Monthly Archives: September 2011
Breaking the Code
It might sound a little silly, but going to grocery stores is something I really enjoy doing. Browsing through the aisles looking at exotic spices, canned goods, and preserves can make me quite giddy. Last week I went to H-Mart before having dinner in the area and upon leaving, a poster on the community bulletin board outside the entrance caught my eye. On the poster were only a few words in English, the majority of it in Korean, and a few cartoon pictures. However, the pictures on the poster led me to believe that it may have been my key to authentic Korean fare.
Since I didn’t want to go on a wild goose chase, I looked up the website that was written on the poster to find more information. Unfortunately, Continue reading
Choc Full of Cake and Sushi
A few weeks ago I returned to my favorite all you can eat sushi restaurant in Vancouver, Ebei Sushi, for my uncle’s birthday. Although baking isn’t my forte, I like to make cookies and cakes for special occasions. On this particular occasion I made a chocolate cake with egg white frosting.
I decided to make an egg white frosting instead of buttercream because it was considerably less sweet. However, because it was an egg white frosting I wasn’t able to do any fancy decorations or practice the piping skills that I learned from the Michaels ‘Cake Decorating Basics’ course. To make the cake look a bit more presentable I topped it with fresh strawberries, grown in my aunt’s garden and blackberries, from nearby bushes that I had picked myself.
The recipe for the cake was the Better Homes and Gardens ‘Best Ever Chocolate Cake’ and it turned out great. One of my uncle’s favourite things is chocolate, but he enjoys his desserts when they’re not overly sweet. That is why I took the liberty of cutting down the sugar in the recipe for both the cake and the frosting.
I forgot to take into account that the egg white frosting would spoil quicker than a buttercream would, so I was concerned that it would deflate on the way to the restaurant, not to mention while we were eating dinner. But the thought only entered my mind after I frosted the cake. Continue reading
I knew it was coming months ago, but Mid-Autumn Festival crept up on me like most holidays usually do. Over the past few months, I kept asking people (in Cantonese), “When is August 15th?” all the while chuckling in my head at how silly the question must sound. People knew exactly what I was inquiring about since the festival is on the same day each Chinese calendar year, but changes each year on the Western calendar. I can’t say I do a lot to celebrate the day, except following the tradition of giving away mooncakes. But, I like to make my own mooncakes instead of buying them from a store. Baking mooncakes this year turned out to be an extremely trying day of cooking for me, since it took me hours upon hours to come up with a finished product. I certainly don’t remember it taking so long last year to make mooncakes.
A few weeks ago I purchased a mooncake mould from Chinatown, adding to the two I already owned. The new one had three stamp plates: Doraemon and two Hello Kitty plates. Sadly, I didn’t get to use my new toy or any of the old ones this year (more on that to follow). Continue reading
Going Off the Deep End
I remember my trip to Quebec where cheese curds were as common as Honda Civics are here in Vancouver. Cheese curds would be sitting unrefrigerated near the cash registers at just about every grocery store and gas station, and I thought it was very strange. It was equally strange to eat my first authentic plate of poutine and hear the delightful squeak of the curds rubbing against my teeth. So, when I founds fresh curds at the Edible Vancouver Garlic Festival I thought I would try to recreate my francophone experience. Continue reading
Forks on the Farm
Living here in B.C. means that I have access to an abundant supply of locally produced food. Recently, I have been trying harder to take advantage of my location so that I can eat foods when they are in season. Reading ‘The 100 Mile Diet’ will probably give me a lot of good ideas and creative ways to take advantage of foods produced here. I don’t think that I could do a 100 mile diet like some people have, but I didn’t let that stop me from exploring the food filled outback of B.C.. My recent excursion to the Fraser Valley on the self-guided Circle Farm Tour, took me and a friend as far as Agassiz, which is about 80 miles (130 kilometres) from Richmond.
The only places I wanted to make sure we stopped at were the ‘Edible Vancouver Garlic Festival‘ and ‘The Abbotsford Farmers Market’. In addition to these two events, we were on a quest for salmon roe, corn, and honey for no reason other than those items being produced and harvested that region.
The first part of the trip was longer than I expected and I started to get hungry, Continue reading
The Lemongrass is Greener
It can be a daunting task trying to figure out which places in the cluster of Vietnamese restaurants on the Kingsway strip are truly worth trying and which places have rodents who saw Disney’s Ratatouille and are trying to follow in Remy’s footsteps. Luckily, I don’t have to decide on a restaurant by playing pin the tail on the donkey, instead I have Yelp to do the work for me.
I decided to try Green Lemongrass which has two locations, one in the Kensington-Collingwood area of Vancouver, and the other in Richmond. When I walked, in I noticed that plants were placed throughout the restaurant. I think the purpose of the plants is to give the restaurant a tropical feel, but it didn’t work for me. After taking my seat, I glanced over the extensive menu which included a lot of specialty dishes that aren’t found at most other Vietnamese restaurants around.
I was excited Continue reading