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eG Foodblog: Ann_T - Vancouver Island


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Ann,

everything looks so good but the chicken breast especially. Can you buy skin on chickenbreasts, or did you have to cut them from a whole chicken? One of the shopping-mysteries of the Netherlands is that you can't get skin-on chicken breasts here..

I have no clue what peameal bacon is (although I feel that it has probably nothing to do with peas or meal :smile: ) but that sandwich looks delicious.

And thanks to your blog, I have decided that Vancouver Island has to be included in our trip!

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I remember a time when you could get skin on, bonless chicken breast. It was a nicer time....I like stuffed things, especially me.

And yes what is peameal bacon?

tracey

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And yes what is peameal bacon?

Peameal bacon is an Ontario specific speciality, and is only sporadically available elsewhere. A search of the internet should give you information on any local suppliers (if they exist). Peameal bacon is made from the centre-cut or rib end of the loin. It is cured in a brine containing salt and sugar, and then rolled in corn meal. It is an uncooked product, that can be sliced and grilled, or roasted whole. Canadian bacon (or 'Smoked Back Bacon' is a fully cooked and smoked product form the same cuts as peameal bacon. It is usually sliced and pan-fried or grilled.
source for this response

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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gallery_28661_3262_116131.jpg

Local blueberries are in season so we had Blueberry Turnovers for dessert.  I used frozen puff pastry and  just used the same filling that I would normally use for a blueberry pie.

gallery_28661_3262_137260.jpg

Ann

This is just a spectacular thread to wake up to!! All the dining out and the cooking---my, my. Lucky Sandra---that's MY KIND of visit.

That lovely bacon, all sandwiched between the juicy tomatoes and that crispy, crusty bread---Heaven.

And the shiny, perfectly cut vegetables, cooked to a turn. Miss Martha would be SO envious!! That chicken is a marvel, with its hidden secrets revealed by the slice of a knife, and the juices that you soak up every drop.

And the Hand-pie!!! That's just perfect, with its golden wispy crust and the berries bursting out. And is that Angelica I see? Or a candied violet? Haven't used either in a long time, but I've always thought they gave the MOST elegant touch of anything on a dessert.

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Ann,

Allow me to say, I am very impressed by your lunch selection...  That looks so perfect and what a bold choice..  Awesome..

Was it half as good as it looks.. I would throw that salad off the plate to make room for my forearms.. 

gallery_28661_3262_12624.jpg

Now, Daniel, you KNOW you'd separate the salad into all its components, dress each one with a different vinegar or oil, and range them in interesting array around the plate. But probably AFTER you took the DIVE into that sandwich. First things first. :raz:

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I wanted to clarify a few things about Wegman's - mention of them has been made all over these boards. They are indeed a Rochester, New York institution. I grew up there, though I moved away half a lifetime ago. Wegman's was always my preferred grocery store when I was growing up, but it only seems to be in recent years that they've gotten forward thinking about what they provide to their customers.

A conclusion about them that one could draw from viewing these boards, and it would be quite wrong, is that they offer all manner of wonderful things at each and every one of their stores. They don't. I was up there last autumn, and after having read some of the blogs here and seen some of the photos, was very excited about what I was going to find in the Wegman's store nearest to my family. I fine-tooth combed the place, and boy, was I disappointed. I did find some things I'd never expected to see up there within my lifetime (Plugra and clotted cream!), but the big selection of specialty items I was expecting just wasn't there.

They are market driven, and they don't stock items that won't sell in a particular community, particularly the perishables. When I asked people up there about it, everyone said, "oh, they've only got those things at the Pittsford store." The other suburbs are less economically flush, and perhaps less epicurean. Whatever the reason, the things I wanted required quite a significant drive (and a lot of gasoline).

A friend of my mother's, hearing me gripe about it, did say that the meat department can get you anything, or cut anything any way you want it. It hadn't occurred to me to ask that of them (though I'm used to asking small shopkeepers that down here). Whether an individual Wegman's store manager would be willing to stock items at a customer's request, I don't know - I didn't have the chance to find that out.

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Looking at the recipes you gave upthread for the escargot appetizers and the mushroom and blue cheese soup, my first reaction is:

It all looks so great and it all sounds so simple!

How much time is required to do the prep work and actual cooking for these dishes? As I get home right around the time the local evening newscasts begin during the academic year (this month, I'm lucky to make it home in time for Jeopardy!), I'm interested in creative fare that doesn't take much effort to prepare, or to interesting things that I can get a head start on before going to work (aside from dishes you just toss into the Crock-Pot, set and forget).

I'm very much interested in turning Hamburger Helper (even though my partner loves it) into a last resort for those days when I come home dog tired and really don't want to cook.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Ann, is that a candied violet? It's beautiful...

I also love how gorgeous your vegetables always are...I rarely make cooked veggies (beyond blanched or steamed beans or snow peas or asparagus), but your presentation is so elegant, it makes me crave them...

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

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Ahh, Dunkirk, one of the cities (the only?) in NY to receive an F for air quality.  I know exactly the three Weggies you shopped as I have more than been in the neighborhood.  The Buffalo location is the Super version, is it not?  And I'm glad you liked Weck rolls somehow I always expect outsiders to be more towards neutral on the subject, how about Johnny's Lunch? 

Anyway, compliments on the use of a whole leek with your pots and veg on the last page.

I had my first (and only) beef on Weck last year when I was in Olean, NY to see a client. I enjoyed it. It's always nice to have a local specialty. I grew up in upstate NY (north of Syracuse) and I was surprised that I had never heard of it. But then again I had never had a spiedie before, which is local to Binghamton, NY until I went to college there.

Ann - are there any local specialties that you have found on Vancouver island?

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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I remember a time when you could get skin on, bonless chicken breast. It was a nicer time....I like stuffed things, especially me.

And yes what is peameal bacon?

tracey

Ann,

everything looks so good but the chicken breast especially. Can you buy skin on chickenbreasts, or did you have to cut them from a whole chicken? One of the shopping-mysteries of the Netherlands is that you can't get skin-on chicken breasts here..

I have no clue what peameal bacon is (although I feel that it has probably nothing to do with peas or meal  :smile: ) but that sandwich looks delicious.

And thanks to your blog, I have decided that Vancouver Island has to be included in our trip!

Tracey, Klary, Gifted Gourmet answered the question on Peameal Bacon. It gets the name Peameal because the loin is rolled in cornmeal. As much as I like Canadian back bacon, it is the peameal bacon that I really really like. I think I will talk to the butcher here and find out if it is something he would consider making. I remember when we lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I had a wonderful butcher there and he started to sell Peameal bacon after I told him how much I missed it.

I can buy chicken breasts just about anyway I want them. Skinless and boneless, Bone in Skinless, boneless with skin.

gallery_28661_3262_116131.jpg

Local blueberries are in season so we had Blueberry Turnovers for dessert.  I used frozen puff pastry and  just used the same filling that I would normally use for a blueberry pie.

gallery_28661_3262_137260.jpg

Ann

This is just a spectacular thread to wake up to!! All the dining out and the cooking---my, my. Lucky Sandra---that's MY KIND of visit.

That lovely bacon, all sandwiched between the juicy tomatoes and that crispy, crusty bread---Heaven.

And the shiny, perfectly cut vegetables, cooked to a turn. Miss Martha would be SO envious!! That chicken is a marvel, with its hidden secrets revealed by the slice of a knife, and the juices that you soak up every drop.

And the Hand-pie!!! That's just perfect, with its golden wispy crust and the berries bursting out. And is that Angelica I see? Or a candied violet? Haven't used either in a long time, but I've always thought they gave the MOST elegant touch of anything on a dessert.

Racheld, I love your posts.

I wanted to clarify a few things about Wegman's - mention of them has been made all over these boards.  They are indeed a Rochester, New York institution.  I grew up there, though I moved away half a lifetime ago.  Wegman's was always my preferred grocery store when I was growing up, but it only seems to be in recent years that they've gotten forward thinking about what they provide to their customers. 

A conclusion about them that one could draw from viewing these boards, and it would be quite wrong, is that they offer all manner of wonderful things at each and every one of their stores.  They don't.  I was up there last autumn, and after having read some of the blogs here and seen some of the photos, was very excited about what I was going to find in the Wegman's store nearest to my family.  I fine-tooth combed the place, and boy, was I disappointed.  I did find some things I'd never expected to see up there within my lifetime (Plugra and clotted cream!), but the big selection of specialty items I was expecting just wasn't there. 

They are market driven, and they don't stock items that won't sell in a particular community, particularly the perishables.  When I asked people up there about it, everyone said, "oh, they've only got those things at the Pittsford store."  The other suburbs are less economically flush, and perhaps less epicurean.  Whatever the reason, the things I wanted required quite a significant drive (and a lot of gasoline). 

A friend of my mother's, hearing me gripe about it, did say that the meat department can get you anything, or cut anything any way you want it.  It hadn't occurred to me to ask that of them (though I'm used to asking small shopkeepers that down here).  Whether an individual Wegman's store manager would be willing to stock items at a customer's request, I don't know - I didn't have the chance to find that out.

H du Bois, You are right that not all Wegmans are created equal. But most of them were still a step-up from the Tops and Quality that were the two major grocery stores in the Dunkirk area. I lived right on Lake Erie, and it was about the same distance to Erie, PA as it was into Buffalo. So I would just as often to go the Wegmans in Erie. It was one of the better Wegmans. The one in Jamestown was pretty good too.

Looking at the recipes you gave upthread for the escargot appetizers and the mushroom and blue cheese soup, my first reaction is:

It all looks so great and it all sounds so simple!

How much time is required to do the prep work and actual cooking for these dishes? As I get home right around the time the local evening newscasts begin during the academic year (this month, I'm lucky to make it home in time for Jeopardy!), I'm interested in creative fare that doesn't take much effort to prepare, or to interesting things that I can get a head start on before going to work (aside from dishes you just toss into the Crock-Pot, set and forget).

I'm very much interested in turning Hamburger Helper (even though my partner loves it) into a last resort for those days when I come home dog tired and really don't want to cook.

MarketStEl, some soups are quick and easy to make. That mushroom soup would be one of them. Cream of cauliflower, cream of broccoli or asparagus are also soups that can be made in 30 to 45 minutes.

The escargot are a little more time consuming, but you can do some of the work ahead of time. Make the toasted bread cups the night before. Just use regular white "cotton batten" bread. Cut off the crust and flatten the bread with a rolling pin. Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter and fit each one into a buttered mini muffin/tart tin. Brush with melted butter and bake in a 350 oven until toasted. You could start the sauce in the morning. Prepare it right up to the stage just before you add the cream. Then when you get home from work all you have to do is add the cream and the escargot and the cheese or butter depending on what you are using.

That chicken dish can be made ahead to. These are great for a dinner party because they can be made much earlier in the day. You can stuff them and then refrigerate them until you are ready to cook them.

Ann, is that a candied violet?  It's beautiful...

I also love how gorgeous your vegetables always are...I rarely make cooked veggies (beyond blanched or steamed beans or snow peas or asparagus), but your presentation is so elegant, it makes me crave them...

Megan, yes is is a candied violet.

I could never be a vegetarian, but I do love my vegetables. Almost all of them, except for carrots and parsnips. After I took the picture I gave my carrot to Moe.

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Looking at the recipes you gave upthread for the escargot appetizers and the mushroom and blue cheese soup, my first reaction is:

It all looks so great and it all sounds so simple!

How much time is required to do the prep work and actual cooking for these dishes? As I get home right around the time the local evening newscasts begin during the academic year (this month, I'm lucky to make it home in time for Jeopardy!), I'm interested in creative fare that doesn't take much effort to prepare, or to interesting things that I can get a head start on before going to work (aside from dishes you just toss into the Crock-Pot, set and forget).

I'm very much interested in turning Hamburger Helper (even though my partner loves it) into a last resort for those days when I come home dog tired and really don't want to cook.

MarketStEl, some soups are quick and easy to make. That mushroom soup would be one of them. Cream of cauliflower, cream of broccoli or asparagus are also soups that can be made in 30 to 45 minutes.

The escargot are a little more time consuming, but you can do some of the work ahead of time. Make the toasted bread cups the night before. Just use regular white "cotton batten" bread. Cut off the crust and flatten the bread with a rolling pin. Cut out rounds using a biscuit cutter and fit each one into a buttered mini muffin/tart tin. Brush with melted butter and bake in a 350 oven until toasted. You could start the sauce in the morning. Prepare it right up to the stage just before you add the cream. Then when you get home from work all you have to do is add the cream and the escargot and the cheese or butter depending on what you are using.

That chicken dish can be made ahead to. These are great for a dinner party because they can be made much earlier in the day. You can stuff them and then refrigerate them until you are ready to cook them.

OK, next question:

Besides mushrooms, what goes into mushroom duxelles?

I could never be a vegetarian, but I do love my vegetables.  Almost all of them, except for carrots and parsnips.  After I took the picture I gave my carrot to Moe.

Ever tried carrots with honey or brown sugar?

I'm not saying that will turn you into a carrot convert, but they take well to the sweet stuff.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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H du Bois,  You are right that not all Wegmans are created equal.  But most of them were still a step-up from the Tops and Quality that were the two major grocery stores in the Dunkirk area.  I lived right on Lake Erie, and it was about the same distance to Erie, PA as it was into Buffalo. So I would just as often to go the Wegmans in Erie.  It was one of the better Wegmans.  The one in Jamestown was pretty good too.

Oh Ann, I agree with you utterly that it's heads above the other chains. In fact I'd venture to say that it's the best American grocery chain I've seen. I just think that people hearing about Wegman's from eGullet would assume (as I did), that there'll be D'Artagnan sections. splendid cheeses and fresh morels at each one. Alas, there aren't. :sad:

I'd meant to ask you about the squash you'd served. Was that summer squash, and if so, how did you cut it, and how did you cook it? Summer squash is one vegetable I haven't been able to get past because it's just a bit of peel around watery mush, in my experience. What I see in your photo doesn't look like it's lost its texture at all.

Homemade bagels, wow!!!

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Hi there Ann!

Tony here. Got your E-mail. Thanks so much.

Your blog is wonderful. The photos are mouth-watering, particularly the veal shank.

I had no idea there were markets here on Moss or in James Bay. Huh. You learn something new every day.

Keep up the hard work. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for the week.

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OK, next question:

Besides mushrooms, what goes into mushroom duxelles?

For the duxelles, just saute some shallots and garlic with the finely chopped mushrooms,in butter and when the liquid has evaporated add some fresh bread crumbs,  a little heavy cream. and season with salt, pepper and some herbs. I used basil but tarragon is another good choice.  Simmer until thick.  Then set aside until you are ready to use.  If you are stuffing the chicken in advance, make sure the mushroom duxelles is cool before using.  If you are going to cook the chicken immediately then it doesn't matter if the muchroom mixture is still warm.

I could never be a vegetarian, but I do love my vegetables.  Almost all of them, except for carrots and parsnips.  After I took the picture I gave my carrot to Moe.

Ever tried carrots with honey or brown sugar?

I'm not saying that will turn you into a carrot convert, but they take well to the sweet stuff.

No chance I'll ever like cooked carrots. I often roast and glaze them in brown sugar or honey or maple syrup for Moe. But it is actually the sweetness of the carrots that i don't like. I can eat them raw. But they wouldn't be my first choice for a snack.

I'd meant to ask you about the squash you'd served.  Was that summer squash, and if so, how did you cut it, and how did you cook it?  Summer squash is one vegetable I haven't been able to get past because it's just a bit of peel around watery mush, in my experience.  What I see in your photo doesn't look like it's lost its texture at all. 

Homemade bagels, wow!!!

H. du Bois, I cook summer squash/zucchini the same way. Just cut the squash into 1 1/2 to 2 inch logs and then cut the logs in half horizontally. Then I just use a knife to carve a little off the edges, rounding them. I steamed the squash until it was almost tender and then tossed them with some butter/olive oil and a little garlic.

Hi there Ann!

Tony here. Got your E-mail. Thanks so much.

Your blog is wonderful. The photos are mouth-watering, particularly the veal shank.

I had no idea there were markets here on Moss or in James Bay. Huh. You learn something new every day.

Keep up the hard work. Can't wait to see what else you have in store for the week.

Hi Tony, the James Bay Market didn't have many produce vendors when I was there last week, just mostly crafts people. But the Moss Street market has a number of produce vendors, all organic I believe. Lots of crafts people there too. It opens at 10:00 and people line up in front of their favourite vendors waiting for the bell to go off.

You should check out the Duncan Farmers Market. It is one of the better ones.

I decided for "picture" sake to take the Mill Bay Ferry over to Brentwood rather than drive down through the Malahat. We almost made it too. This is a small ferry that only holds 18 cars. Apparently we were number 19. We would have had to wait for over an hour for the next ferry so we ended up driving after all. So no pictures from the ferry.

First stop was at the Church and State Winery. We tasted 4 of their wines and bought a couple of bottles of their Chardonnay. Wasn't terribly impressed with the others.

This is a picture of their vineyard.

gallery_28661_3262_19804.jpg

Next we stopped at Marley Farm Winery. Fun place. Wasn't able to taste everything but I bought some of their dessert wines. Forgot to take a picture.

We stopped at The Bakery for lunch. Almost forgot to take pictures.

Sandra had the Meatloaf Sandwich and I had a Egg Salad Sandwich and a cup of their mushroom soup. Everything was homemade, fresh and very good.

gallery_28661_3262_165585.jpg

gallery_28661_3262_344700.jpg

Next we drove into Sidney and wandered around the harbour for a bit. Beautiful view of Washington's Mt. Baker today.

gallery_28661_3262_69080.jpg

gallery_28661_3262_7782.jpg

We decided not to hang around until the evening market opened and instead stopped at one of the roadside stands and picked up some fresh corn. The first of the season . And it wasn't even island corn. It was from the mainland. Chilliwack. I should apologize in advance for dinner. We didn't get home until close to 5:30 and all we ended up having was corn on the cob and I also made a corn and potato chowder.

Driving home I pulled off at one of the lookout points in the Malahat and took a couple of pictures. You can see Mt. Baker in the background again.

gallery_28661_3262_77129.jpg

gallery_28661_3262_36031.jpg

gallery_28661_3262_499466.jpg

I did make dessert though. I had a loaf of chocolate bread in the freezer that I made a while ago and I used it to make a chocolate bread and butter pudding and served it with a custard sauce.

gallery_28661_3262_6800.jpg

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Ann, I always enjoy your photos in the Dinner thread, so I knew I'd enjoy the food photos in your blog, but I didn't realize just how breathtaking the island where you live is. Carry on!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Just had to add that your pictures are fabulous. You have a real talent for taking just the right angles, lighting, etc. Your cooking abilities are not bad either! Wish I had time to get back to making bread and bagels like I used to when I was a stay at home mom. Something to look forward to when I retire!

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I did make dessert though.  I had a loaf of chocolate bread in the freezer that I made a while ago and I used it to make a chocolate bread and butter pudding and served it with a custard sauce.

gallery_28661_3262_6800.jpg

See, this is exactly what I mean. I want to make this now, and I'm not even a big dessert eater. Would you share this recipe?

Marlene

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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Since we're usually seeing Mt. Baker from the south, it's nice to get it from your perspective.

I can't believe that even you guys have semi-local corn already. I am desperate for corn, and haven't seen anything from within 300 miles so far this year. I'll be up in Vancouver this weekend, and might have to resort to eating some there.

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...

I can't believe that even you guys have semi-local corn already.  I am desperate for corn, and haven't seen anything from within 300 miles so far this year.  I'll be up in Vancouver this weekend, and might have to resort to eating some there.

Hey--others envy your bountiful supply of beautiful blueberries, currants, etc. It's worth waiting a few more weeks for corn! :smile:

Chocolate bread and butter pudding...yum. Thanks for a beautiful blog, Ann_T!

Edited by ludja (log)

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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See, this is exactly what I mean.  I want to make this now, and I'm not even a big dessert eater.  Would you share this recipe?

Marlene, I posted the recipe for the Bread and Butter pudding over on Recipe Gullet.

Here is a better picture. I made it in individual ramekins a few months ago.

gallery_28661_3262_36024.jpg

For breakfast I toasted one of my bagels and topped it with sliced tomatoes with lots of fresh ground pepper and my favourite salt (Murray River Salt from Australia).

gallery_27944_3262_142503.jpg

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Ann, this is a wonderful blog, and I would love one of those poppyseed bagels right now. Bagels are something that I've never made, although I should one of these days.

I never did join gardenweb, so I didn't have a login there. I used to poke around there and read every once in a while.

Your pictures are spectacular.

I don't mind the rat race, but I'd like more cheese.

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    • By KennethT
      Happy New Year!  I'm sitting at the gate waiting for my flight from Saigon to NYC connecting through Taipei so I figured this would be a good opportunity to get started... But this is just the intro- the rest will gave to wait until I land about 22 hours from now, sleep for about 12 hours, then get my photos in order! We had a great week enjoying beautiful weather, taking in the frenetic yet relaxed street life and eating some amazing local food...
      Our flight here was on EVA Airline and was very pleasant and uneventful. Our flight from Nyc to Taipei left around 12:20 AM on the 24th. I love those night flights since it makes it very easy to get a decent amount of sleep, even in coach. EVAs food is quite good eith both Chinese and western choices for dinner and breakfast, and they came through several times with snacks such as a fried chicken sandwich with some kind of mustard. I think I had 4 of them!
      Once I get home, I'll continue posting with pics from our feast in the Taipei airport.... Spoiler: those who have read my Singapore foodblog from July may see a slight trend...

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