Monday, August 31, 2009

Whimsical Preserves: rare jelly and diabetic jam, a 1933 Model T Truck, Postcards and Hawaii.

Say 'Hey!' to Tanya of Whimsical Preserves.She makes organic regular and rare jams/jelles AND organic diabetic Jams and Jellies. We have tried her and her stuff is the bomb (this means it is good, like ‘really good’). She is at our James Bay Farmer’s Market and there are six more weeks until this season is over and then it is on to fall and winter (brandied cherries, yum!).

Tanya believes in getting the fruit herself or directly from a local farmer. So for her blackberry jams she picks her own vines of blackberries, the Victoria ones, which are as big as a thumb and sweet as can be. If she has to get fruit off the island, like Peaches, she gets them from British Columbia, so they are FRESH. The only thing she can’t seem to find local are Mango’s. If you want her email, let me know, and you can email her for find out if she does a flavour/flavor or preorder some diabetic jam for Saturday. I will be happy to pick up and post the jams for you. “But Beth I have my own Farmer’s markets!” Well, yes, but they might not have: Peach, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and other diabetic jams to order. They also don’t have hand-picked Saskatoon Berry wine jelly. Oh yeah, and it is $5 a jam or jelly. Here are a FEW of her better (and rarer) flavors. From the top left down that is Sangria (yes, the mixed drink from south America) Jelly, Saskatoon Wine Jelly (hand-picked berries from the north by Tanya), Raspberry-Mango Jam, Kiwi Daiquiri (Kiwi, Sugar, Pineapple Juice from Concentrate, Lime Juice, Pectin and RUM!), Nectarine Ginger Jam and Lime Marmalade (Yum). Every Jam has the ingredients and the weight, and if you give the jar back you get twenty five cents of the $5 back. Most are 250 grams but the ones with rare or expensive items like the Sangria Jelly or Saskatoon Berry (first and main ingredient in both is red wine) are 125 grams.

It is hard to get good diabetic jam, organic diabetic jam in town and she is one of the only Jam makers (all the other Jam makers I ask say, “Yeah, I get asked for that all the time.....Nope, don’t have any”) who makes it and will try to make it to order if she can. All the Jams are organic and natural so refrigerate after opening please!

That is what I did on Saturday, went down to the Farmer’s Market to pick up jam. Because these are not the types of items a person can get everywhere, and there are but a few short weeks left. And as it turned out there was someone there selling Organic Buffalo, so we ended having Buffalo Burgers all weekend (very lean!). The previous week there had been a free petting zoo from the owners of the Beacon Hill Park Petting Zoo. The owner has his 1933 Model T Ford 1.5 Ton truck with all original parts that he is very proud of. There are only 20 of these left in existence, and this one was in California. Victoria is a destination and place for collectable cars, with a recent convention of Bentleys, and us seeing 1910’s British cars with running boards, or old MG race cars as just part of a normal sunny day. Everyone brings out the collector’s and vintage cars into the sun.

I was pretty ill this weekend, and have a few medical appointments this week. So a big sigh. I did a lot of research on Hawaii this last week (8-10 hours a day some days), because it turned out that getting tickets on an airline was the least of the issues. We have to find a place to stay in Honolulu and the Big Island when $250 a night is cheap, and $400 is standard. And it happens that the week we are going to the Big Island is when the Ironman Triathlon is on. On one hand, “Cool”, on the other hand, getting flights off the island and accommodation booked much less a car rented is getting difficult with 1,000+ people and families coming. This is the biggest/important global Triathlons annually, which a involves a 5 mile swim,a 125 mile bike ride and then a marathon run to finish. So many people want to do THIS race, you have to either qualify by time or enter the lottery to get a spot (of which about 1 in 5 might get one). Here is Kelly Bruno making a record on her second Ironman in what is considered one of the toughest in the world as she runs into Kona, Hawaii.

Problem with my research on Hawaii and the accommodations, flights, vehicle rentals is that I work for many hours, then give the summation of the information to Linda or Cheryl before I forget it: brain damage means when it goes out of my day or 2 day zone, sorry but I can't remember. Cheryl has written a blog post on going to Hawaii which probably has the kind of details they hide from me. Either way this weekend I was punked bad, clocking up over 12 seizures on Saturday. There were the ones Linda dealt with, the ones Cheryl dealt with, the ones I had on my own and the ‘big one’ that wiped out that last 3+ hours of the day from my memory. Seizures are not ‘the bomb’ (they bad!) and by the end of the day I was having problems breathing due to ripped rib muscles. So I rested. Meaning, I did NOT do the 48 postcards of last week including these oversized ones with classic pulp covers. Did I do none? Well, I did a FEW (16?, 18?) but I did manage to find some BIG ones, ordered online: 8 inches by 10 inches to 8.5 by 11 inches. It turns out that doing stickers on BIG postcards take longer, like an hour longer. Gee, who knew! Yes, now I send postcards as large as a poster! So yeah, I went to bed a bit later. But next week, when I can breathe without a wince, I am going for the big score – still about 220 postcards for August. Woot!

I have to go rest again now, and will get the yarn and all the other fun stuff in posts as fast as I can. The synthoid is helping me be alert, even if my body has bits dropping off, and I have different beats/blood pressure on the two sides of my body. Hey, we can’t all have the same blood pressure right? So I hope you had a great weekend. Please check out Cheryl’s post and if you want any of Whimsical Preserves, let me know and I will give you Tanya’s email or just go buy them for you.

P.S. – due to problems with my voice at the end of the day (low oxygen rasp, slurring, and saying wrong words - it is no good for Dragonspeak) and my hand, even in the forearm holders having too much pain to type, I have added wrist immobilizer/braces to the WishList that Cheryl recommends. If anyone can recommend others, please let me know. I am trying to solve the problem of Elizabeth=blog, blog=some use of hands.


wendryn said...

Sounds like a great day! Good luck with Hawaii!

Victor Kellar said...

Ooooh shiny truck .. little boy inside old man jumps up and down a little

Planning for Hawaii is exciting, but don't overdue the planning so much that you can't go .. ok?

Collette and I received our postcards this morning, before I opened this blog. Thanks! E-mail to follow. I went to the Fan Expo here in Toronto this weekend, lots of cool pics of people in costumes, blog coming soon

Gaina said...

Oh those preserves look gorgeous! :) Fortunately for us, living in a farming community the local businesses that stock that kind of thing get a shelf in the local super markets so you don't have to travel too far to get them.

And 'Yay for Hawaii!'. :D

Raccoon said...

It's hard to find diabetic jam in A NY Farmer's market! Saturday, I went to both a local one, and a big event at Jack London Square in Oakland, and while I could find jam/jelly (organic), nothing was particularly blood sugar friendly.

I missed the recent car show here. Lots of classics, lots of antiques, and a special exhibition of a guy that has made 300-some-odd custom cars. And three or four weeks ago a caravan came through, retracing a military caravan from almost 100 years ago. It even had a couple of the original vehicles in it.

Diane J Standiford said...

Wow, you guys were really jammin'--I'm not a jam person, or jelly either. But they sound great. That Model T was cool. My brother had one. Anyhoo, you r now up to posters, will wait for the billboards.

Neil said...

Diane: Stop encouraging her!! :)

Beth, the truck is very nice, and the jams looks lovely, but please look after yourself. I know, you WeRe looking after your self by doing what you have to do. But this forgetting to breathe thing has got to stop somehow. I hope and pray and wish.

Love and zen hugs,

Lene Andersen said...

Those yams do sound yummy and I love her creativity with the flavours! Not putting an order in as I'm allergic to kiwi (the anaphylactic kind of allergic), but wow...

Crap that you're feeling like crap. Hope breathing gets better soon.

e said...

Poster-sized postcards---how cool...I wish you the best with Hawaii, too! E-mail to follow.

That lady actually has diabetic jams...Hard to find...

FridaWrites said...

Wow, those are some great flavors with the jellies. What's sold in most stores isn't half as good as the handmade products. Buffalo burgers--haven't tried them, but I'd still like to some day.

Hawaii sounds so beautiful. I had no idea the main island is that expensive!

Hoping the number of seizures you've been having has diminished.

Tayi said...

I saw this article today:

and I thought it sounded like something you might do- the ingenuity and determination to find a way to do what you want to do in spite of everything, I mean. This British woman sounds like she might be your long lost twin or something! lol

And hey, did you get the socks I sent you?

Elizabeth McClung said...

Tayi - I did indeed, I was wearing them until this morning - they fit perfectly, thanks. I sent you a postcard to let you know. I was really, really happy to hear from you again.

I agree with what she says, about how sailing makes her happy, gives her reason to get up but leaves her kippered (tired) - I am going to the YMCA-YWCA tomorrow for Badminton - first time in many, many months, going to try and find my passion - that thing which makes me happy and so what if I am tired. But yes, I really relate to what she discribes - she was a biochemist AND a clarinet teacher?

Wendryn: Still a lot to do before Hawaii but yes, I want to see geology is motion - lava making land before my eyes.

Victor: Yes, it was in perfect condition and the guy knew the whole history of the truck.

Yes, I am going to have to get ready a few weeks in advance to try so that I can go a week or so going out every day, that's why I am trying to do the 'go out a bit every day' for a week then rest a week and see how that goes.

I'm really glad you got the postcards and I hope you enjoyed them - an Expo - very cool, too bad Victoria doesn't have one!

Gaina: having them in the supermarkets would be even better! I am just impressed by the quality control Tanya puts on her products, not because she has to but because like a lot of the people, she loves doing it.

Raccoon: 300 customs cars? Wow, that guy has a large collection - it really is who has the most toys before you die for him! I would have liked to see the original military Caravan vehicles.

I think I went to the oakland one once when I was a kid - actually one of the cyber-punk writers, the one who wrote Heavy Weather, did some stories where post break-down, farmer's markets become the main meeting place of fixing and trading - that's what I like about the TV series Jerimaih - seeing my present as a post apocolypse future!

Diane: I have 4 that are larger than this, maybe 10 inches by 14, but am trying to figure out how to send them as postcards. But I did not know I could get 11 by 8.5 inch postcards so I thought I would try them out - they might be hard for people to put on the fridge though.

Neil: thanks for your concern, it was kind of rough and yesterday I had some sort of seizure and lost an hour completely, but was alone and so don't know what happened. But they have limited themselves in number now that I am trying just to sleep and rest a bit. so I can go to badminton!

Lene: I should put a note somewhere about you allergic to Kiwi - I hope things stabilize, probably like you I am getting tired of being tired, of seizures, of stopping breathing - tired that I don't seem to be able to do the simple things even or make real long term plans. Grrrrr!

e: Yeah, I was pretty happy doing the big postcards, but Linda and Cheryl were not as I wanted to do them ALL and they wanted me to share - hmmm, sounds very elementary school doesn't it?

If you want some diabetic jams or know someone who does or could use them let me know so I can get some and send them to you okay?

Frida: I had some buffalo on Catalina Island off the coast of California where a herd is as well - here you can get steaks and roasts, they were selling burgers there but it was so much cheaper to get the ground bisen and make our own, maybe a roast for next week? I have had moose and this is not as dark, it is like beef but much leaner.

Hawaii is very expensive, and we aren't on the main island, we are on the 'unexplored' island - the main island has 95% of the hotels and goes for about $400 a night average, as beach front is all they want. We are going where it is rainy but there are black sand, and the rare green sand beach made of semiprescious stones ground down. You know me, I want to see the sights no one usually sees!

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