Friday, October 26, 2012

A little Political Post

In the past two days there has been much furor about a report into the investigation regarding safety at the Burnaby General Hospital. In the spring of this year alarms were raised over the high number of infections at the facility so of course a government committee was formed to look into it.

A committee was formed because everything in the medical system is tainted with political bias from the heavily politically appointed executives of Fraser health down through the heavily political unionized hospital workers and the heavily politically debated private cleaning services.

Anyway the recommendations aren't even out yet but the unions and the NDP are already jumping on it for bias based on leaked emails, etc. I mean seriously, did anyone think a committee set up by the standing government wouldn't have a Liberal leaning cast ? If the NDP were in power would the committee not likely have been full of NDP supporters ? It's the way business is done, I'm not saying it's right but it is a fact of political life.

There has been some good comedy out of it though. Global news has consistently branded the Liberal biased committee members as "Liberal political operatives", which kind of makes me wonder if Len Deighton is writing their copy, and the mayor of Burnaby seriously questioned the ethics of Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid for having more than one email address..............Really ? It's 2012, my neighbour's cat has three email addresses, and a blog I think, and Mayor Corrigan thinks it's suspicious that a government minister has more than one ?

Of course Mayor Corrigan is a stalwart member of the NDP so at least we know he's not expressing any bias in voicing his disapproval of bias in the hospital committee recommendations.

It's hard times politically in BC, the Liberals are rife with the inbred small scale corruptions that are inevitable with a party that has been in power for over a decade and I have my doubts that current leader Christy Clark has the wherewithal to hold things together but I cringe at the thought of the NDP running a provincial economy that is dangling by a thread during a world financial crisis .

Plus there's the whole Adrian Dix vs. Remy from Ratatouille thing that scares me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Back Pizza

Meant to post about this last week but forgot, so here goes. 

The traditional Thanksgiving Back Ribs were a little meatier than usual so I was left with the highly unusual combination of leftover baby backs and leftover pizza dough, from Saturday night's pizza, on Thanksgiving Monday as I was casting around for lunch options. The result was Baby Back Pizza, and it was deeeeeeeelicious.

I just sliced the meat off the ribs and added them to pizza crust along with some green onions, cheese and a blend of 3 parts tomato sauce to 1 part BBQ sauce and baked.

The result was a smoky/sweet delight, served with a little greens and a cold Pale Ale it was a perfect lunch, although daughter passed on the Pale Ale. Behold, the Pizza Rustica.

Should the stars ever align like this again I would add a tad more BBQ sauce and possibly some spinach, maybe even used some smoked provolone in the cheese mix. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Almost an apology to Australia - Jacob's Creek Reserve Cab

Just last month I was somewhat unkind to the Australian wine industry in my post about Parson's Paddock Cabernet Sauvignon . I denigrated the quality of the Ozzie reds in the $15 range and swore not to darken their door with my dollars in the future, however this month I must recant, although only on a technicality.

For the month of October the BCLDB is discounting, by $2 per bottle, both the Reserve Shiraz, from Barossa, and the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonawarra, from Jacob's Creek Winery and with the discount that makes the selling price of both these wines $14.99. I will buy these wines, I buy them at their regular price, so I must grudgingly admit that for this month at least Australia are once again playahs in the "under $15" range. In fact I probably owe it to Jacob's Creek to retaste their entry level wines again, they have an abundance of wines in the $10-$13 range that may be worth drinking on a regular basis, but focusing on the Reserve wines let me assure you these are very good wines and at $14.99 represent excellent value and something to buy now for the Christmas season.

I recently had a bottle of the Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 vintage, from the Coonawarra Valley and it was everything Australian Cabernet should be. Coonawarra is a 24 square kilometre strip on Australia's Limestone Coast situated near the Victoria border, the region is characterized by it's distinctive terra rossa soils and with a cooler harvest season and a climate not dissimilar to Bordeaux, with the ocean only 60km away Coonawarra has long been Australia's premiere site for Cabernet Sauvignon.

The 2009 Reserve Cabernet Cabernet from Jacob's Creek is a deep crimson red in the glass, with hints of purple around the edges, the nose is rich with minty spices, a touch of mocha and plummy, blackberry notes. In the mouth there are more blackberry cassis flavours, some white pepper and a distinctive backnote of black olives, the mouthfill is excellent and the finish is long. The wine is not a typical Oz fruit bomb, there is a healthy level on tannin which means it works well with food and will last another year or two in the bottle. I recall this wine retailing in the $20 range not that long ago so even at it's regular price of $16.99 it represents good value and the discounted price is an absolute steal.

Buy it, the supply isn't great, less than 70 cases available in the province, but you should be able to find some .

So at least for this month ............I'm sorry Australia, you can produce quality wines under $15 retail.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Slightly disappointing Pumpkin Ale

It's fall, harvest time, Thanksgiving and all so I thought I'd give Pumpkin Ale another try. I've tried pumpkin ales in the past with mixed results but hope springs eternal, at least when it comes to beer, and the Mothership had a decent selection of Pumpkin Ales on hand when I visited on Saturday so I thought "Why not ?" and dove back into the Pumpkin Ale pool.

My selection appeared solid, Jumping Jack Pumpkin Ale from Tree Brewing in Kelowna. I firmly believe that Tree's Cutthroat Pale Ale is the finest example of Pale Ale brewed in British Columbia so I had full confidence in the brewery to come through and give me a Thanksgiving gift of seasonal fruit beer goodness.

Alas, it was not to be. Don't get me wrong the Jumping Jack isn't bad, it's just not very pumpkinny. It's a full bodied dark ale, very dry with a strong emphasis on malt over hops that just doesn't deliver the spiciness I was hoping for from a Pumpkin Ale. At $5.05 for a 650ml bottle I just don't think this beer represents good value and so I can't recommend it, but I'm not through with pumpkins just yet as I have it on good authority that the boys from Mcauslan in Montreal make a good pumpkin ale and it's available in Vancouver currently so I may give it a try before the season is out.