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Dejah

eG Foodblog: Dejah - Dejah of the Canadian Prairies

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FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD!

The word "BLOG" is a familiar one in our house. My hubby Bill, is a prof. in the Faculty of Education, and "blogging" is one of the requirements for his Communications and Computer technology courses. But, I have never been involved in blogs until this invitation...and this sounds much tastier! Thanks for the opportunity. :smile:

Life is much more relaxed now that we have retired from the restaurant biz.

http://home.westman.wave.ca/~hillmans/soosera.html

Since 2002, I have been teaching half time at our university in the EAP program with international students. This leaves me the rest of the day to cook . . . what else? :wink:

Brandon is a rural city of 44,000. Dining out does not include gourmet meals, tasting menus, etc. Until I found Egullet, a tasting menu was a 9 or 11 course Chinese banquet, complete with a 26 oz. bottle of Crown Royal ;-) My cooking these days involve learning traditional family recipes from my 95-year-old mother, pulling out old recipes from pre-Soo's Restaurant days, and trying out ideas from Egullet and my overflowing collection of cookbooks.

This week will be a hectic one for blogging. My sister and family are visiting from Burnaby, B.C. so lots of food will be involved. On top of that, hubby, our kids and myself are performing Saturday and Sunday at the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Brandon Folk Music & Crafts Festival. We will have out of town musical guests . . . so more food! Good thing I am on summer vacation this month.

DAY ONE

I love my mornings. When university is in session, I am up at 5 a.m. so I could do my prep. while the house is quiet. These days, I can sleep in until 6 a.m. I take our daughter to work at her summer job at the hospital, then I get to relax with my breakfast and 2nd cup of coffee.

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Today, I sat out on the deck with a cup of Tim Horton's brew-at-home with Coffee Rich creamer, 2 slices of toast with my home made peach/apricot/pineapple conserve. I love this stuff on toast, ice cream or just by itself as a snack. The recipe is one handed down by hubby's Nana Campbell. She even used bits of apricot pits in her recipe! It added a touch of crunchy bitterness to the sweet and tang of the fruit, but not enough arsenic to topple us. :rolleyes:

For lunch, my daughter packed a roll-up made with whole wheat tortillia, poached chicken breast, a handful of spring greens with raspberry vinegrette, shredded carrot and juilenne cukes. At home, we had wonton soup with shrimp egg noodles, Shanghai bok choy, shrimp and lap cheung.

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Welcome Dejah.

Soo's looked like it was a joy to have, but I detect relief in your retirement. The menus on the website made me hungry!

Your pictures are terrific. What camera are you using?

Is that a dollop of black bean paste in the middle of that amazing wonton soup?

Thank you for sharing the week ahead with your friends at eGullet. :smile:

Johnnyd

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Dejah,

that bowl of wonton noodles looks fantastic! I love your photos, the food looks very artfully presented.

I'm looking forward to following your blog.

Is that a dollop of chilli/sambal on top of the wontons? I can't tell but those look like fresh noodles? Store-bought or home-made? Shrimp egg noodles? I'm unfamiliar with those.

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Looking forward to the rest of the week. WOW. It sounds repetitive by now but that soup is awsome.

Elie

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I think this week is going to be exciting! I can't even think about the picture of that soup without salivating.

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That soup is beautiful, and I imagine delicious as well. I can't wait to see more of what you make and serve in the next week :smile:.

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Woohoo Brandon! Really looking forward to this! By the way, your sister & I live in the same city :biggrin:

Today, I sat out on the deck with a cup of Tim Horton's brew-at-home with Coffee Rich creamer

:blink: Perfect! A small slice of Canadiana ... but no TimBits??

She even used bits of apricot pits in her recipe! It added a touch of crunchy bitterness to the sweet and tang of the fruit, but not enough arsenic to topple us. :rolleyes:

I damn near fell of my chair when I read this! For years I thought my grandmother was the only one who put cot pits in the jam! eGullet is great for so many things!

Your restaurant looked like one of many places I ate at growing up in Burnaby. If you've not been, ask your sister about The Dragon Inn or The Rickshaw.

Go Wheat Kings!

DA

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I love that Tim Horton's made an appearance in your very first blog entry!

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Oh this will be a fun week! And to reiterate what everyone else has said, that soup looks delicious. I think I will have to go get a take away for lunch! :biggrin:

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Good Morning!

Thanks for all the encouraging comments :biggrin: . Damn nervous about doing this blog after reading the incredible ones that went before.

Just getting last night's supper entry to post. I got home too late from chauffering duties to process pictures.

To answer a couple questions first:

Johnnyd and Laska:

"Is that a dollop of chilli/sambal on top of the wontons? I can't tell but those look like fresh noodles? Store-bought or home-made? Shrimp egg noodles? I'm unfamiliar with those."

That dollop is a mah la oil I made, crushed chili peppers, veg oil, garlic and shallots. One of my Vietnamess friends showed me how. It packs a wallop :laugh:

The noodles are store bought, at our local Superstore. Saves a lot of time, and really quite good.

For the Soo's archived link, we used a Sony Mavica. It has since died. I am using a

h/p 5.3MP now. My hubby Bill is the whiz on the computer. He processes and trims down the pictures for me. For that, he gets fed well :laugh:

What else but Tim Horton's would you drink in a rural hockey city? :wacko:

My grandson love TimBits...I love their honey cruellers.

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Go Wheat Kings!

Now I know why Brandon sounded so familiar. Ray Ferraro played his junior hockey there. Thanks for jogging my memory.

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My grandson love TimBits...I love their honey cruellers.

MMMMMMMMMMMMM .... Kruellers :wacko: I can feel the sugar rush already!

I liked them lots better before they started freezing the dough in ON and then shipping it.

Still, best damn use of fat & dough I know of! :biggrin:

DA

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Day One continued . . .

I needed a nap after my wonton soup but Dejah's kitchen had hungry family to feed for supper.

Most of my postings in Egullet have been in the China and Chinese Cuisine Forum. As mentioned in one of the threads, I am a lo wah kiu . . a Chinese immigrant who's been here a long time. Our family's involvement with food began with my paternal grandfather, who worked as a cook (on the CPR railroad crew). Later, working as the cook for the first water commissioner of Winnipeg (Manitoba's capital city), he saved enough money to buy himself a little hotel and restaurant in the small village of Newdale. My dad joined him from China when he was 16 years old. They didn't serve any Chinese food at that time . . . just good hearty prairie fare, translated to mean meat and potatoes!

Newdale was well known by many avid duck hunters . . . especially our American neighbours to the south. Clark Gable was said to have been a frequent visitor. During hunting season, Dad always had a big pot of stew, made with beef short ribs, big chunks of vegetables and buttermilk biscuits. It remains one of our favorite comfort foods.

So, as requested by my sister, who doesn't do much Canadian cooking, I spent my afternoon cooking stew, biscuits, and another of my Dad's signature dishes -- home-made banana cream pie.

For the stew, I used beef short ribs and brisket point. Stew never seems to taste as good without the fat and the bones. The meat is seasoned with salt, pepper and flour, then browned in my stew pot. While the meat waited patiently in a pan, I browned chunks of onion, celery and carrots in all that gooey stuff on the bottom. The meat went back into the pot, with enough beef stock (made from leftover roast beef, au jus, and rib bones) to cover. To this, I threw in bay leaves, 4-peppercorn steak spice, and about 1/4 cup of Italian herb blend. Brought this to a boil for about half an hour, then transferred everything to my big trusty old stainless steel roaster. This concoction "stewed" in the oven at about 300F for acouple hours. About 45 minutes before supper, I added new potatoes, more carrots and celery. It went back into the oven, without the cover.

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While waiting for the stew, I mixed up 3 batches of the buttermilk biscuit recipe. Once the roaster came out, I popped in 12 biscuits at a time. They were ready by the time everyone (14 adults 3 kiddies) came to the table. We're not really knowledgeable about wines, but we did have acouple bottles of Australian Wolf Blass Pinot Noir which went well with the stew.

Oh, we also had peaches and cream corn on the cob. The West-Coasties liked their corn with lime juice and crushed peppers!

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Even Atticus, our Great Pyrenees dog, got into the act. Someone slipped him a verboten cob of corn -- he never turns down "human food." Any under-the-table contraband is a welcome change from his usual Pedigree "rice and lamb" pellets for sensitive stomachs.

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Also made banana cream pies in the afternoon. I was supposed to hand whip the cream like Dad did, but my Kitchen Aid insisted on helping. :wink:

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Hubby then dashed off for rehearsal with a Christian rock band, getting ready for Faith Festival on September long weekend. Knowing his religious inclinations, it must be his musical talent that prompted them to select him as lead guitarist for the gig. :unsure:

Tomorrow's schedule will be making dim sum and food for Saturday's crew. My head is spinning! :wacko:

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I just finished my lunch and I'm hungry again after looking at those photos. Atticus is adorable.

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I love the history, Atticus, the banana cream pie, the stew, corn with lime juice and crushed red peppers!

Thanks for blogging!!

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Aren't Pyrenees ---- mountain dogs? Used to climbing? How do you keep him from all that wonderful food "on TOP of the table"?? He must be overwhelmed by the aromas!!

Your pictures and presentation are beautiful! The dishes tempting! Can I come visit?

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Ditto on the great looking pics - your eye and use of natural ight on those first pics reminds me of Lucy's stuff (bleudauvergne) - that's high praise indeed.

What else but Tim Horton's would you drink in a rural hockey city?  :wacko:

Uhhhhh.... beer? That's what the waitress offered me in Toronto when we went out to breakfast on sautruday morning near the hockey arena. At 8:30 AM no less. She didn't even lead with "Coffee?". Just immdiately asked us if we wanted beers. Foolish me. I just figured that it was the Canadian national breakfast :laugh:

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Ditto on the great looking pics - your eye and use of natural ight on those first pics reminds me of Lucy's stuff (bleudauvergne) - that's high praise indeed.
What else but Tim Horton's would you drink in a rural hockey city?   :wacko:

Uhhhhh.... beer? That's what the waitress offered me in Toronto when we went out to breakfast on sautruday morning near the hockey arena. At 8:30 AM no less. She didn't even lead with "Coffee?". Just immdiately asked us if we wanted beers. Foolish me. I just figured that it was the Canadian national breakfast :laugh:

Especially impressive considering one cannot legally serve alcohol in Ontario until 11:00 am. :biggrin::biggrin:

I gather we shouldn't ask what area of Toronto you were in. :laugh::raz::laugh:

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Sue-On, congratulations for this blog. Come prairie fires or rising ducks, look east around early November. I'm a-coming. :laugh: That food looks good enough to eat, and I don't have any Chinese aunts and female cousins to feed me anymore :wink: .

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Day 2: Here we go again!

Slept through a refreshing early morning rain, which hasn't stopped! Good thing we are performing at the Folk Festival on Saturday and Sunday and not today. While my coffee was brewing, I drove downtown to pick up China-Li, our daughter, from one of her three medicine-related summer jobs. She worked from midnight to 8 this morning.

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As it was still raining, we demolished the last couple of pieces of banana cream pie for breakfast. Took a bit of time to check out and respond to the queries regarding yesterday's lunch entry. Packed China her "crunchy lunch" of chicken and greens sandwich, fresh cauliflower, celery sticks, sweet pepper, and Babybel cheese. For dessert, there's a leftover biscuit from last night with mixed berry jam and grapes. She then left for her day job at the city hospital. Bill and I processed the pictures and posted yesterday's supper log.

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It's now mid-afternoon. I have ground beef marinating for tomorrow's dim sum meat balls. The fresh Shanghai noodles are cooked and cooling. By now, we were in need of sustanence. No time to cook for lunch, so I pulled some frozen joong (sticky rice in bamboo leaves) from the freezer. My Mom and I made 200 of these packets this summer. :blink:

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http://www.angelfire.com/trek/erbmuseum/soos/

Bill and I devoured one each, along with some Dragon tea.This tea was brought back from China by a friend who went on a qi-gong tour. It was light and went well with the savory joong and chili oil.

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Hubby is itching to go buy new guitar strings and check in at the festival for our passes. So, I'd better get the pictures done up and post this!

Now, onto preparing shrimp dumplings, BBQ pork bao, sui mai, curry chicken in puff pastry.

For supper tonight, we are having lemongrass/cilantro/lime salmon, and something else . . .

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