Last day of shopping and running errands as I prepare to board a flight for Montreal tomorrow. Unfortunately, web access won’t be quite so readily available at my mother’s place, so I may miss a day here and there. On the bright side, I’m bringing along my camera and will be snapping photos of the various meals I’ll be enjoying while I’m there. Hopefully, highlights will include visits to Toque, Pied de Cochon, and mom’s kitchen. Pics and reviews to come. Hopefully, mom hasn’t lost her touch with the cannelloni.

As I was driving around town today, I wrote the final scene of the first act of my script. One down, four to go. I also finally picked up Fondy’s gift (she mentioned that, as a kid, she cherished her well-worn video boxset of the Peanut’s holiday specials, so I assembled a package of every Peanuts DVD I could get my hands on), dropped off some presents, and purchasws some interesting-looking books, among them Dan Simmons’ “Song of Kali”, Nebula Awards Showcase 2006, and short story collections by Gene Wolfe, Octavia Butler, and Connie Willis. And speaking of Connie Willis – a couple of months ago, I joined a scifi book club as a way to motivate me to do more reading. And read I have, blazing through approximately 15 books in a bid to cover the list of novels already discussed. This December, we read and the first book I nominated for the club (that eventually ended up being chosen): Joe Haldeman’s “Forever War”, an excellent novel that I’d like to discuss with you all at a later date. My second nomination, and the book chosen for January 2006, is “To Say Nothing of the Dog”, by Connie Willis. If any of you would like to read along, I’d love to hear what you have to say (after January 1st). Also, if I may recommend a book which I very much enjoyed, check out Ted Chiang’s Stories of Your Life and Others, a collection of short stories by a very accomplished, very inventive writer. Again, if you decide to check it out, let me know what you think.
Fondy and I checked out a new Thai restaurant tonight. Located across the street from H Mart and around the corner from a frame and picture shop, Khai is a nice addition to Vancouver’s downtown restaurant scene. It was very quiet when we dropped in but, hopefully, word will spread and business will eventually pick up. We started with the Chor Muang, a flower-shaped dumpling filled with spiced minced pork. Whenever I see these on a menu, I always order them and I am never disappointed. Fondy found the dumpling skin a little too glutinous, preferring Simply Thai’s version, but I found them excellent all the same and had no problem finishing 3 of the 4 that came with the order. We then split a papaya salad. I’d just like to take a moment to say how much I love the concept of spicy salad. Shredded papaya, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, and a sweet and but not overly-spicy dressing. Nice. Next up were the mains: the steamed fish in lime juice (tender, meaty filets bursting with lime flavor), the grilled chicken Gai Yang (nicely grilled chicken meat, white and dark, served with a sweet chili sauce), and the pad eggplant with pork (the only misstep of the night – the eggplant was not properly cooked through, but the generous pork and basil accompaniment were terrific). Next time we’re back in town, we plan to put their curries to the test.
Finally, thanks to all of those who’ve taken the time to comment, give this blog a plug, and shed light on the mystery ingredients of Korean sausage (I knew it was meatless!). If I don’t check in before December 24th, have a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday.

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SunDancer
SunDancer

Thanks, Joe, for all the culinary insights into the Vancouver restaurant scene.

Not only does it make me want to visit Vancouver and check out all those nice “chow” places you’ve mentioned, but it also inspires me to eventually (maybe) post my “Possessed Chef” recipe for eggplant burgers on my blog.

In the meantime, I wish you, your wifey & your family very happy Holy Days (“Holy Daze”?)!