I’ve been getting a little homesick lately with the holiday season, no real change in seasons here in SF, and my binge watching of Parenthood. Sam and I went on an impromptu trip to Vancouver to visit the in-laws and his newborn niece Karis – they share the same birthday! Though there’s no place like Michigan, Canada is a nice home away from home. Sam’s parents live in a prayer house on a farm in Surrey, BC. On the farm, Sam’s parents grow a variety of vegetables they use to make 반찬 (banchan – Korean side dishes) for the family, including 김치 (kimchi) from scratch. Our first meal was dumpling and rice cake soup. Here’s Sam’s dad finishing up the fall harvest and preparing the field for the next harvest. We were minimally useful by picking the last of the acorn squash before the nightly frost got to it first. Sam’s mom made sure to make Sam’s favorite meal – Korean pork ribs. She taught me how to make these this summer when they visited San Francisco. Sam’s dad loves oxtail soup and Sam’s mom cooks it regularly, and we benefit. Sadly, I forgot to photograph Sam’s mom’s spectacular and abundant 갈비 (kalbi – Korean beef short ribs) on our last night in Canada.
Our short trip was focused on spending time with family, but we briefly rendezvoused at one of our favorite restaurants in Vancouver, Kingyo Izakaya. First, super slow stewed ultra tender pork belly, served with “onsen tamago” poached egg, and dijon mustard Japanese mayo. Then, to balance the rich fatty goodness, ahi tuna and avocado carpaccio with wasabi-mayo and soy dressing. Deep fried chicken Kara-age with three types of salt. Kanazawa curry with cabbage and pickled onion. This curry was sweeter and had a deeper flavor than the Japanese curry I’m used to. Salted caramel tiramisu. Delicate and lightly sweet, as Asian desserts should be. And for our second dessert, classic POUTINE from Mean Poutine with fries, gravy, cheese curd, and green onion. It’s hard to stay homesick when you’ve got little rascals, whether newborn or nine, like this one, filling your days. Goodbye Vancouver, we’ll be back soon.