Rhubarb Mow Down, Chow Down

Rhubarb started off on the wrong foot with my family.  Not until I was 16 years old, it dawned upon our family, the monstrous red stalk and big leafy bushes in our backyard, were rhubarb. Alien Red Stalked Plant with Poisonous Leaves When I was 10 years old, we were excited to have our first…

My European Food Trip Shock: Meat, Poached Eggs, Wine and Pastries

During our latest fall trip to Europe this year, I became much more a carnivore and red wine sipper. I had meat and red wine nearly every dinner for over two weeks.   Oh yes, we didn’t forget the pastries, especially in France and Germany. Normally, I only eat meat 3-4 times per month at home….

Taste Ticklers: Matcha Green Tea Desserts or Monster Squash Sprouts?

So far, I’ve prided myself in eating weird looking food. Anyone raised on predominantly traditional Asian cuisine for first 20 years of their life, tends to think so. As a kid, I ate rehydrated tiger lily buds steamed with meat, bitter melon. Heck, I’ve crunched on ugh, sea cucumber in a restaurant. It’s gelatinous AND…

Judge Not the Poor: Eating Healthy

There have been enough popular  news media and academic articles about the unhealthy triangle of poverty, limited food choices, and higher risk of poor health. Such assumptions can sometimes be wrong:  I am a living example or shall I say, my family has been a living example that poverty doesn’t always mean living in the black shadow of…

Salmon Art Leaps Into Pacific West Coast Imagination

Salmon is king in Vancouver  –in local cuisine and in art.  After a few days wandering in the city or anywhere along the coast of British Columbia, you are bound to stumble across salmon swishing through water or jumping up in sculpture, murals or mosaics.  Salmon iconography is in Salish coastal Indian art, outdoor contemporary…

Cycling and Searching for Sublime Seafood Chowder

I had my first dreamy seafood chowder, when I was in a bad  mood. It was a clam chowder that placated me, over twenty years ago near the start of my longest ever bike-camping trip over 1,000 km. long  in the Canadian east  coast Maritime provinces.  I was fuming desperately after only cycling 40 km….

Comfort Food Requires No Recipe

Comfort food should not require a recipe. Especially if you make it for yourself. If comfort food is to nourish your soul and body, then it needs to be easy-peasy to make or buy when you want it, crave for it. Comfort food is what you instinctively turn to when you’re down, tired, alone or…

Sea Asparagus – a Touch of Green Ocean Saltiness

It wasn’t until I lived in Vancouver, BC, I knew  of sea asparagus, another vegetable  that grows like a thick wild green lawn, along the ocean intertidal shores.  It is harvested by hand.  Sea asparagus, sea beans, samphire or its biological name, salicorum virginica, bears no resemblance, to asparagus spears that grow in farmers’ fields. Sea asparagus…

Rising with Community Gardens: Three Cities

Vancouver’s Sole Foods: Bringing Back Dignity and Purpose to Emptiness  Last year, a large dreary parking lot in downtown Vancouver was transformed with rows of bright green vegetables under the shadow of B.C. Stadium, elevated light rail viaduct and condo towers.  It didn’t take long for rich green leaves to unfurl and cover part of the…

Blogging is Painting My Story Robe

The Blackfoot Indians in the prairies passed on their history and collective memory through storytelling and in pictographs. Painted images on tanned buffalo leather hide are called story robes. Occasionally they painted stories on tipi covers, blankets and rocks too. Blogging is our 21st century painting and wearing our story robe. When I began blogging,…

Whimsical Dreams of Christmas Gingerbread Magic

Whenever snow falls near Christmas, any serious thoughts vapourize into child-like dreams of fun, sugar plums, sleigh bells and lovely baked pastries with hot chocolate. I like soft Christmas cookies with different spices, less sugar but more delicate in taste . Gingerbread cookies are cute, but do not stoke my sweet tooth. To me, gingerbread houses and…

Are You a Couch Foodie, Garden Foodie or Stove-Top Foodie?

Recently in a cycling forum, a question floated over the Internet: “Do you have a discerning palate?” That got me thinking about foodies, people who pride themselves as food connoisseurs, worldly arbitrators of food dishes from a dizzying array of cuisines. Just a Stove-Top Foodie: Homespun Knowledge I fancy myself as a foodie. Not a…

Easily Drunk on Cycle-Touring in Wine Regions

It’s annoying to have my  health problem whenever we go cycle-touring in the wine regions of Canada, U.S. and Europe: I get easily drunk on alcohol. You could say I am afflicted by a common problem that isn’t just confined to some Asians (although there is that stereotyping). My ears become quite red: fast like a supremely…

Asia in My Dreams: Romanticizing the East

After half a century, I still haven’t been to Asia yet.  Being Canadian-born and resident in Canada all my life ( Huron-Iroquois native Indian for “Kanata“, meaning village), I have only impressions and tenuous connections to ancestral land of China. As Asia hurtles along in the 21st century to remake itself, I have had to…

Spa Pampering in a Dog’s Life: Bakeries, Bike Trailers and More

In the past few decades, a mini boom of small businesses has sprung up to serve dogs and their dog lover-owners.  At least in some major cities. Bakeries for Dogs I got whiff of the dog bakery business over 15 years ago, when I cycled past a new shop in Toronto’s Beaches area, a gentrified…

Romanticizing the Best: Asian Craze for Gourmet European Desserts

Romanticizing either one’s own culture or another culture, can be as simple as introducing a foreign food dish, which becomes wildly popular over time.  Popular, because not only the dish tastes great, but the consumer purchases and enjoys the dish as partaking in a refined, higher class or more worldly expression of their personal taste….