Sunday, March 28, 2010

Canning: Pickled Beets

Six weeks ago I pulled the last of my beets and put them in storage. I was checking and noticed some were starting to dry out so I decided to can what was left. For a recipe, I used my favourite canning reference book, the Farm Journal's Freezing and Canning Cookbook.

Canned Pickled Beets

24 small beets (2-2 1/2")

Cook beets well. Cool, peel and slice.

1 large onion sliced (if desired)
2 cups 5% acid strength cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canning/pickling salt
1 cup water
6 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon

Tie cloves and cinnamon in a cheesecloth bag. Bring vinegar, water, sugar, salt and spice bag to a boil. Add sliced beets and onions and simmer for five minutes. Remove the spice bag.

Fill four sterilized hot pint jars (I used two quarts instead) with beets and liquid to 1/4" from the top. Remove air bubbles and clean the jar rims. Place sterilized lids on top and secure with rings.

Place jars in a boiling water bath that covers the lids by at least 1" and process for thirty minutes. Begin timing once the water returns to a full boil. When done, remove the jars and allow them to cool undisturbed. Once cool, check the seal. Keep your jars in a dark, cool place until needed.

This is a lot more work than the simple fresh pickled beets I make in the summer, but it's a good way to keep the last of my crop from spoiling. - Margy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

7 Awesome Things about Spring in Powell River BC

Today is the first day of Spring and I'd like to invite you to my favourite place on earth, Powell River, BC. Here are 7 awesome things about Powell River for this spring.

1. Very friendly people. One of the first things we learned about Powell River is that it's filled with friendly people. Stop at the Tourism Powell River Visitor Centre in the Crossroads Village Shopping Centre next to Quality Foods on Mondays through Fridays 9:00-5:00. Pick up a free Powell River Living magazine or a Powell River PEAK to see what's happening around town.

2. Great places to stay. In the middle of town is the Town Centre Hotel, lounge on the beach at the Oceanside Resort and Cabins, or immerse yourself in history at the Townsite's Old Courthouse Inn. We have a special place in our hearts for the Willingdon Beach Campsite. That's where we stayed when we first discovered Powell River.

3. Tasty restaurants. From everyday to fancy, we have it all. Start the day with coffee and a cinnamon bun at Rocky Mountain Pizza, great eggs benedict at Starvin' Marvins, or a really big breakfast at my good friend Margaret's Magpie's Diner. Grab lunch in the mall at Moose n' Eddies, but don't leave town without a brew and steak at the Shinglemill Pub on Powell Lake. Sit and watch boats coming and going from logging sites and float cabins up the lake.

4. The Mill and Historic Townsite. Powell River was founded as a mill town for the Powell River Paper Company. The paper mill is now owned by Catalyst, but Powell River is no longer a company town. Homes are now privately owned and the Townsite was designated a National Historic District by Parks and Monuments Canada in 1995. Discover more about Powell River's history at the Museum.

5. The Open-Air Market. Powell River's farmers market is open April to September. Watch Around Town in the PEAK for opening and special event dates. Come for fresh produce, flowers, home baking, hand crafts and local entertainers on the Open Mic Stage on Saturdays 10:30-12:30 and Sundays 12:30-2:30.

6. Lots of outdoor activities. Whether you favourite activity is boating, hiking, ATVing, winter sports, kayaking or just relaxing, Powell River has it all. We are famous for our scuba diving, Sunshine Coast Trail, Powell River Canoe Route and rock climbing. Forest campgrounds and easy access to the back country make it paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Heading up the lake. Powell Lake is a land-locked glacial carved fresh water fjord. I love living in a float cabin up the lake in Hole in the Wall. You can rent a float cabin or boat to experience life on the lake for yourself. You can also read about off the grid living on Powell Lake in Up the Lake and Farther Up the Lake by Wayne J. Lutz at

Need more reasons to come? Visit Tourism Powell River. Hope to see you here soon! -- Margy

Monday, March 15, 2010

Cabin Cooking: Easy Minestrone Soup

Fall and winter are hot soup weather. Wayne usually BBQs our dinner, but if I have leftover steak or roast, making minestrone for supper is a great alternative.


3 cups water
2 packets or cubes of beef bullion
leftover steak or roast diced (or cooked hamburger)
1 carrot sliced
1 stalk celery sliced
1/2 green pepper course chopped
1/2 onion course chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 can red kidney beans
1 can V-8 or tomato juice
1/2 cup macaroni
1 teaspoon fines herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Put water, bullion and meat in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer, add veggies and cook until they are almost ready. Add V-8, macaroni, herbs and seasoning. Simmer until macaroni is soft. The soup will thicken slightly as it cooks. In less than an hour you'll have a healthy homemade soup.

Serve in a bowl with grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish. I like to top crackers with margarine sprinkled with Lawry's lemon pepper and dill weed. Together they makes a hearty dinner. -- Margy

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Available Online: "Up the Lake" by Wayne J. Lutz

A Great Book for
the Outdoor Enthusiast

Up the Lake
Coastal BC Stories

Head up Powell Lake to experience life in an off the grid float cabin, take a boat to world famous Desolation Sound, ride a quad into the back country and fly overhead for a unique view of this incredible place. Read Up the Lake by Wayne Lutz and see how much fun it can be.
Go to for ordering information.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Like a Virgin ...

"... for the very first time," goes the Madonna song. Our good friend Jeanne had lots of firsts this week here in Powell River. She had her first tin boat ride on Wednesday, she went to her first hockey game on Thursday, and on Friday she topped it off with her first quad ride.

A first ride is very important so we went to two experts for advice. We asked John about possible destinations with no logging and easy roads. When we met Dave (president of the Powell River ATV Club) and Marg for the hockey game, we continued our discussion. Dave and Marg are currently giving classes for youth in our community about ATV safety. What's good for kids is even better for adults, if we will only listen.

After all the input we decided on Southview Road. Usually it's our access road for Theodosia, but today it would be our destination. We parked in our usual turnout and offloaded the two quads. Wayne gave Jeanne her initial instructions and monitored her first solo. Being a flight instructor, he's used to this role. After Jeanne demonstrated a working knowledge of starting, forward and reverse, he released her for a short ride up and down the road. After three laps he turned her over to me.

I was the lead for the ride while Wayne remained with the truck. I took Jeanne at a slow pace up Theodosia Branch 2. Usually we are going so fast we don't appreciate the thick stand of second growth trees along the way. We turned off on Theodosia Branch 6, a smaller less traveled route. When it narrowed even more and started climbing over rocky terrain, we opted to return to the larger dirt road.

We continued up Branch 2 to the bridge just short of the seven kilometre mark. It was a good place to stretch our legs and enjoy a pop in the warm sunshine. From a viewpoint you could see down to Okeover Inlet and its many oyster farms. After our short break we headed back down the way we came. In about two klicks we saw a good looking guy hitchhiking. What a surprise, it was Wayne.

On the way back we found a flat, mossy quad trail heading into the bush. Wayne had already hiked it to make sure it was safe for Jeanne to try. In just a few metres, Jeanne experienced what it's like on a quad ride through the rainforest undergrowth so typical in our area. She was amazed at the experience.

Having access to the backcountry is so important for Powell River residents and visitors alike. We are fortunate in Powell River that the Regional District and ATV Club are so supportive. -- Margy

Monday, March 01, 2010

Float and Land Cabins for Sale on Powell Lake, BC

Wayne and I love living in our float cabin home on Powell Lake in all seasons. Summer is here and it's the best time of the year to enjoy the lake. Boating, swimming and fishing are incredible on warm, sunny days. Right now there are several float cabins and land properties are on the market, but don't wait too long. They could be gone in a flash. Purchasing our float cabin home was the best thing we ever did. Why don't you come up and see what Powell Lake has to offer. (Updated 7/1/19)

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties

Are you interested in getting a cabin of your own? Here's an updated list of cabins and properties up the lake that are for sale. Some are through real estate agents, so you can get more information via their websites. Other cabins are for sale by the owners with information on Craigslist or Facebook pages.

Powell Lake Cabins and Properties For Sale

MLS LISTING: 14131 Powell Lake is beautiful float cabin in a bay of its own with sandy beaches near Olsen's Landing.  The large float cabin is ready for you to use in all seasons. It has two stories with plenty of room for family and friends to visit on a warm summer day for sunning, swimming and fishing. It has 3 bedrooms plus extra space upstairs for guests, full and half bathrooms, and a large open concept living area downstairs with a pellet stove to keep you warm. Solar panels for power are quiet and efficient. In back there is also covered boat parking. All of this for $199,900. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING:  12940 Powell Lake is a float cabin with lots of deck space for outside summer fun, and a swim platform for the little ones.  The open concept cozy cabin has one bedroom downstairs and a sleeping loft. Features include vaulted ceilings, tongue and groove pine ceiling, tongue and groove yellow cedar floor, wood stove, propane fridge, on-demand hot water, stove and freezer. Also included are a generator, solar system and a composting toilet. All this in a great location that's very protected now for $109,900. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Warren Behan of Royal-LePage at 604-485-2324.

MLS LISTING:  10100 Powell Lake is a large 1200 sq ft float cabin for sale for $134,900. The cabin has 3 bedrooms that can sleep eight comfortably plus a hide-a-bed for 2 more.  Amenities include an on-demand hot water heater and all the bells and whistles. Custom work throughout must be seen to be appreciated. Click here for more information and pictures, or contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324.

FACEBOOK LISTING: This Powell Lake owner is taking offers for a 680 sq ft two bedroom float cabin. I comes furnished, has a water supply from a glacier fed waterfall behind the cabin, an on-demand hot water, and a new composting toilet. All remediation for the upland has been finished with a letter being sent. The cabin will be sold with full approval. Lots of winter sun, zunga tree, year round use. It is located just past the hiking trail to Beartooth water fall. Reduced asking price of $85,000. Click here for more information.

MLS LISTING: Here's an A-frame Powell Lake float cabin in a sunny location on Goat Island just 20 minutes by boat from Shinglemill Marina. Amenities include solar power, composting toilet, shower, on-demand hot water and a new propane cooktop. It has a sleeping loft plus a bunkhouse. The large deck has stairs into water. Everything is in compliance with new water lease rules. Send a pm to the owner on Facebook for more details. The asking price is $128,500. Click here for more information, or contact Harry Zroback of RE/MAX at 604-483-3333.

MLS LISTING: 9742 Powell Lake is a newly built float cabin on the first point past Henderson Bay that just needs a bit of finishing. Large covered walk around deck, great access to shore and bluffs. Two level with 1 bedroom on main and 2 bedrooms up plus a large loft. Wood stove, metal roof and loads of skylights. New "eco john" sewage waste combustion system plus an extra float to build a small shed. The asking price is $179,000. Click here for more information, or contact Don McLeod of RE/MAX at 604-483-8044.

MLS LISTING: 9428 Powell Lake is a two year old float cabin only 15 minutes by boat up the lake in popular Henderson Bay. All new from the cedar log float upwards: new cedar decking, anchors and ropes, 2 x 6 construction, insulation, wiring with full solar power, on demand hot water heater, tub with shower, composting toilet, wood stove for heat and a kitchen with a solar powered fridge and gas range. Cedar and metal siding, metal roof and thermal windows. The asking price is $184,o00. Click here for more information.

FACEBOOK LISTING: Here's a 12-year new float cabin on Powell Lake. It is located on Goat Island before Cassiar Falls and straight across from Fiddlehead. A boat is required to reach this location. Pictures on the Facebook post show that it's beautiful and well-maintained inside and out. The asking price is $185,000. Click here for more information and to contact the seller.

MLS LISTING: 9242 Powell Lake is a land cabin on a half acre waterfront lot with a beautiful sandy beach. It has two bedrooms, a bath with a shower, a large living room with a cozy woodstove. The little kitchen is a perfect .place to prepare meals to enjoy in the glassed-in breakfast room.  A covered front deck is the perfect place to relax on a warm summer evening. There's a lovely garden, a waterside deck and fire pit on the beach, plus a handy sheds for storage and firewood. It’s all ready and waiting for you to enjoy for $279,900. For more information contact Warren Behan of Royal LePage at 604-485-2324 or click here.

MLS LISTING: Freehold land cabin in Henderson Bay, only 10-15 minutes from the marina on a gentle sloping 0.69 acre lot with dock and ramp. The 16' x 24' cabin was built to lock up in 1998 but never finished. On main the level there's a 16' x 12' deck, kitchen and living room area, 1 bedroom with another bedroom on the upper level. The lot is mostly in its natural state for privacy. The asking price is $219,000. Click here for more information, or contact Don McLeod of RE/MAX at 604-483-8044.

FACEBOOK LISTING: Boat access only freehold land cabin on Powell lake 12 mins from the boat launch. It's a furnished 2 bedroom, 800 square foot cabin with solar system, gravity water system, wood heat, propane appliances and 2 large outer decks. There's an 8 x 60' floating dock with metal shore access ramp. Land size is approximately 100 ft of water front by 300ft long. The asking price is $290,000. Click here for more information and to contact the seller through the Facebook Marketplace link.

MLS LISTING: BC Land Professionals is offering a lakefront lodge. The property is 8.35 acres of Crown lease land (renewal due in 2021) with 1300 feet of lake frontage. There are 5 self contained cedar cottages: 3 two-bedroom and 2 one-bedroom. Each has a full bathroom with showers, sinks, toilets, and full kitchens with brand new appliances. Living and eating areas are fully furnished with wood stoves for heat. The fridge, stove, hot water and lighting are propane. Other buildings includes a wood fired Sauna and tool shed. The foreshore and docks are protected by log breakwater. The complete package is priced at $379,000. Click here for more information and pictures. For more information call toll free at 1-866-558-5263, the office at 604-694-7626 or mobile at (604) 483-1605.

MLS LISTING: BC Land Professionals is offering a stunning 1.7 acre island with two cabins that's only a 20-30 minute boat ride from the Shingle Mill Marina. It includes a main cabin, guest cabin, outbuildings, foreshore license and dock. The asking price is $275,000. Click here for more information and pictures. For more information Jamie Zroback at (604) 483-1605 or Jason Zroback at (604) 414-5577.

Powell Lake Cabin Services

Powell Lake Cabin Services: Already have a cabin up the lake? We are always looking for help with projects around ours. Our good friend (and float cabin neighbour) Justin Behan offers services such as cargo delivery, lumber packages, cubes, propane tanks, wood stoves, and anchor and rope supply. In addition, Justin is now a distributor for Sun-Mar composting toilets just like the one we installed in our new bathroom addition. For more information, call Justin at (604) 483-6527.

Powell Lake Real Estate: Want a real estate agent that really knows float cabins? That's Harry Zroback (our man Harry who helped us get our cabin) from RE/MAX. Harry owns a cabin himself, so he's an excellent person to contact for all your "up the lake" real estate needs at 604-483-8333 or

Powell Lake Stories

Want to know more about life up the lake. Check out these books from Wayne's Coastal BC Stories series:

Up the Lake (Free for Kindle and e-books)
Farther Up the Lake
Cabin Number 5
Off the Grid
Off the Grid: Getting Started
Powell Lake by Barge and Quad
If you have any questions about Powell River, Powell Lake or cabin living, I'd be glad to help out. Just leave a comment or use the e-mail link in my profile to send me a message. -- Margy