Saturday, December 13, 2008

Vancouver Ho

Baby Crumpet took us for a weekend trip to Vancouver B.C.

Highlights included attending the Taiwan Festival (lots of food & music); lots of Chinese food everywhere; brunch at the Granville Island market; picnic at Stanley Park.

We're big fans of Vancouver. Just 2 1/2 hours driving from Seattle, it has the perfect vibe that is part San Francisco, part Hong Kong while retaining the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. We also go there to get our Chinese food fix.

We visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park for the first time. Less than 20 minutes outside of the city, the main attraction is a suspension bridge (pictured) originally built in 1889 and stretches 450 feet and 230 feet above ground. They've recently added seven new suspension bridges each 100 feet above ground and circulate the entire park around tall trees. All of us had a great time and we have a lovely picnic with goodies from the Granville Island Market.

Oregon ho

Quick trip down to Portland, OR and dinner with Tomoko - who is a freshman at the Willamette College.

Always love visiting my favorite spots in Portland - Kenny & Zuke's for pastrami; Stumptown for cappucchino; Powells for the used books; Ace Hotel for the lime rosemary soda; Mustang Cafe for brunch with the Top Shelf boys; The Brew with the Dark Horse gang; Potato Champ for late-night poutines with rosemary ketchup.

Drving home to Seattle was looking forward to a meal at another favorite - The Rib Eye off I-5 but dismayed to find the restaurant gutted. Apparently the place has closed but the landlord is trying to find another person to run it. Bummer!


Baby Crumpet helping to paint the backyard fence.

Big Green Egg & Ribs

Baby Crumpet took me to the 2nd annual Pacific Northwest Evergreen EggFest with Cathy, John & Maya.

For those not in the know, the Big Green Egg is a Japanese BBQ grill that's shaped like, well, a big green egg. The owners (such as John) swear by its superior cooking ability. Don McQuinn told me every officer had one when he was stationed off Okinawa in the 50s.

The ''eggfest'' is a ridiculous event where owner haul their Big Green Egg down to the park and proceed to cook all-day their own secret recipes - ribs, pizza, sliders, cake, sausages. The event is ALL YOU CAN EAT and FREE. The cooks are here for the love of cooking as well as networking (a lot of recipe & technique sharing going on) or simply just to show off.

It wasn't enough to convince me to buy a Big Green Egg because I enjoy the instant gratification of my trust Weber Silver II but I sure love this festival and of course, can visit John's house anytime for his famous 12-hour Boston Butt.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This & that

quick trip down to san francisco & berkeley: highlight: cheese puff @ Tartine Bakery in Mission. interesting experience: having my car towed at said bakery - amazed at the efficiency of the chinese woman at the downtown impound for taking my money & returning my car - I swear the whole process took less than 5 minutes

Baby Crumpet has decided she wants to be a ''Princess Sheep'' when she grows up.

Attended Lily's 5 years old birthday party at Jen Risko's downtown condo. Yummy lasagna lots of wine + a Max & Ruby cake.

Thanksgiving at the Gaynors. Jim made awesome turkey using a brine recipe from Alton Brown (and I normally don't like turkey). Everyone potlucked. Nathan teached Baby Crumpet how to play Wii.

The auto industry wants $34 billion in loans & line of credit from the federal government. Why can't they get that from banks? or why can't they file for bankruptcy & re-organize like the airlines?

I'm sick to my stomach with what happened in Mumbai.

The political crisis in Ottawa & Bangkok is, ridiculous.

I'm finally on Twitter - under kliang.

Making holiday plans for Boston - looking forward to seeing family, Eva & the Allens.

Next book club pick: How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher

Bay Area ho

Baby Crumpet took us to Menlo Park, CA for her great-grandma Dot's 90th birthday party + her twin uncles' 65th birthday party. Lots of playing with cousins & eating cakes en sue.

Visited our good friends Sona & Paul & their lovely daughter Sharika (pictured with Crumpet). Sona's mother was visiting from Minnesota. She was originally from Kashmir so she told us many wonderful stories - here is one of my favorite: while shopping in Delhi she overhears a shopkeeper overcharge people while conversing in Kashmiri, thinking the hindu speaking crowd does not understand. She chides them in kashmiri, at which point the shopkeer exclaims ''my sister! if you had only told me sooner you were here! come in! come in! look around my shop! tell me what you like and I will give you the best deal! here, have some tea.'' an hour later Sona's mom leaves the shop with a couple items purchased. The moral of the story? The shopkeeper turned an embarassing situation into a sales opportunity. Genius.

Walked around Burlingame Ave which was my old high school hang out. I barely recognize it. Gone are the old jewish restaurants & cheap-o delis. In are trendy middle-east grills & upscale baby boutiques where dresses for girls cost upward to $475. Oh and we saw a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a few Porches. Stumbled onto a farmers' market, laughed at all the people wearing parkas & sweaters (seriously, it was 65 degrees, people in Seattle would be wearing shorts). LOVED the food vendors especially the guy with the garlic-mint humus & mexican soda.

One of grandma's friend Maggie tells me of a new Shanghai restaurant on 25th ave in San Mateo. I try in vain but could not convince anyone to go with me - next time....