Sunday, July 19, 2020

Goin' Home to Powell River, BC

Our Powell Lake float cabin home.
As the Mick Jagger and Rolling Stones lyrics go:
I'm goin' home, I'm goin' home
I'm goin' home, I'm goin' home
I'm goin' home, bome, bome ...
Home, bome, bome ...
Back home,
Yes, I am.
I bid a short farewell to my loyal Margy Meanders readers. Time has come for Wayne and me to leave for our Powell River Canadian home. We've waited since March to make the move due to strict quarantine requirements. But now is the time since the Canadian quarantine requirement was extended to August 31.

Wayne and I drove to the Pacific Highway crossing in Blaine. Because we became Canadian citizens in 2018 and Powell River is our home, we were allowed to cross the US/Canada border that is closed to non-essential travel for US citizens and other foreign nationals.

BC Ferries recommended that everyone remain in their vehicles.

Rules are in flux right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so check with the Canadian Border Service Agency and US Customs and Border Protection before you try to go.

Back in our Hewscraft finally heading up the lake.

We'd hoped to wait until the quarantine requirement was lifted, but decided it was best to go now while there was still some summer left to enjoy our float cabin home up the lake. And there couldn't be a better place to isolate ourselves for the required 14-day quarantine period and beyond if needed.

First Narrows on Powell Lake means we are almost home.

The border crossing was smooth and our BC Ferries connections worked perfectly even without reservations. We left the Bellingham condo (which has been our Washington residence for self-isolation) at 8:12 am after loading the last of the groceries to make it through the quarantine period, and arrived at our cabin deck at 6:15 pm. That's a little longer than normal to make the 260 kilometre (162 mile) trip because we built in extra time for border paperwork and early ferry terminal arrivals.

There's no place like home!

While we are up here in Powell River, there will be little content to share on Margy Meanders. But never fear, we will be back in Bellingham and the States by late September if pandemic conditions allow.

In the meantime, come visit us on the Powell River Books blog for Canadian and off-the-grid stories.

Living through the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone worldwide. Wayne and I hope you and your family are doing as well as possible during these difficult times. -- Margy

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Exploring Bellingham: Window Hummingbird Feeder

Our condo balcony with a window hummingbird feeder.
In addition to our daily exercise walks, park visits and grocery shopping, Wayne and I are spending a lot of time indoors these days. Probably the same as you.

I miss my garden and visiting critters back home at the float cabin on Powell Lake.

To bring a bit of nature into our living space, I bought a geranium to tend and a hummingbird feeder to watch.

Because our cityfolk condo in Bellingham is on the third floor, I didn't want a hanging feeder that would drip. I researched online and found a model that could sit on a flat surface. I ordered one ffrom Fred Meyer for parking lot pickup. Unfortunately, it wasn't available.

The ant moat with suction cups is on the left, and the feeder insert on the right.

Then I discovered window feeders. The railing around our condo's balcony has a glass insert, so I chose the Juegoal Window Hummingbird Feeder that shipped direct from Amazon.

It's hard to get a closeup with my iPhone through the window.
It comes with an ant moat that attaches to the glass with two suction cups. The feeder lifts out for easy cleaning. I leave it in place to fill to prevent sugar water spills. I haven't needed to fill the ant moat with water, but back home up the lake it was a necessity.

Almost immediately, a hummingbird came to the feeder. Maybe my geranium with bright pink flowers enticed him (or her) all the way up to the third floor.

I've only seen one hummingbird, but he faithfully comes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Sitting on the built-in perch enjoying sips of sugar water.

He must be keeping the ready supply of food a secret, unlike what happened back home. Here's a video of a hummingbird feeding frenzy at the float cabin.

Do you have bird feeders? What kinds of birds visit your home?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Quarantine Cuisine: Oven Baked BBQ Pork Ribs

BBQ ribs on the grill back home at the float cabin.
We really miss the BBQ grill up at the float cabin. Practically every night, Wayne would cook meat or fish on the grill to go with the sides I made in the cabin kitchen.

In the beginning of our stay here at the Bellingham condo, our meals were varied. Now, after eating in for four months, our menus have become repetitive. I saw in the Fred Meyer flyer that spareribs were on sale. I decided to try cooking them in the oven instead.

I decided to follow BBQ Oven-Baked Ribs by Makinze Gore at Delish. I used the directions to prepare and cook the ribs. I didn't use the BBQ sauce portion. Instead I used my favourite commercial Sweet Baby Ray's Original BBQ Sauce. It's like a taste of home.

Click here to see the complete recipe. My modifications are in italics.

Oven Baked BBQ Pork Ribs


A dry rub adds flavour.
2 pound baby back ribs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I omitted)
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Bake covered first.
Rinse the ribs under cold water, pat dry, then peel off the tough “silverskin” membrane over the bones if the butcher hasn't already done so. Use a paring knife to loosen the edge and pull.

In a bowl, stir together the ingredients for a dry rub. I omitted the brown sugar. Massage the mixture into both sides of the ribs. Let the ribs rest for an hour or more to absorb the flavours.

Baste with BBQ sauce rib side first.
Place the ribs on a prepared baking sheet. Cover with foil. I used my large roasting pan with its rack and lid. 

Preheat the oven to 300° and bake the ribs meaty side up low and slow until very tender, about 2 hours. I added a small amount of water to the pan to create moist steam during cooking.

Prepare your BBQ sauce unless you use a commercial variety like I did.

Broil after basting one more time.
After one hour, turn the ribs over bone side up and continue to bake covered.

After two hours remove the cover, brush BBQ sauce over the bone side. Return to the oven and bake uncovered at 350° for an additional 15 minutes.

Turn the ribs to meaty side up and brush with BBQ sauce. Return to the oven and bake uncovered at 350° for an additional 15 minutes.

Turn the oven to broil. Brush the meaty side one more time with BBQ sauce. 

Ready to eat to celebrate an indoor Canada Day 2020.

Broil until the sauce starts to caramelize, 2 to 4 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn't burn.

Happy Canada Day to all my Canadian friends.
The combination of low and slow cooking and broiling at the end makes the ribs almost like they came off the BBQ grill. Mine turned out great, minus the grill marks.

BBQ ribs were a great way for us to celebrate an indoor Canada Day on July 1. If you are in the States, why not try them for the 4th of July.

What did you fix for your holiday celebration? - Margy