Small Town Sauce

Small towns.  I love em. Especially the little town I live in up here in the North Okanagan, Enderby. It’s a town of a bit more than 3000 people I’d guess. It’s the kind of place that you talk to people everyday but maybe don’t even know their name and somehow that’s not even weird. These kinds of places seem to have a much stronger sense of community than bigger places. Any event seems to bring out the whole town and everybody seems to be behind and supportive of all the goings on in a positive way.

Case in point… This year upon my return from my annual sabbatical I developed radial palsy in my left arm.  I had horrible travel arrangements that had me absolutely beat and jetlagged and I guess I ended up sleeping in such a way that I did a bit of damage to my radial nerve.  Anyways I pretty much couldn’t use my left arm. For a couple of weeks I couldn't do anything. It's amazing how even trivial little things here in the kitchen require the use of 2 hands. Haha. Not really ideal for making hot sauce. 

A new grocery store had opened up when I was gone. Part of a local chain that has four other stores in the area. The Askews stores have all been very supportive of my hot sauce making habits and this store was no different. Gibbled up as I was I decided I would introduce myself to the fine folks there and as I expected they made it clear to me that it would be no problem to find some shelf space for me as soon as I could supply. As I was wearing a brace so conversation soon came around to my current health situation. I explained that although I was still making product it was at a drastically reduced pace as I could only make really small batches and it might be a while before I could stock them up. No problem with that and the manager Colten basically just told me that whenever I could get to it would be fine.

Next time I was in the store a very cool small town thing happened. Colten happened to see me and came over and offered me some assistance.  He wanted to know what ingredients I used. He offered to stock me with my staple stuff at a competitive price and even delivery this stuff to my door.  Some of these items he didn’t stock in the sizes I needed and some of the produce I use wasn’t regular stock either. But he sourced these things out and I can’t emphasize enough how much this helped me.

One of the problems I have with living in a small town is that many of my ingredients I have to go  to a larger place to get them. For me thats Vernon, Kelowna and Kamloops. More important than the price is the time that takes. A normal shopping trip is like 3 to 5 hours. More if we are doing deliveries as well. Because I use perishable ingredients and storage space is an issue I shop at least twice a week. In other words to me the time is more important than the price.  Only being able to make product at one quarter speed I had to spend as much time as possible cooking and not shopping. So the impact of having supplies brought to my door was huge.

So what can I say.  To the manager Colten, assistant manager Lachlan (the guy in the photo) and the produce manager Kyela, plus all the staff that has helped me along the way here, thank you. It all means a real lot to me. Not to say this wouldn't happen anywhere...but I know for sure it happened here and I am grateful for that.

Arm update... It's been 10 weeks and it's getting better. As of 2 weeks ago I can hold a beer in my left hand without my wrist flopping over and spilling it so that's a positive. Gonna be a while but I'll get there.

P.S. Somebody go in there and buy a jar of mustard. I'm beginning to get a complex. Haha.



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