Fresh baked “Fong Bao” from the oven – 方包出爐

Random musings & meditations straight from the oven. Hopefully some food for thought as well…

Archive for April, 2011

This is what we live for

* = Lingo alert

Cheering and keeping up with your favorite sports team(s) while away on vacation is a neat experience. Last April, Pie Pie Lo* & I made a sojourn – with Little Drumstick* & family – toDisneylandduring the first round playoff series between the Canucks and the L.A. Kings. We couldn’t fit a game at theStaplesCenterinto our schedule but was quite happy the Canucks prevailed before we headed home. Interestingly, the decision was made to travel once again – this time toHong Kong– before the start of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. With a +15-hour time difference, watching Canuck games live was not an option as there were things to do in the morning.

Thank goodness for technology – iPhone and Twitter in particular – as Pie Pie Lo and I kept up with all the joy back home after Vancouver took a 3-0 series lead against Chicago. It also became a topic of conversation when I met up with friends – who used to live inVancouver- as they were all excited about the prospects of a post season break thru. I wore my Kesler tee inHong Kongwith pride whenever the team played thus I didn’t feel as out of touch as I first thought. Like many, I honestly expected the series to be over long before the end of our vacation.

Of course, we now know what happened in games 4 and 5. While waiting to board our flight home, I could only think of two things: 1, It’s going to be hard switching back into work mode after a wonderful vacation, and 2, I actually get to watch game 6 upon my return. The flight touched down shortly after12pmand by the time Pie Pie Lo and I got out of YVR, our taxi had the Canucks “pre pre-game show” on the radio. It was fascinating to hear how ecstasy has turned into angst in the span of six days.

Game 6 was a very good game to watch but I found it hard to stay awake as jet lag was setting in. Funny enough, the Canucks scored every time I doused off. How I wished I had slept during overtime after the Blackhawks potted the winning goal to force a game 7. At that point, the frustration, negativity and self loathing Canuck fans have come to expect all surfaced: Our boys are on the verge of blowing a 3-0 series lead – after the greatest regular season (EVER) in team history, no less – against their playoff nemesis.

Inconceivable at first.

Yet a distinct possibility.

An unbearable thought, for sure.

My first day back at work was the day of game 7 and the tension in the city was palpable. You can hear it from the callers of sports-talk radio and you can see it on the faces of pedestrians – a lot of them in Canuck attire – walking the streets. Expectations of my work colleagues all varied but one thing was certain: No one has any idea how the game will turn out. It’s a massive contest that will either electrify or ripe the heart out of this town.

As much as I tried to relax and simply enjoy the thrills of a game 7, it was easier said than done. It’s foolish, I know, to think certain “gestures” have an effect on the outcome yet I found myself sitting a certain way and laying out the remote controls towards a certain direction, like I always do when my favorite teams play important games. As the night went on – with the Canucks clinging onto their slim 1-0 lead – I was practically frozen on my couch, fearing that any sudden movement would trigger something negative.

Despite the jet lag I was glued to the telly* as this game was eerily similar to the Olympic gold medal final in terms of intensity and drama. So when Alex Burrows scored the winner, I was finally able to exhale with a loud “YEAH” and a fist pump/wave. It felt great knowing: 1, The Canucks exorcised their playoff demons; 2, It was a much needed wake up call for the team; 3, The quest for 16 wins is alive & well and 4, No riot on Robson street.

But the best part?

I was so exhausted emotionally and physically that I slept through the night.

Isn’t that what we live for? A good night sleep after a Canuck victory?

Item du jour

During my recent trip to Hong Kong I found this street in Wan Chai. Sadly there’s no 14 Burrows Street. After that OT winner, maybe the city should name a street after him.


Airline Food Memories

Airline food, for some reason, holds a strange appeal to me ever since I was a kid. Back in my youth in Hong Kong, our family would travel twice a year – usually long haul to Vancouver and the U.S.– and during those flights I always look forward to meal times with anticipation. Some of you may wonder: “Who in their right mind would eat, let alone clear a tray full of saucy, high sodium, overcooked of…whatever???”

That’s a valid question.

Back then it was a case of eating something I usually don’t get at home and without a point of reference I simply ate up what was offered.  It didn’t help that I liked my sauces so the beef tenderloin gravy often vanish without a trace. A flight attendant once marvelled at how clean my dish was.

The presentation – if I may call it that – also captured my imagination.

I liked how food of different shapes – cubed meat, potatoes in little spheres and various veggies in their unique likeness – are packed neatly inside a little ceramic dish. A principle I took heart when packing my pencil case for school.

That was my response then.

But as I stared into this latest tray of un-loved protein, carbs, etc, I came to realize that airline food was a reminder of those precious times when my family traveled, ate, spent extended time together. People often talked about how certain things invoke memories of their childhood. Who knew that airline food would be one of those for me.