Summer

As summer quickly approaches it is becoming evident that there is so much more to do during summer in university than there was in highschool. So far I have summer class, work, a short vacation, and getting back into a healthy mindset lined up.

I’m taking 2 summer classes, 1 during the first summer term (6 weeks) and a distance education class that spans the entire summer. I’m going to be living back at home so this will actually be my first time commuting to class. I’m wondering if the buses to UBC during the summer are decent? Or are they like the buses on the weekend – unpredictable and infrequent. There is the chance that I might just drive. Twice a week means I can get away with a per use parking pass (11 uses, $80) and I’ll just bus once or find free parking on campus.

Work is going to be busy over the summer. The restaurant I cook at is located in a tourist destination and the crowds will come with warmer summery days and longer nights. The patio will be opening adding 25 seats that will need attention. With the size of the kitchen a full restaurant is already quite the handful. As I’m learning my way in the kitchen I know I’m getting faster and hopefully by the summer I’ll be ready enough to contribute and make the kitchen run well.

With my friends turning 19 its easier to get away and rent hotels on our own. I’m going to go to Harrison hot springs for 4 days in June and that’ll be a nice break (granted time off work). After a year of living at UBC I’ve le so much of the healthy habits I used to practice go. This summer I’ll be able to get back into them. Eating right, exercising, and generally feeling better.

Got the job!

In reference to my last post where I had a working interview – I got the job! So now I’m a line cook at a restaurant in Richmond. I’ll post about my learning experiences because all of this is new to me and I’m being trained as I work.

I’m also going to be applying for Tourism Richmond’s 365 days of dining (http://365daysofdining.com/)! Its the opportunity of a lifetime and I think almost everyone who has ever even considered a food blog is looking at the job description and deciding to fill an application. So thats something else for me to do on my breaks in the aquatic centre (which is loud and full of kids today because of the teacher strike).

Oh and midterms, I need to study for those. I have 2 this week, 2 the next week, and 1 the week after.

My posts are somewhat limited

This semester I have an extra hour break (class, break, class, break, class) three days a week. I thought that would mean I would find more time to sit down and write some posts. Guess not. Having a 9:30 am lab every other day has forced my sleeping schedule to become regulated, no more 4am-11am sleeps for me. I’ve also developed the habit of having very long Tuesdays and Thursdays. Out the door at 8:30 am to grab breakfast and I won’t be back into my room until 11:00pm because I stay out to study. I’m really benefiting from the results of these very productive days.

I’m deep into my second round of midterms and I think I’m doing better this term than I did last term. We’ll have to see how my marks end up though.

I’ve began to plan for the summer and next year. Ideally I’ll get registered for two 200 level courses in the summer in order to lighten my workload. I find there really isn’t much offered in the second summer semester but my elective is there so I’m really lucky about that!  Moving back home for the summer so I’m going to need to pick up a parking pass. I actually figured out if I buy the per-use parking passes, and take the bus 3 times this summer, I save around $80! I’m currently searching for a summer job, hopefully something where I cook, and I have an interview tomorrow. Its a work interview and it involves going into a kitchen and working under a chef for four hours (unpaid, I think) to prove that I’m capable and will work well with them. The process sounds kind of scary actually. I have one shot to make it in this restaurant and I don’t even know what I’m going to be doing. I’ve heard two different things about what I should do in the kitchen tomorrow – ask a lot of questions to show I want to learn or shut up and go about working as hard as I can. I’ll even blog to tell everyone how it goes. I didn’t get through the residence lottery  so I need to figure out if I’m driving or taking the bus next year. Luckily I’m a local, so the lack of a place for me on campus isn’t a huge concern.

Food! I have to talk about food in every post, its my thing. Lately I’ve found the Totem dining hall fairly uninspired. I’ve been getting the vegetarian entree almost every day just for something different. They love to make vegetarian lasagna out of everything; polenta, sweet potatos, actual pasta, anything! And the Tim Hortons on campus are playing Roll Up The Rim to Win! RTR is a Canadian tradition where every cup at Tim Horton’s has a chance of winning 1 in a few million prizes. The prizes range from free drinks and donuts to TVs and cars. I love the idea but I never ever win. I’m currently 0/15 this year. Last year I went 3/32.

I’ll post tomorrow about how the interview goes! Also check out my Twitter! Its my main form of social media now (@kielylandrian)

The Eatery (no, not the sushi place)

I heard about the iOS app ‘The Eatery” when it was very early in its life cycle. The concept of the Eatery is that by taking pictures of your meals and uploading them to be rated by other users of the app you will be held accountable for what you eat and it will generally improve your eating habits. Every week it gives you a report looking at trends such as the days you eat the healthiest or the times you eat the healthiest.

When I first began using the app the user base was very small. I would only get about 20 ratings for each meal and this would be after several hours. Now that the Eatery has been around for some time the ratings come almost instantly! You are also responsible for rating other people’s foods by judging their pictures of a scale of “fit” to “fat”. My main issue with the app is that the ratings can be subjective and I’ve realized there seems to be a relationship between the quality of the picture and the rating of the food.

Eat away!

https://eatery.massivehealth.com/

Restaurant Review: Hog Shack Cook House

Hog Shack Cook House is a southern BBQ restaurant found in Steveston Village in Richmond, BC. They’ve been there for over a year now and generate a lot of talk through their use of social media, especially twitter. I’ve been following them for a long time and eaten there probably 4 times now. Its always a good experience!

T and I went on Boxing Day to get our fill of BBQ. We couldn’t decide what we wanted to try so we got Johnny’s Jurassic Platter. This platter comes with baby back ribs, St. Louis short ribs, dino bones (gigantic beef ribs), chicken quarters, and 4 sides. In addition to this huge platter we also ordered their famous burnt ends. These burnt ends aren’t on the menu and I suggest you follow their twitter to know when they have them.

The burnt ends will probably always be my favourite dish here. They’re small cubes of rib ends that are just the most amazing thing that could be made. I’m not sure how the go about making them but I think they’re smoked twice to get more flavour going. They’re really fatty and completely melt away in your mouth when you eat them

You could tell all of the ribs were made with great care. They were all falling off the bone, moist, and really smokey. My favourite were the St. Louis short ribs because of how much meatier they were than the other ribs. T also loved all the ribs, but she found her dino bone a bit hard to get through. The chicken was covered in blackening spice and had an incredibly strong smoke flavour and was super juicy.

Baby back ribs, St. Louis short ribs, dino bones, chicken

For our 4 sides we got a double serving of corn bread and a double serving of baked beans (which have chunks of meat in them). The corn bread comes in small loafs and are served with butter but I never find I need the butter. The sides are really good but the meat is still the main show.

Baked beans and cornbread

Our order ended up being huge, with the owner pulling over another table to us because “you guys will need it” and he was definitely right. We ended up with most of the chicken and baked beans being packed up to take home.

If you’re into food and have a twitter I strongly recommend following @Hogshackca and tweeting to the owner sometimes. Super friendly guy! I’ll be heading back to Hog Shack in the future :D

Hog Shack Cook House on Urbanspoon

 

Gateman’s Econ 101

During the process of choosing my classes and professors I learned about Prof. Gateman. He is likely the most infamous professor in the Faculty of Arts. I will admit that his class was tough, his midterms tougher, and I can’t even imagine what his final will be like, but I consider him a great professor. By the end of the term I learned that he is just tough on us because he is confident we are the brightest young minds in the country and that we can handle almost anything. He ended his last lecture with this, saying that he will be happy if this is all we take away from his class:

“You attend the best school in the best city in the best country in the world. Be confident in your ability but approach everything with a heavy sense of humility because everyone here is just as intelligent as you. Assume nothing.” – R. Gateman

Rainy Day Remedies

The weather at UBC has been awful, though not surprising for Vancouver, and I found that one of the best ways to make my days a bit warmer and less damp is to get some good food in me. Here are my suggestions to warm up on a rainy day:

  1. Miso Soup at the Honour Roll - On my first day at UBC a friend told me that the miso soup at the Honour Roll was perfect. Usually I’m not the type that drinks miso but on a particularly rainy day last week I wanted something warm but not filling. For around $2 you get a decently sized bowl of miso that has the absolute perfect seaweed – tofu – soup ratio. Its warm and salty and easy on the wallet and I’m definitely going to be getting it again this winter.
  2.  Pho at the Salad Bar @ the SUB – If you’re not from Vancouver or another city with a large Asian population pho might be foreign to you (and now that I think of it maybe miso soup too). Pho is a vietnamese dish featuring rice noodles, beef,  vegetables (just a bit of bean sprout/onion/cilantro), and a rich broth which is supposed to take days to make. The pho served at the SUB has beef, beef balls, spinach, and onions. The broth is more clear and not as flavourful leading me to believe its not made in a traditional way. It is served extremely hot and easily makes up an entire meal.   If you’ve never tried pho or are just craving warm soup I highly recommend this.
  3. Coffee! – Starbucks has their Christmas drinks brewing and Tim Horton’s at Forestry is bustling as usual. My favourite coffee as of late is Starbucks eggnog lattes. Great places to meet with a friend or grab something warm between classes!

As papers are nearing their due date and finals coming quickly I hope you all find something to keep you going through out the days :D

Sustainability at UBC

As a first year LFS (Land and Food Systems) student most of my required courses are first year science courses (minus Physics). In three of my classes Dr. Gary Bradfield has made appearances to advertise a new first year sustainability class. It seems like a terribly interesting class that focuses on linking knowledge gained in first year Biology and Chemistry to issues regarding sustainability focusing on the UBC campus, ocean acidification, and fuels. I can’t fit this course in my schedules, but I hope some of you join the class. I can see this class doing well and becoming popular in the years to come, so hopefully prospective first year Science/LFS students reading this will look into it for next year :D

New Sustainability Science Course 

Its been too long!

Whoops, seems like I’ve been neglecting my responsibility to post once a week. So this is what I’ve been up to (in list form):

  1. Midterms! I had 5 (well really 6) midterms over the last little bit, with my last being a week ago. I didn’t do terribly on any of them but the ones I felt I did the best on were the ones I..didn’t do the best on. I’ve come to accept how my grades will be lower now and I’m okay with that! I even made a new scale! (60 = okay I guess, 70 = pretty good, 80 = good job self :D , 90 = heck yes!, 100 isn’t even on the scale)
  2. Eating. Yep. As a foodie this is something that’s on my mind a lot (I’m also writing a paper about the negative effects of dieting in adolescents) and I’ve been trying to eat more different things. My favourite meal at Totem has become the Thursday lunch special of BBQ Pork and udon in miso soup. I’ve also been exploring the food on campus and highly recommend The Moon in the basement of the SUB. Also I cook at Sprouts so check it out!
  3. Getting more sleep and being healthier than most of my neighbours. I have class at noon on most days. This allows me to sleep in until around 10 every day, so I get about 8 hours of sleep a day. My neighbours hate that I made a better schedule than them ;)
  4. Having misadventures while coming back from my home in Richmond to my home at residence. Buses are unreliable and annoying at night and if you ever get the option of commuting in the morning vs commuting at night always always always choose going in the mornings. The buses run more frequently and the online resources to check your bus are more reliable.
Oh! I’ve been wanting to write some food blogs and start suggesting restaurants. Anyone have places they’re curious about? Or a type of food you want to try around Vancouver but want to know where to get it? Just leave me a comment and I’ll try to get something up for you!