Dim Sum 101 and Etiquettes

This is a Dim Sum 101 according to Ben. I don’t profess myself to be a dim sum expert but to those unfamiliar with dim sums, I might … I just might come across to you like an expert. 🙂

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The word Dim Sum is a Cantonese word and that by itself implies that dim sum is a cuisine from the southern part of China. In Cantonese, the name literally translates to “touch the heart”. I guess it came from the fact that “you select to your heart’s desire” what you want from a wide variety of choices.

Dim Sum is normally eaten at breakfast, sometimes during lunch time and almost never for dinner. The beauty about dim sums are that it comes in various kinds of small servings.

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Dim Sums are either steamed or fried, but mostly steamed. They are steamed in small steamer baskets like the ones above.

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The steamer baskets are stacked high one above another, sometimes as high as 10 baskets.

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Table settings consists of a tea cup, a bowl, a small plate, a soup spoon and a pair of chopsticks. The one thing you can be always assured of seeing is the chinese tea. (more…)

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Blackberry Shrubs

There is a bumper crop of blackberries this year in Vancouver. This has been brought about by lots of rain in June followed by hot, dry weather after, creating ideal condition.

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Blackberry shrubs are found all over the lower mainland — roadsides, fence lines, stream banks, railway tracks — and they grow just about anywhere.

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I bike to work on most days in summer. Along the bike route there are also a lot of blackberry shrubs. These shrubs I find along the route are largely untouched because unless you are on the route you will not know they are there.

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DinnerWorks.com – Meal-Assembly Centre

I heard about DinnerWorks.com over the radio last week on the way back home. So after dinner, I checked out DinnerWorks.com and found that they are the first meal assembly center in Vancouver. I have never heard of meal assembly centers before now — this is all new to me and I was very curious to find out more. Today, there are more than 700 of such centers in the United States — this is a new concept to Vancouver.

DinnerWorks is in the meal preparation business. They basically does everything for you except cook. The idea is simple — eliminate the stress and save some of the cost and time of meal preparation. And all it does is somewhat of an assembly line for food prep.

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Suanne signed up through the DinnerWorks.com website. DinnerWorks publish their schedule from which you choose a time you are expected to show up. They also publish the details of the menus — there are 12 delicious sounding menu items to select from.

On the website, you select your time and menu item you wanted. This will allow the folks in DinnerWorks to make sure that they have all the ingredients and food delivered FRESH just in time when you turn up.

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We had no problems finding the place and were very surprised how nice the setup was. For some reason, I thought that “food assembly” means some cold warehouse setting with concrete floors and all. The place was spanking clean — makes Suanne feel like an iron chef preparing a gourmet meal! 🙂 We like it. Why, we were even given a nice DinnerWorks apron to don — what is missing is a chef hat.

We were greeted by Chris Roscoe who jointly owns and operates DinnerWorks with his wife. Being new to meal assemblies, Chris were very patient in showing us everything we need to know.

They emphasize a lot on cleanliness and food hygiene. We were initially shown where the wash stations and gloves (should we need it) were. The place were very well equipped with all kinds of kitchen utensils. Most of what we need it is already placed for us in the station but should we need more, there are lots. Suanne wish that her kitchen is like that — I think she will spend more time in the kitchen cooking.

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The above is the picture of one of the eight meal preparation stations in DinnerWorks. (more…)

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