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Georgia Strait's Profile

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Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014

yes, I am with you on that one - for sure a NAY.

however - I am thinking that for me, it was the packaging - not the actual product.

I found the actual pump (spray nozzle) very hard to press down (sore older hands) to make it spray and then it was just annoying from that point onward. Yes, it dribbled down and then the bottle was hard to hold on to etc - as you have pointed out already.

the reason I like spray in general is then it's not all over my hands - it seems simple.

so maybe I just need to buckle-up and use a lotion-oil type product that is not greasy etc.

YAY - sure love the French pump hand soap - looked in August - found in Sept in OR WA stores - french orange honey or some such "flavor" -- tho I often have to save the pump top part from previous bottle just because I can't get the TJ pumps unlocked - they are hard to open to make them pump.

about 1 hour ago
Georgia Strait in Chains

Trader Joe's YAY/MEY/NAY - September 2014

was just in the Bellingham WA State location

YAY - the sample person was offering - the pineapple salsa (it's been their shelves (ie offered for many years not out-dated) a long time - and she mixed in the frozen piece of some sort of pre-cooked pork - the Mexican Carnitas and put it in a slow cooker to keep it warm for sample service purposes - but it would work at home too if you're a slow cooker person. The Carnitas pkg says it's microwaveable --- I have tried some of their other "pre-cooked meats" and never again - but this one, turned out well.
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QUESTION - re: DISCONTINUED?

has TJ's discontinued the "built-in grinder" of sugar/chocolate/coffee beans? it was always in the "grinder" section - next to the cinnamon/sugar grinder. What? it made the perfect gift let alone we used it in our own home.
================
I see someone earlier on this thread has YAY'd the lemon pepper spice grinder - we also use the "everyday seasoning" grinder

the one I threw out after one single rotation of that grinder was the south African - maybe it is traditional but to us smelled like burning tires (kind of like hot brakes down a steep mountain road) or roofing (you know when you're in a neighborhood and they're applying tar roofing?)
=====================
we just did an informal taste test on the TJ's frozen mac - yes, if it's handy - it's decent --- tho I'd skip the "no guilt" - what's the point if you're already set on Mac and Ch. (so our conclusion is that we mix one tray of each into a larger container, reheat, etc - to make it "moderate guilt")
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the jar of instant coffee is pretty good - either hot or cold - tho I wish they offered a DE-caf version - there are many of us who are either restricted or prefer no-caf in our lives. Incl choc. and is it bird/eco friendly? Instant coffee has come a long way since our grandfolks' day for sure.

thank you

about 1 hour ago
Georgia Strait in Chains

What can I do with whole milk powder?

we grew up in developing country that did not offer safe dairy milk - (other than the recent "Tetra Pak" technology which is still not to our taste) .... so we would buy the sterilized water and add milk powder that came from our "first world" safe-food different country ---- so I have lots of experience from a few decades ago

and so now back here in North Am, I use it on the boat (not enuf room in a Koolatron / Dometic for cartons or dependable cool temps) - or an overnight camp trip (clean water plus a shaker jar (any clean heat proof jar with lid) equals really fluffy milk for coffee, tea, cereal) - or the proper Bodum type frother

also - we used to eat pancakes - and so I'd make my own pancake mix at home based on Better Homes and Gardens old "Favorite Pancakes" recipe (the classic red gingham plaid book) - and then add a bit of oil and an egg at the site (usually outdoors cooking somewhere remote where we did not have access to a store (let alone a drive-by place) and had to pack lightly too and be food-safe (ie not much fridge capacity)

French toast at an off-grid site - easy - eggs, milk powder, water - shake it up - dip the stale "campsite" bread - cook, eat, enjoy the scenery.

we keep some at home in our emerg kit (we live in earthquake area) for extra protein and sugars in our bottled water in case of emerg ---- or if our power goes out - which it is known to do.

sometimes I use it to enhance a chowder and I've run out of milk and don't have time to run out to get more. From the gas station. Bread pudding, strata - same story.

about 2 hours ago
Georgia Strait in General Topics

Beef Stew - what are your secrets or tips for making a really good meal?

I think the first thing is having quality ingredients - don't have to be expensive - could be your neighbor sharing some fresh-dug-up potatoes or carrots, for example. Or being at the farmer market as they close-up and want to sell the last few items.

we are in the Pac NW so have lots of berries - so sometimes I add a spoonful of blackberry jelly (but likely not if I've added tomato) or crabapple - or currant! (See below in my post re: Silver Palate Navarin of Lamb)

sometimes I add a bit of cocoa or cinnamon - that works with tomato in the stew

cumin - sometimes

good quality horseradish as a side to traditional English beef stew (i don't add it in the actual pot because some guests don't like the flavor)

kind of like "themed" stew - you know which tastes go together depending on the protein and other ingredients you are working with.

to freshen and brighten it up at the end (ie just before serving), I always add a couple of handfuls of really good quality petit pois (small frozen sweet green peas - we can't grow them in winter so I have a brand I go to at the supermarket) - that works for beef stew, turkey soup, even chicken curry. You could add some chiffonade fresh (uncooked) baby spinach or tender fresh (uncooked) swiss chard which we can grow in our region in a sheltered spot - kind of like the age-old parsley garnish but edible.

and YES to the people who have already said it tastes better the next day (and yes, I too struggle with the meat texture - unless I buy boneless beef short ribs - tho some people might like bone-in ... we don't because of senior dinner guests who find it easier (safer from our POV) to eat boneless and trimmed.

do you rememeber way back - in the Silver Palate cookbook days - the first cookbook has a Navarin of Lamb that is wonderful. Of course, we have more access to ingredients these days - (I think they had to use frozen pearl onions (or frozen snow peas) - i can't recall exactly.)

i think there was a pork & fruit ragout in the same book that had apricots and/or prunes - but it had too much vinegar taste for our country palate.

(edit to add - i think the google link BELOW is the 25th anniversary edition which might be more useful today than the original - I shall have to check it out one day) ---- meanwhile - check out the Silver Palate book here on Google - you can search the index
http://books.google.ca/books?id=-fdrB...

about 4 hours ago
Georgia Strait in Home Cooking

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

i'm adding info for LotusRapper -
the one important note about Winthrop is parking - esp if you have your full car interest group -

... arriving on Hwy 20 from the west - you'd have to park at the "red barn" as you enter town (just west of the bridge) and walk on the sidewalk over the bridge - Sheri's ice cream will be the first place you come to.

arriving on Hwy 20 from the east direction, park at the winter ice rink (it's outdoors ie only in winter) ie turn LEFT just before crossing the highway bridge in to town - and then turn right in to the parking lot - there is a relatively new and very artistic looking pedestrian bridge (do NOT walk over the highway bridge - very narrow) - the first eateries you'll encounter from that direction are Rocking Horse (coffee and bakery) - and on the uphill side, the Duck Brand - which is an old time place - decent enuf Mexican, clean restrooms and patron area, nice folks - great outdoor patio

in Twisp - people seem to congregate at the Twisp River Pub - but I'd prefer La Fonda Lopez (right next door, across from Chevron) - a small family operated restaurant (we saw the young children helping to haul the supplies in to the storage room, etc) - the Trip Advisor comments posted recently seem very accurate based on our recent experiences. Parking is limited so you'd have to figure that out in advance if you have several cars in your group.

watch for deer everywhere in the Methow - and also the motorcycle tourist groups - i've seen a few serious spill-offs down there on Hwy 20

have a great Saaburday drive!

Good eats for a large group, along SR542 Mt. Baker Hwy, east of Deming ?

it's gorgeous here in the NW isn't it - nice fall colors in them thar hills

i updated the Methow Valley thread on this same Pac NW board - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/974424

the one important note about Winthrop is parking - esp if you have your full car interest group -

... arriving on Hwy 20 from the west - you'd have to park at the "red barn" as you enter town (just west of the bridge) and walk on the sidewalk over the bridge - Sheri's ice cream will be the first place you come to.

arriving on Hwy 20 from the east direction, park at the winter ice rink (it's outdoors ie only in winter) ie turn LEFT just before crossing the highway bridge in to town - and then turn right in to the parking lot - there is a relatively new and very artistic looking pedestrian bridge (do NOT walk over the highway bridge - very narrow) - the first eateries you'll encounter from that direction are Rocking Horse (coffee and bakery) - and on the uphill side, the Duck Brand - which is an old time place - decent enuf Mexican, clean, nice folks - great outdoor patio

watch for deer everywhere in the Methow - and also the motorcycle tourist groups - i've seen a few serious spill-offs down there on Hwy 20

have a great Saaburday drive!

Cider and Donuts in the NW???

yes, i looked at that subject line too - being Canadians, we do know of the "soft cider" (basically we'd consider it to be apple juice sold from someone's garage "press" in Summerland BC or some such thing) - or Grower's which is what is carbonated alcohol approx 6 percent. Growers has been around in British Columbia since the 1930's I think. A food historian would have to check on that ... tho I have seen adverts in vintage magazines.

any updates about Methow Valley / Winthrop WA?

just went to the Methow Valley - they are working their way back from the devastating wildfires - everyone has a story to share, for sure.

checked out the supermarkets in Winthrop (Evergreen IGA) and Twisp (Hanks) - I don't really "get" the popularity of Hanks - what with all the stuffed dead lions and other animals - but - there are only 2 choices. I always prefer the IGA in Winthrop next to ACE hardware and the friendly Texaco fuel station.

(the only thing about the IGA is the bakery section - better to go to Rocking Horse right in the "old west" part of Winthrop

Sheri's ice cream - it's there as always (20 years approx?) - nice outdoor shaded seating - we just take the kids of all ages in our family for the ice cream

Rocking Horse - excellent baked goods - good coffee

Mazama Store - we hadn't been in a while - like a decade - and it's huge now! (by comparison) - felt like a small New Seasons or Whole Pay-Foods. we bought some bread and it was decent enuf. Certainly a nice setting and friendly people.

Sun Mountain Lodge - main dining room - several $$$ for that meal but wow. nicely presented, discreet professional service, fresh vegetables, local meats, etc.

Mexican food - we asked several people in our travels which one of the three they preferred:
Duckbrand (Winthrop)
Carlos 1814 (Winthrop)
La Fonda Lopez (Twisp)

we rec'd varied recommendations - some based on location and budget (ie if you ask the young person working at the bike shop - maybe he has a preference based on proximity and/or budget)

we tried all three at lunch times - for sure the Duckbrand is scenic in terms of the outdoor deck and big shade trees. The Carlos has an outdoor deck near the river - but it needs to be spiffed up - no plants, nothing really attractive about it - it has potential.

our favorite by far is La Fonda Lopez - now, the setting is not very pretty - it's on the side of Hwy20 in Twisp in a concrete block building - however, the food was by far the best -

all 3 of the Mexican restaurants were clean enuf, well priced (we did not buy liquor), friendly and low-key. All 3 offer outdoor seating in shade. We'd for sure go back to La Fonda Lopez in Twisp.
(it's across from the Chevron gas station)

Good eats for a large group, along SR542 Mt. Baker Hwy, east of Deming ?

hi LR - how was your saab lunch in Maple Falls?
we just went to Methow Valley - Winthrop area - so I am about to update the mexican food options on the other thread on this PacNW board (as we Cdn's don't have as many choices of Mexican food up here do we?)

Hwy 20 (from Skagit Valley over to Methow) - summer only - closed winter - would make a great drive for overnight club trip

Weekend trip from Van? Best chowspot?

Sunshine Coast info includes:
www.bcferries.com - note the busy sailing times they post on their website (there is transit on the SC side too

)

lots of nice cottages etc - http://www.bbsunshinecoast.com/
Painted Boat
Rockwater (if no wedding
)also the usual VRBO etc websites

lots of farm stands en route
farmer market with good tomatoes right now in downtown Sechelt near old school (near the library)

sharkey's fish locker in Roberts Crk for fresh raw fish to cook at your cottage (they also sell fish and chips on site)

black bean cafe in both Gibsons and main st Sechelt - excellent coffee and baked goods

Persephone brewery - at the top of the hill as you depart the ferry on Langdale side - huge field of hops and big red barn

excellent sailboat skippered charter - Sunshine Kayaking out of Gibsons harbour

lots of restaurants - various prices - see urban spoon

Groceries in Whistler Village

is there a farmers market or someone on the side of the road selling "Okanagan" (in quote marks - who knows the origin) produce?

Sablefish versus Alaska Black Cod

great question - not mundane at all
I am in the understanding that sablefish is a fancy menu name for cod and is desirable if sourced in BC

I have eaten it - gently cooked. I don't really like "smoked" flavor so what we had at a restaurant was poached, I believe.

I don't know about its "Oceanwise" status (Vancouver Aquarium) so you'd have to check.

remember that "sable" is French for sand - and cod usually live at lowest level closest to ocean floor, is that right? (that's why they are called "groundfish")

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?...

Fraser Valley Slow Food Cycle Tour

i have not personally cycled this area - however, it sounds like fun - do they have a 'sag wagon" or at least a vehicle that protects you and carries your purchases

I really like this episode of Lynne Crawford "Pitchin In" - the goats are amazing - and the herb farm - I think you should go - and stay safe in this heat - and report back

have a look at this video
http://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/pitch...

Good Chinese Take-out

i really like these two recent threads (the other about elder parents moving from PG to Oakridge area) about non-fancy practical food - it's the way many of us grew up and still enjoy (as others have commented) here in BC.

sometimes - and this applies to ALL genre (and all price ranges and venues) of food sales businesses and also charities who provide food - I do check out the official health reports -

the reports are certainly a good reminder of what many of us have learned in various workplaces (not just hospitality) (eg basic: wash your hands well and often and esp before returning to work or changing duties) - and esp what NOT to do in our own homes or cottages. etc. Esp when creating meals for compromised elderly or other guests who have specialty requirements)

that said - the one report I cannot find is BC Ferries - which serves food to thousands of guests in various ways out of many places in the VCH and more remote areas like Vanc Island health area.

https://www.vch.ca/your_environment/f...

McCormick Mapleine Crescent Brand

i like the Watkins Vanilla (clear) artificial extract - sometimes I don't want the beige - brown color that results from using the dark regular vanilla -

so let me know what you think
also --- if you don't have a Cdn tire nearby - just google - I found an independent rep in North Van - maybe there is someone near you.

let me know how it turns out ; )

40th Birthday Dinner for a Group

yes, I see what you mean - Google maps etc are handy for sure.

maybe we will instead go to the Pier 73 at the Delta Hotel nearby - I think one can sit outside on a nice day - plus that parking lot has some shady trees etc -

plus they have a friendly concierge dog working in the lobby in the mornings - her name is Cessna https://twitter.com/CessnaHotelDog

BTW - I notice that the Delta says that location will no longer be managed by their brand after Nov 2014 - I know the property itself sold a couple of yrs back - but I can't figure out which brand it will become (ie which new management) -- I hope it maintains its low-key BC atmosphere and cleanliness and friendliness (and the kamaaina prices for BC locals)

40th Birthday Dinner for a Group

what's your fav menu item at the flying beaver?

also - is there parking in the shade? my friends are heading to Cal and have their dog (who is flying cargo on same plane) - so we just want to have lunch before their late afternoon flight - and give the little dog a quick run around before he is crated for the airport adventure.

McCormick Mapleine Crescent Brand

I realize you have your heart set on the McCormick brand (which appears to be avail at Walmart over the border) - have you ever tried the Watkins flavorings? I think they are good

here's the artificial maple extract:
https://www.jrwatkins.com/gourmet.asp...

avail at Cdn Tire?!
https://www.jrwatkins.com/store-locat...

BC Specialty Foods database website

with all the recent searches for Saskatoon Berries etc - I came across this website (actually, I was checking out the line-up for the annual Naramata Bench tailgate party and one of the sponsors is on this specialty site)

anyway - I typed in Saskatoon - and for those who go over to the Island, the search results incl this farm that makes pies (AND JAM, LR) in Cobble Hill - and up in the North Okanagan, there's another farm up in Armstrong BC (also check out Village Cheese if you go to Armstrong BC)
http://www.bcspecialtyfood.ca/company...

what a handy and interesting website to browse around on.

ps this year's tailgate party honors the 25th anniversary of Sandy Wilson movie, My American Cousin www.naramatabench.com and http://www.mynaramata.com/show5006a/T...

Saskatoon berries in Vancouver?

for those with fond memories of prairie-grown Saskatoon berries, have you seen this episode of Chef Lynn Crawford's show - http://www.foodnetwork.ca/shows/pitch...

Saskatoon berries in Vancouver?

I know that black currants aren't Saskatoon berries - however - if you have a taste for the more tart berries - try the cassis at Elephant Island over in Naramata
it's a lovely venue - young people have their own table (as in under age) - and a shaded patio - no pretense - old Okanagan style - family orchard (where they kept the trees - a big deal up here in rip-it-out lifestyle vineyard country ; ) ... see globe & mail article a couple of years back)

http://www.elephantislandwine.com/

well, I hope the OP doesn't mind us diverting over in to this realm ;
)it's fun to talk about local seasonal - and such a short hot season it is. Smokey too. I hope everyone's pets, crops, and livestock are safe - not to mention the forest flora and fauna.

Saskatoon berries in Vancouver?

we are out in Nara (across from SLand)

however - I looked at the Penticton Farmer Market website and can't find the older couple on the list (there is no list - gee, you'd think there'd be some info - maybe that market is on social mediae (spell?!))

I know that this older couple who were at the mkt lived up on the Mt Baldy road east of Oliver - ideal elevation for wild Sask berries -
we don't usually buy preserves so I didn't pay much attn. - however - does Summerland Sweets have a Sask berry preserve? fun to walk out to the trestle from the shop (NOT during steam train time obviously - which is a great trip but not enuf time to visit Summerland Sweets - have to go later in the day)

http://summerlandsweets.com/syrups-jams/
http://www.kettlevalleyrail.org/

the other place to call ahead to about Sask berry preserves is Tickleberries - down in OK Falls - they have all that stuff in their little gift shop - even us locals have to stop there - a nice break on a warm day - careful if you're pulling in/out ACROSS the traffic on Hwy 97 -
http://www.tickleberrys.com/

EDIT to add - I wonder - the OP cites the flavor of Prairie Sask berries - I have never tasted those. I know only what our local First Nations friends tell us are Saskatoons, and a vanishing species in the Cdn Okanagan Valley (due to land use I think) etc - and I wonder if they taste similar to the Prairie version - I don't know personally never having picked any on the other side of the Rockies. I know that the birds love and make loud arguments with each other about the ones we have on our place (most naturescape homes have Sasks up here as they are drought and cold freeze and heat tolerant and have a pretty spring flower after a long winter) - and some of our Interior Salish friends have picked and enjoyed and told us about going out with grandparents in 1960s (pre-development OK Valley) to pick up the hills around here.

Need Vancouver Ethnic Restaurant for 10 on short notice

I am glad I read this thread because I wondered if it was just me - Banana Leaf is awful (service, food, venue, noisy, crowded, dark and old dirty looking place, incl bathrooms etc) - we went to the one in Kits - and wondered why our host had invited us there. end of that story.

Saskatoon berries in Vancouver?

hi LR - see your cherry pie thread for my suggestion for a jam I think you might like.

also - if you are going to Okanagan - Saskatoon preserves are common at the gift shops and farmer markets - I know of one couple who come to Penticton Farmer Market (Sat mornings, north end of Main St near the big hotel) - I think they are from the Oliver Mt Baldy area.

40th Birthday Dinner for a Group

good idea LRapper - and you're working out there for how long ; ) ?

------------
where are you staying when you come up here?

check out this casual option closer to downtown - nice views

definitely not fancy
(Jericho Sailing Club)
http://www.thegalley.ca/

Who (bakery) makes great fresh cherry pies ?

agree with Kinnickinnik - must be sour cherries - lighter color - smaller - they grow at the coast and also in Okanagan - not many orchards have them - but I know of one or two lone ranger sour trees out there

that reminds me - cardinal jam - I bet you'd like this LRapper:
in a large heavy pot, place equal parts
1. pitted sour cherries
2. red raspberries
3. red currants
sugar - not sure exactly how much - the old recipe needs lots of sugar - but I bet we could add less today (tho a runnier jam) - no pectin in the old recipe

cook down (stir so not to scorch it) in to a jam and process (I would freeze it)

maybe use this as a guide - make sure you don't mix black currants in with red rasp --- maybe blackberries and black currants? (what color are Oregon's Marionberries?) http://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.c...

the currants are essential - they add a certain je ne sais quoi to the overall flavor spectrum

What discontinued products do you miss?

I made the mistake (big time) of buying the "brown" label Pellegrino when I was hoarding what was on sale (it is 1 dollar per can up here in Vancouver area) - and thought I was doing a cool thing by giving it out at Hallowe'en to some of the neighbor kids (we don't get more than a 12 little costumed guests) - anyway - I cracked one open myself the next day - and realized to my HORROR that it was this funky weird vermouth herbal flavor! UGH - and I can take some vermouth flavor in my life but this - for kids! I immediately went around to the neighbors and redistributed something more palatable to any age - like spooky blood ORANGE ; )

they can DIScontinue that brown herb flavor any day in my opinion.

... learned me not to NOT actually read labels, that did ; )

Jul 13, 2014
Georgia Strait in General Topics

What foods have you made and then decided store bought was good enough, thank you, based upon cost, time, and taste?

not to mention the fruit fly mess and hot kitchen

Jul 13, 2014
Georgia Strait in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

in Canada, there is a Nestle ice cream flavor called Rolo - which really is based on a chocolate bar type product - but if you like caramel and choc, this might do the trick for you

http://products.nestle.ca/en/brands/i...

Jul 13, 2014
Georgia Strait in General Topics

What discontinued products do you miss?

reply to really old post here - but it is fun to re-read - the Wink beverage - I do recall that we had it in Canada too. The closest (I have a thing for citrusy flavors) is Pelegrino soda pop in the grapefruit flavor!

Jul 13, 2014
Georgia Strait in General Topics