Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back In The Pocket

For some reason I just seem to prefer posting on my Pocketful of Memory Cards blog.  It allows me to post about Kelowna and places I've visited as well as including personal photos and musings for family and friends.  If you'd like some info on Wells Gray Park I've got a series in progress with photos and info from a wonderful week we spent there in August.  Here's a few of my favourite shots posted thus far.

And a couple of the up and coming towards the end of the week.

Check out the first one via this link!  I'd love it if you left a comment or two, on either blog.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

My Blue Haven

Saturday morning the stars aligned and my hubby I and finally made it to Kelowna's Blueberry Haven on Webster Road.  Located just above Rutland Playing Field, the farm is a family run U-Pick owned and operated by David and Michele.  Four years ago, the couple purchased the farm from Michele's parents who started Blueberry Haven twenty five years ago.  You can gather your fill of organic blueberries for only $2.50 a pound and there are a couple of rows of  blackberries ripe for the picking at $3.50 a pound.  Just check the website for the next pick.

It's more relaxed here than the strawberry patch where you must bring your own bucket and march down the row behind the guy with the hat and the flag who instructs you to "Pick along this row. Both sides.  Make sure you get every ripe berries, even the small ones.  Be sure to mark where you finish."  (To be fair, strawberries are very different from blueberries and there are good reasons to do as he says.) At Blueberry Haven you can borrow a bucket for picking but you need to bring your own containers to take them home. After you procure your bucket, you stand before the berry laden bushes while Michele waves her arm over the green rows, like one of Barker's Beauties and instructs you to 'Find a spot and pick', 

For me, the mindless repetitive task of picking has a calming, almost meditative effect.  The tangled mess of my thoughts slowly unfurl and disperse. Without the ubiquitous soundtrack of traffic, my ear tunes in to the gentle symphony of my surroundings.  

At first all is a distant murmur.   Then I pick out  the tick, tick..swishhhh of the rotating sprinkler. Crickets chirp and I hear the trill of a bird.  I hone in a little closer, to the syncopated thunk...thunk, tha-thunk as juicy berries fall from my fingers and strike the bottom of my pail - now yellow, soon blue.  There's a low, pleasant hum from the voices of the surrounding couples interspersed with percussive laughter as regulars greet and tease each other.  "You know they weigh you too before you leave..."

As the clock reaches a more reasonable hour the families arrive; moms and dads and kids, grandmothers and grandfathers with their young charges.    The children chime in, sharing their discoveries,  "I can pick 'cause I'm taller!"  "But the caterpillar wants to be on the tree!"  "Mom! ...Aiden ate all his blueberries!"    "It's fuzzy!'s fuzzy not pokey!" 

Soon our pails are heavy and the sun decidedly strong.  We work our way back up our row, stopping to pick the beckoning fruit we somehow missed on the way down.  "Did they ripened since we got here?"  

In an hour and a half our efforts have gleaned ten pounds of berries.  By coincidence it's exactly what we came for.  It's mostly for our freezer so I think I'll visit again to pick a few pounds for immediate consumption.  And I'll follow the website suggestion to hang the bucket off a belt next time, so I can pick with two hands.

I can't bear to put them all in the freezer.  Can you imagine how good a pie tastes made from blueberries fresh off the branch?  Berries that have never seen the inside of a refrigerator?

The recipe.

Bon appétite!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Small Shop First Stop

Kelowna is celebrating Small Shop Saturday on the 22nd and I have a suggestion for your first stop of the day.  Pulp Fiction Coffee House covers the northwest corner of Pandosy and Lawrence and has been open since August last year. Its hours are 7 to 10 Monday to Saturday and 9 to 9 on Sundays. 

It recently made the short list on the Capital News "best of" issue in the categories "Best place for a first date" and "Best Coffee House".  They have my vote for both. 

Nestled within the coffee shop you will find Robbie Rare Books, accessible through an iron gate that is almost always open. Robbie is the mild mannered standard poodle and CEO that greets you in the doorway.   The eclectic collection of books, magazines, comics, posters and collectables are curated by Kelowna resident Max Sloan.  

I love that this place is locally owned and what a fitting name for the owner of a store that sells paperbacks by the likes of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.  Max Sloan sounds like the perfect prickly detective with a weakness for dames in trouble. In reality Mr. Sloan is a very knowledgeable, generous and helpful man.  His weakness appears to be books...besides the hundreds you can find on the walls and every available surface in Robbie's Rare Books, he admitted  to having two warehouses filled with just as many.

The books aren't just pulp fiction tiles from the 50's they also include many of your favourite classics, some in near perfect condition.

Check out these beautiful early editions of Anne of Green Gables.  $1,000 for the middle one which has the dust jacket  and shows the cover as very well preserved compared to the blue one priced at $200.

This one's for you Mrs. Pear Tree.  The House at Pooh Corner is under glass, so it must be a good one!

Though many collectors will turn aside a book with an inscription, I find they add character and spark the imagination.  You never know what you might discover. When Max opened this book to show me the hand written message, a gift tag fell out.  I imagine it was used as a bookmark, and added a little more mystery to the story of the journey that brought it here.

$2,000 Edgar Allan Poe

Torrid romances...

The books are both fiction and non-fiction, all giving you a peek into our checkered  past. "The World of Wit and Humour", published in the early 1900's was instructive and amusing.  The complaint about women taking too long to get ready in "Things Which No Young Lady Ever Does If She Can Help It" was re-iterated by Jerry Seinfeld at his recent gig in Kelowna when he described what "I'll be ready in five minutes" really means - plus ça change! And speaking of Seinfeld, he picked up an Ice Mocha from the coffee shop while he was here.

Between the books on the shelves and tables you'll also find some great Victorian and Georgian antiques along with some fabulous art deco items.

Art Deco 


Outside the inner sanctum, the walls of the coffee house are lined with books and 50's Pulp Fiction posters. Well thumbed paperbacks are for sale for as little as fifty cents.  Max told me he doesn't mind if people just read them while they're here and put them back.  If you don't want to read a book, there are two computers available and if you've brought your lap top, there's free wifi, and tables with handy outlets to charge both laptop and cell phone batteries. The coffee house also has some tasty options for snacks and lunch.  I enjoyed a delicious Irish stew here a few weeks ago.

There's lots going on at Pulp Fiction, so check out their Facebook page to see what's coming up next. Most events are free with purchase. Singer/songwriter Emily Rowed will perform on June 26th.  I hope I can attending the New Vintage Theatre's reading of Confessions of A Paperboy on June 25th.  I was sorry to miss their reading of The Glass Menagerie in May.  The June show is their last of the season so if I miss this one too, I'll have to wait until the Fall.  Don't miss it!