chinatown by day & indian food by night

having had the weekend off work, i was eager to get out and have some quality family time.  wow, how i am becoming my mother more and more every week!  sundays were always family days, a tradition that i have come to appreciate as the circle of life progresses.  i just cringe at the thought of the kids reaching that age where they are too cool for their parents and dread having to spend an entire sunday together as a family.  i guess i'll just have to be HIP and COOL and find AWESOME RAD things for us to do...

in the olden days, kev and i would spend an entire day downtown, parking across from Holy Rosary Cathedral, walking down to Holt Renfrew, through Pacific Centre Mall and out into the downtown core; sometimes heading down to bustling Robson Street and south to Granville down to Yaletown, or heading east into Gastown and neighbouring Chinatown.  

i figured Chinatown would be an enjoyable visit.  as much as i feel like the bright and ornate lampposts are a little tacky and unnecessary, another part of me enjoys them.  probably the tourist part of me.  and i say that because although i have chinese roots, i feel all but alienated and as much an outsider as a tourist.  my visits to Chinatown began in 2006 when we were scouring the shops for the then popular parasols for our wedding.  i began having mixed feelings of entitlement and guilt for enjoying all the "neat stuff" i was finding.  entitlement because i was visually chinese despite being as ignorant if not more ignorant than my scholarly caucasian husband, and guilty because i am that ignorant about my own roots.

yes, i feel guilty about the photos i'm taking.  but i also feel that i am allowed to enjoy it for purely visual reasons outside of my inner cultural turmoil.  digging deeper, i'm sure there is a part of me that just wants to immerse myself in this tiny couple of blocks that is Chinatown to fill the void of having lost my dad, his brother, and mother.  it is a huge void to fill , so really, anything will do...

i have a love/hate relationship with high art after art school
but i have to admit, this piece of public art is pretty damn cool


you can imagine how stoked i was to find this piece of graffito

chloe catches on fast.  after seeing moses doing his poses, she found this brick wall and demanded i take a shot of her as well.

we walked to Medina, the best cafe in the world ever, to grab a Lavender Latte and a waffle for the kids to try.  these waffles are $4 a go but damn are they delicious and they come with many topping options, each one more tempting than the other.  how people do not just order one of each and have a waffle party is a mystery to me.  hmmm... maybe i need to do just that for my birthday.

Dark Chocolate
Milk Chocolate Lavender
White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater
Fig Orange Marmalade
Raspberry Caramel
Mixed Berry Compote

worth the wait!

normally i get the White Chocolate Pistachio Rosewater
but i decided to try something new and went for the Fig Orange Marmalade

though i have had kids for 3 years now, it seems that most of the opportunities to see my friend Jenice (friends since gr 9) i am SANS children and usually completely blitzed.  that would be true for the last two times i saw her this year.  and now JENICE IS PREGGERS!!!!  HOORAY!!!

living downtown, i called her up to meet us in Chinatown.  she strolled along with us for a while before meeting up with friends for Dim Sum.  i gave her a bag of stuff to start off her journey into motherhood, including my bellaband, a few tops, a Dwell change pad, and possibly some other stuff i can't remember.



headed to the Sun Yat Sen garden

i know.  i'm bad for thinking this is funny.  sigh.

i think i feel a lot of guilt because way back in 2002 when i was doing art in Kwantlen, i was friends with a Chinese guy with whom i carpooled to avoid the 2 hour long bus rides.  one time, i joined him and his girlfriend at a Chinese cafe.  i clearly remember her commenting how i was pretty (he said "i told you she was") and how i looked Canadian Chinese but not REAL Chinese.

and i couldn't argue with her... i AM gorgeous, afterall!  kidding.  i knew that i was and would always be Chinese by blood but not in culture.  

back at home, i was starving and feeling the onset of my two day long aching face with side of nausea.  i barely had anything to eat for breakfast and the latte and piece of waffle was all i had when we were out.  i don't drink coffee so it was stupid of me to have one an empty stomach.  anyway, i needed some cozy comfort food so i whipped up together another cauliflower mac and cheese, topped with cherry tomatoes. i didn't cook the cauliflower long enough and it definitely needed more cheese.

kevin and i tagteamed and made this delicious dinner of the eggplant curry from Tana Ramsay (see below), gluten free naan bread from Taryn, some baked cauliflower, and a bowl of basmati with peas and cumin seeds.  

super noms

Eggplant Curry


1tbs olive oil 
1" fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 eggplant, cut into half inch cubes
3tbsp medium hot curry paste (i used mild)
13.5 oz can coconut milk (i used one can)
1 cup chicken stock
juice of half a lime

1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium, add ginger, garlic, onion and stir for 10 minutes or until softened and translucent but not browned.
Add eggplant and cook for 5-10 minutes until soft

2. Stir in curry paste, then add coconut milk and stock.  Bring to simmer, season with S&P and cook for 25-30 minutes

3.  Pour sauce into a blender and process until smooth.  You may have to do it in batches...

4.  Add lime juice.  Simmer gently for 20 minutes


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