communal use difficult, but not impossible.
The group also offers reasonably-priced  classes in how to can food. I can't help but think that this would make a logical and much used add-on to pretty much any community kitchen.

The other thing I came across yesterday was while having a light dinner with my Significant Other at the Grad House restaurant at the University of Victoria: Captain Electro's Intergalactic Root Beer from Phillips Brewing, a local artisanal brewer more known for their beers than soda.
Paula and I split a bottle as a test, and we both really enjoyed it. Good bouquet, a light top-note with a complex but creamy bottom. Very satisfying as a drink.
I was also impressed by the label: a retro spaceship being flown by a square-headed robot printed on a light sepia ground. Man, you want to push all my buttons, that label did it. But I was also impressed by the ingredient list:
carbonated water, cane sugar, molasses, Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract, sasparilla, licorice root, anise seed, cloves, cinnamon, citric acid, sodium benzoate, oil of wintergreen. Pretty straightforward, really. And the flavours mesh well together. If you live in the area, Chimo! If not, too bad, so sad .

No comments:

Post a Comment