October 14, 2012
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Corn dogs are hot dog sausages coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and deep fried in oil. Their origins are disputed, but it is most likely that they were first in the US by the 1920s, and were popularized nationally in the 1940s. Corn dogs are often served as street food and at fairs, and in experience, some small town cafes offer them as a lunch item. I tried my hand at cooking corn dogs and fries yesterday afternoon to great effect, and the corn dogs themselves reminded me of a short but superlative trip I took back during the summer.
- The distinct ‘fairground’ flavour of a corndog comes from the cornmeal batter. I prefer adding a bit of ketchup and mustard to mine to liven things up a little. The fact that the corndog is on a stick makes it a highly mobile food, allowing it to be carried and enjoyed with minimal mess.
- Fried potatoes seem to go well with anything: burgers, fried fish or shrimp, wings, ribs, hot dogs, etc. I prefer oven fries, which are thicker cut and more tender than conventional fries.
- Despite passing by the Vermillion lakes every time I’m in Banff, whether I’m headed into or out of the Banff area, this view never grows old.
- This time around, I was behind the wheel on the Trans-Canada highway. I’ve driven here a handful of times now: the first was during the Canada Day Long Weekend, where traffic was insane. The next would be the trip to the Banff Park Lodge Chinook Brunch that I mentioned in my Master Grade 00 Seven Sword/G post and finally, the road trip that I’ll mention shortly after…
It was during summer 2012, where I was taking a short two-day road trip into the mountains. On the second day, we stopped briefly in Invermere, BC for lunch at the Bistro: while corn dogs and fries were on their menu, I opted to go with the jumbo dog, a freshly-made bratwurst on a bun served with a plate of fries. Once lunch concluded, the remainder of the day was spent exploring various sights in Kootenay National Park, including Sinclair Canyon and Marble Canyon. The skies in all of our pictures were a beautiful colour of azure, and I do not believe it was the camera adding colour. The weather following the MCAT was spectacular, and the trip was an excellent post-exam vacation that I thoroughly enjoyed.
July 16, 2012
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Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. For instance, if you wake up to the sound of twittering birds, and find yourself in an enormous canopy bed, with a butler standing next to you hoding a breakfast of freshly made muffins and hand-squeezed orange juice on a silver tray, you will know that your day will be a splendid one.
As per this excerpt from Lemony Snicket’s The Miserable Mill, morning is perhaps the most important part of the day, given that it establishes the mood and context for everything that is to follow. It is also the period of day that the most amount of stuff seems to get done (for people like myself: most people would probably disagree with my claims about the morning), and my past experiences have shown that I enjoy coding and writing papers in the morning. I also prefer morning exams for similar reasons. However, one’s mood could be spectacular upon seeing a new morning, but doubtlessly, mood alone is insufficient without the proper nourishment. Therefore, if one wakes up bright and early for a full breakfast of sorts on a calm sunny morning, then, as per Snicket’s passage, that day will most likely be a particularly good one.
- A full breakfast is a substantial breakfast meal, usually consisting of bacon, sausages and eggs, often served with a variety of side dishes and a beverage such as coffee or tea. It is especially popular in the English-speaking nations, such as the British Isles and the United States. Such breakfasts are so-named to differentiate them from the lighter continental breakfasts. These breakfasts are perhaps one of my favourite aspects about vacations: I recall that in Shanghai and Hangzhou, we would wake up to spectacular breakfasts every morning.
- Canada and the United States has traditionally derived much of their culture from Britain; the breakfasts have remained relatively similar, consisting of eggs, bacon, sausage and accompanied by fried potatoes such as hash browns or home fries. Accompanying the meal might be toasted white, wheat or rye bread, English muffins, bagels, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, fruit or fruit juice and beverages such as coffee or tea. These breakfasts are often referred to as a “country breakfast” “Sunday breakfast,” or a “big breakfast”.
- This is the Prince of Wales hotel at Waterton Lakes national park by morning. A lot of people I am acquainted with are not morning people in the sense that they would prefer to sleep during the early hours of the day. I sleep relatively early compared to them, though, so it is possible for me to remain mostly alert during early morning lectures; whereas they awaken by noon, I wear out by noon. Now consider the fact that most of my courses are concentrated in the afternoon…
- Actually, my solution is to sleep more and break more. Outside of classes, I prefer the world by morning and by evening; in the morning, everything is still fresh and cool, awaiting new starts, while by evening, the air cools after a long day. Above, we have a farmhouse somewhere near the Teton Range.
I hope readers enjoy these occasional, non-anime and non-gaming posts. They’re here because I’m bored and do not wish to discuss solely anime and gaming, which would doubtlessly be rather monotonous. As such, I have a class of posts dedicated to how food and life intertwine; consider that some events are associated with particular dishes in most cultures!
May 21, 2012
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Sirloin steak and a broiled lobster tail seem to complement each other quite nicely. I was on a family outing a few days ago and ended the day at a local steakhouse, where I went with the sirloin and lobster entrée. The steak was well-seasoned, contrasting the lobster’s distinct texture. I was particularly impressed by the fact that the butter dish for the lobster was warmed by a tea light, and more impressed by the quality of the food in general.
- The sirloin steak is a steak cut from the rear back portion of cattle and the name is Middle English surloine, which itself was derived from the Old French word surlonge, meaning sur la longe or above the loin.
- Lobster goes well with a combination of lemon juice and seasoned butter. In fish and lobsters, lemon juice is used as a marinades, given that its acidic properties neutralizes amines in fish by converting them into non-volatile ammonium salts, tenderising the meat.
- The restaurant was located in the inner city, a region of town I rarely visit. The inner city is well known for its “party street”, so-named for its dense concentration of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and shops. The restuarant is located here, and the district itself is home to several unique establishments that merit another visit.
The last time I had lobster with a steak, I was on a cruise with Celebrity to Alaska. We had travelled from Vancouver, through the inside passage and visited three major cities along the Alaska coastline, including Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. Along the way, I saw much about salmon fishing and gold mining, making it one of the most memorable vacations I’ve enjoyed.
- Ketchikan is a city in Alaska with an estimated population of 14,070 and is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town. The city’s economy is based upon tourism and fishing; Ketchikan is known as the “Salmon Capital of the World.”
May 13, 2012
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Pizzas are oven-baked, flat, round bread typically topped with a tomato sauce, cheese and various toppings. It was originally invented in Greece and has become popular in many parts of the world, especially at research conferences and presentations. Its popularity is evident at some research presentations: pizza is commonly served for its relative ease of eating; in fact, the events I’ve attended routinely advertise “free pizza” to all attendees.
- Pizzas are traditionally baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Some recipes suggest grilling the pizza, giving it a unique flavour that cannot be attained from baking; in fact, grilled pizza is probably one of the most unique items that can be made from a grill.
- Aside from a diverse range of toppings (ranging from bacon and mushroom to Philadelphia cheese-steak and even grilled shrimp), pizza crusts also vary depending on the region: for instance, in the United States, New York pizza is thin crust, while Chicago is famous for its deep dish pizza.
Back in November, I was presenting at an undergraduate research symposium, and recall picking up several slices of pizza in-between presenting my research to the audience. Pizza offers the advantage of being (relatively) easy to eat in the absence of a chair and table, so when people inquired about my project, it was simple to set down said pizza, pick up the iPad and begin presenting without introducing grease onto the iPad’s screen.