Fundamental to Western philosophy is the dinner party. The ancient Athenian supper that Plato describes in his Symposium has all the familiar tracings of our modern gatherings: food, drinks, and friends – not to mention attempts at moderation and long, heated discussions on love. While our parties might not be exactly as Plato described (e.g. wives are now allowed to attend), the framework was there. In the end, a dinner party is a simple and enduring combination of ingredients made unique by hosts and guests alike.
Whenever someone mentions teppanyaki, I immediately think of four things: precision cut meat and seafood, flying prawns landing on my plate, a stack of onions arranged like a fire-shooting volcano and Steve Aoki.
Who invented pasta? As a kid, you learned it was the Italians. As a slightly older kid, you found out that it only became an “Italian thing” when Marco Polo returned from the Far East with these unusual things called “noodles”, so it was probably the Chinese that invented pasta. Maybe it was the Arab invaders who brought a pasta predecessor to The Boot during the 8th century, or the Greeks who settled in Naples before Polo was even alive. Whether Italians invented pasta or not isn’t really my point. The point is, once the nonnas got their hands on pasta, it was game over.
In the dumpling game, xiao long bao (aka soup dumplings or Shanghai-style dumplings) are the high rollers table. My brother and boyfriend equate the experience to biting into a pizza pop right when you pull it out of the microwave, and they aren’t far off. Get it right and you are rewarded with a mouth full of delicious dumpling heaven but fumble with your chopsticks and you’ll be left with a scalded mouth, wet chin and a ruined dumpling. But, don’t let the fear of (potential) physical and emotional pain scare you, like I said- no risk, no reward.
There is something magical about getting up on a Saturday morning and going to the farmers market. Let me explain- Edmontonians endure rough winters, so there’s nothing like a table covered with sun-ripened tomatoes to buoy our spirits until the next frost.
There are very few things that this blogger loves as much as brunch. Carrie Bradshaw pretty much said it best in Sex and the City: “you can sleep until noon, still get eggs anywhere in the city, and alcohol is often included with the meal.” So, you can imagine my delight when I found out that Bodega Highlands by Sabor, which is a convenient 10 minute walk from our house, now serves brunch.