Last weekend, we packed up a box of books (Disappearing in Plain Sight) and our hybrid Tulsi Solar Oven and headed over to Lund, BC for a solar cooking demonstration and potluck.
Lund, BC is located at Mile 0 of Highway 101, a twenty minute drive from Powell River, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. We arrived in Powell River via a BC Ferry from the Little River terminal (just outside Courtenay) on Vancouver Island.
Our first stop was Breakwater Books to see if we could work out a consignment book deal with the owner, Sean Dees. We were also there to enjoy the delicious quiche that is served in the bookstore café. Breakwater Books is a treat and if you’re ever in Powell River, I urge you to take the time to explore the eclectic and well laid out shelves. And do try that quiche! You could also purchase a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight, as our negotiations with Sean worked out satisfactorily on both sides.
We were then on the road to Lund to spend an enjoyable evening with our good friend, Jack Anderson, the force behind Kyoto Twist Solar Cooking Society. The society is part of a larger international network of solar cooking advocates that work to develop and spread the message of this beneficial technology around the world.
Jack and his partner, Maryanne, live in a wonderfully creative home nestled among the tall trees. We were treated to a garden tour and a tasty lasagne for dinner. Have you ever tried chopping fresh chard and mixing it with the cottage cheese as a layer for the lasagne? Please do – delicious!
The next morning, our first stop was Pollen Sweaters in downtown Lund. This beautiful little store is owned and operated by Evelyn Pollen and commands a breathtaking view of the Lund harbour. Evelyn took a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight and is currently reading the novel before she makes a decision on stocking and promoting it in her store. Fingers crossed . . . I’d love to know my book is gracing her wonderful shelves across from some of the most beautiful knitwear anyone is ever likely to see.
My niece, Jade and I made our way all around “downtown” Lund, exploring everything we saw. A highlight was watching weavers work in traditional Sliammon ways to demonstrate the making of cedar hats and baskets. The Sliammon First Nation offer cultural and educational experiences of this type throughout the summer months.
Later we enjoyed a great lunch on the deck of the Boardwalk Restaurant. Stuffed with the best halibut I’ve ever eaten, we made our way up to the Alternative Technology and Solar Cooking Demonstration at the Lund Community Center – a converted elementary school now put to great use as a preschool and gathering spot.
Jade helped me get the word out on Disappearing in Plain Sight while Bruce spread the solar cooking message. As fate would have it, Saturday was not the best day for solar cooking – the sun refused to make a prolonged appearance. Hard to believe on the Sunshine Coast in August, but there you have it. This was a sad state of affairs for the people who had set up various models of solar cookers with the hope of demonstrating the wonders of cooking with the sun. The potluck meal was meant to be cooked outside. Luckily for the solar cookers and the people who attended the potluck, there is a full kitchen in the Community Center. Most dishes ended up being cooked there, though Bruce made two batches of rice in The Tulsi.
The day was great when it came to meeting interesting people. Rose, an inspiring woman in her 80’s, told us of how she gels jam on the dashboard of her car. She also described a method told to her by an old Scottish midwife on how to potty train a baby! Fascinating. I was also fortunate enough to connect with a traditionally published author who thinks she might go indie and an aspiring photographic artist/author who is also leaning in that direction. The conversation was as lively as you might imagine.
After the wonderful meal, Jade and I made our way back to Jack’s place to relax while the Kyoto Twist Society prepared for their meeting, complete with a copy of Disappearing in Plain Sight to give-away.
In the next weeks, please look forward to a couple of more posts on our trip to Lund – permaculture, cob construction housing, and a solar powered beach side cabin. I can’t wait to share all of these great experiences.
I’ve only heard of solar cooking in passing, so I had no idea it was organized enough to have an officially organized group. How cool. I love reading these posts with all your photos. It’s like reading a picture book. Keeping my fingers crossed for you that Evelyn agrees to carry the book.
Solar Cookers International is a great group. If you have any interest in this subject please google them. Glad you like the magazine type layout of this post – it was a fun one to do.
[…] the mainland for a solar cooking demonstration and fundraising event. My wife Francis’ blog – Disappearing in Plain Sight – also has an intriguing post about this wonderful weekend in Lund BC. This photo is from on the […]
I have to admit to never having even tried chard let alone mixing it with cottage cheese as a layer for lasagne. I must experiment. Breakwater Books sounds like just my kind of place!
Pick the chard when it is young and tender – we’re going to try the same with young kale. Breakwater Books is pretty special.
Gelling jam on the dashboard of a car? Now that sounds interesting! Sounds like you had a jam- (excuse the pun) packed trip, the quiche sounding especially great. Hope Evelyn takes on your book – let us know!
Rose was full of details – four cups of mashed fruit, one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of lemon juice. Spread this out in a shallow glass dish. Pop it onto the dashboard of the car, parked in the sun. Make sure the windows are closed – you don’t want bugs in the jam. You might have to take it in at night and finish it up the next day. When it is gelled, fill jars and seal using a hot water bath for ten minutes. There you have it – dashboard jam. Fascinating, right? I’ll keep you posted on where Disappearing in Plain Sight ends up next.
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