Day 3 We join the Canadian Club

Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
Trip End Oct 18, 2010

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Friday, August 27, 2010

Canadian Club is not an exquisite whiskey. But although the minatures sold on Westjet are bottled in Illinois, it is more definitely not a product of the US. Toby made friends with a Hannah Montana girl behind us, Ali worked on her North-western geography, and Antony discovered that water is not a Canadian word ( waah-ter however...)

After a sausage, tomato and cheese omelette, we had explored Venice Beach: checked out the skaters, bums and stallholders. Shane gave us a lift to the airport, via the few famous canals that made Venice Venice. Shane is about to go home after having spent 6 years in LA. Although we had a great time in the westside I kinda agreed with him. It is a beautiful place to live, great climate, beach, variety, etc, but I think the over-the-topness of the Angelians must be too much after a while.

It was fantastic to be welcomed at Calgary airport by Barbara. Calgary is still boomtown from the oil and gas industry, and has the obligatory massive new freeways with ginormous interchanges. We had a fantastic dinner with my cousins Evan (leaving on the red eye to Toronto to go diving in Belize), Marian, and Jim and Barbara. The highlight of the dinner was a beautiful baked trout, accompanied with seasonal vegies. The soup was also very refreshing, so i have asked for a copy of the recipe, to be included below. Toby impressed all with his resilience and willingness to play with Tonic, the resident German Pointer.

Barbara's Hot and Sour Soup

6 dried Chinese black mushrooms
1/4 C cloud ear mushrooms (dried black fungus)
16 dried lily flower buds
7 C chicken broth
1/4 C rice vinegar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
1-2 tsp chili paste with garlic
1Tbsp each soy sauce and dry sherry
2cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2tsp finely chopped fresh Ginger
1large carrot chopped into matchsticks
3/4 C bamboo shoots, rinsed and cut Into strips
2 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 3Tbsp water

Soak dried black mushrooms and cloud ear mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes. Soak lily buds in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain mushrooms and lily buds. Cut stems off Chinese black mushrooms and slice caps. Thinly slice Cloud ears. Heat broth in a large soup pot over med high heat. Add vinegars, chili paste, soy, sherry,garlic,Ginger,carrot, all mushrooms and lily buds and bamboo shoots. Bring soup to a boil. Whisk in cornstarch mixture. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
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