Tag archive for vancouver

Spatchcock (aka Butterflied) Turkey

Canadian Thanksgiving is long over, but I still think about the turkey we made all the time. It turned out SO GOOD. And it only took 80 minutes to roast a 16 lbs bird! Rosemarie declared that she’s never eating turkey again unless it’s spatchcocked, hahaha. Anyway since American Thanksgiving and Christmas is coming up, here we go.

Look how beautiful it turned out!!

I used the Serious Eats set of instructions. They promised that spatchcock (aka butterflied) would ensure that the breast AND thigh meat would cook at the perfect rate and result in a perfect flavourful juicy turkey.

They recommend a dry brine, which is excellent because it’s stupid easy: Wash & dry your (defrosted) turkey, mix up 1/2 cup kosher salt & 2 tbsp baking powder, sprinkle the mixture over all sides of the turkey. Leave the turkey uncovered in the fridge for 12-24 hours. That’s it.

Thanksgiving Day I picked up Leslie and some shears and we got to work. Warning! Gory raw meat pictures ahead! This slideshow was extremely helpful for the prep and the carving.

First cut up one side of the spine.

Then the other side.

Remove the spine and cut off the plastic leg holder thingy.

Flip the bird over and press down hard on the sternum to crack it so you can make the bird as flat as possible. I was not strong enough to do this so Scott jumped off a chair and did a sweet wrestling drop. It cracked.

Just like this.

Cut off all the extra bits of skin around the neck and the… butt?

Flat Stanley. With tucked in wings.

Pop it onto a wire rack on top of vegetables on top of a baking sheet. PS I love our enormous baking sheet. I sprinkled on a few herbs. No butter or salt. And bake! At 450ºF.

There wasn’t much drippings, I guess because we removed a lot of the extra skin and didn’t use any butter. Healthy!

We baked our 16 lbs bird for 80 minutes and honestly it probably only needed 70 minutes, because when I checked the temperature in the breast it was already higher than 150ºF. Whatev it still turned out extremely moist and flavourful. Like a 9.7 out of 10. Rosemarie said she ate 4 times as much meat as she usually does.

Next time will be 10 out of 10. :D :D Can’t wait.

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September and October

It’s been an incredibly busy fall. I’ve been working almost full time, weightlifting at Terminal City Training twice a week, training on my own, push training at the Richmond Oval about once a week, walking home from work when I can, working on a really complicated project, meeting up with tons of visitors, and more! OMG.

Everything is going really well though. I am not complaining about being busy at all.

It’s actually the one year mark of me joining Al’s weightlifting gym. I’ve added about 30 lbs to my press and benchpress, and 60 lbs to my deadlift and squat!! Sweet sweet noob gains. Group training is the highlight of my week, tbh.

Push training is also pretty fun. It’s a flat track with a metal skeleton sled on wheels and an emergency crash pad at the end. It’s fairly realistic, although the sled is quite heavy, and there is no chance of popping the groove. We can run as far as we want basically and then you drag your toes to slow down. Running bent over, while trying to accelerate a sled without actually putting much weight on it is very difficult!! I don’t think I will ever be a very fast starter but hopefully it’s still helping me get BETTER.

The Whistler skeleton season starts November 4th, by the way.

Scott walks home from work almost every day now. It takes him about an hour. It’s saving us a lot of money, and he gets his daily exercise. Win win! I walk sometimes, but definitely not as often as Scott. I did walk home from UBC once though, haha. It suddenly started taking 5ever to get home on the bus when the university students went back to school so out of frustration I decided to just walk home. It took 3 hours and it was quite boring and my knees hurt. But I will probably do it again if I’m at UBC again on a Friday.

We’ve been super lucky to have lots of visitors lately!

  • I met up for bubble tea with Anna, one of the German girls I camped with in Bowen, Australia while we packed corn and beans. She had been living in rural Saskatchewan trying to get her Canadian PR but the restaurant laid her off and she had to go home. What a bummer. She came through Vancouver on her farewell Canada tour and it was really nice to catch up after 6 years.

  • My friend Chris, from Halifax stopped through Vancouver too, on his way to his next WWOOFing place. I hadn’t seen him since 2007!! We went to the Richmond Night Market and ate takoyaki and fish sticks and deep fried cheesecake that made our teeth hurt. I was too scared to sit on the Throne of Rotato.
  • Leslie visited from Victoria (so nice that we at least live in the same province again!) for Thanksgiving. She helped document the whole spatchcocking the turkey project (more about that later), and get ready for our potluck Friendsgiving Thanksgiving dinner. We made tons of food and delicious cocktails (hello Automnal Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour!!) and had a really nice dinner. I love hanging out with old Ace Gang members.
  • And last night I met up with Catty and Samir who were in town for a conference. Again, I hadn’t seen her in years too! We went out and watched the Blue Jays game with Scott and then went out for ramen with Rosemarie and Lauren. All was good except for the Jays losing, and a super long hair in Samir’s ramen… blech.

Rosemarie is doing her last semester of uni now so she’s very busy these days, but we still try to squeeze in as much hanging out time as possible. We spent one afternoon making 9000 dumplings: some pork and some shrimp. We’re not very good at being able to seal them when the dough is thin so they ended up pretty pudgy… but very very very tasty.

We also went bouldering for free at The Hive, because we voted. They were supposed to offer more free days too but apparently it’s again election law, ha oops. I struggled because my hands are in such bad shape (dry and cracking… gross and painful), but Scott climbed A LOT!

How about that election eh? I watched the election results like Scott would watch the rugby world cup final, hahaha. So relieved we have a non-conservative government again. Scott was pretty happy about being able to vote in Canada for the first time too!

What else what else…

GE randomly threw a free nuclear medicine conference, which a bunch of us from VGH went to. They had a wine and hors d’oeuvres and we… had fun. Closed down the bar. The talks to the next day were pretty entertaining, and I learned a few new things too. It was fun to see a lot of techs from other hospitals that I hadn’t seen since being a student as well.

Scott won tickets to a Canucks pre-season game from work. We actually got to sit pretty close to the ice for once! They Canucks lost and the security people confiscated my bag of cherry blasters I tried to bring in. :/

We had another games day with Marjorie, Latif and Phil. We played King of Tokyo, For Sale (a super simple real estate card game), Galaxy Truckers, and an epic long game of Lords of Waterdeep with both expansions, which I won by 1 point. :D That’s my favourite game lately.

I got a haircut. It’s nice to not have so much hair. It took the girl 2 hours and 20 minutes hahahaha. Fun times at the Aveda Institute. At least is only cost $21.

Oh and like other years, we watched the AFL Grand Final at Moose’s Down Under. We had 20 people this year! Mmm those parmas were delicious. The game was not super exciting, but it was still fun, as usual.

Alright! I think I’m caught up. Until next time my friends!

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Rosemarie and I went white water rafting with Liz and Tom on the Thompson River (near Lytton, BC).

It was lots of fun. It wasn’t that XXXXXXTREME, I was the only one who unintentionally fell out of the raft, but we still had perma-grin the whole time. It was a nice hot day so we jumped in and swam at every opportunity, and took turns sitting right on the front for maximum splashability. There was even one rapid we got to go through in the water hanging on to the rope on the sides of the raft.

Liz gracefully getting back into the raft, probably after Tom pushed her in.

A classic Rosemarie picture on our lunch break. +1000 points for them having dinosours for dessert. :D

Like I said, I was the only person that fell out of the raft… out of the whole group of rafts… hahahha oops. I swear it wasn’t on purpose, I just fell out! It wasn’t too scary, at least I felt like I really got my moneys worth. ;)

We camped at a BC Parks site for the night and then drove home to Vancouver the next day, via the Othello Tunnels near Hope, and Hope Diner. Another very hot drive home with no AC, ack.

Jill and Joe had a long stopover in Vancouver on their way back to Adelaide so we met up with them for dinner downtown at Forage. Everything was super delicious and it was awesome to catch up again. I had seen Jill a few months ago when I went to Adelaide, but I hadn’t seen Joe in a LONG TIME!

The waiter suggested the cheese puff for dessert and it’s a good thing we listened to him because it was SO DANG GOOD. It was a profiterole with neufchâtel cheese filling, with ice cream, gin soaked blueberries and some kind of cordial sauce all around. MMMMMMM. The other dessert there was berry adult jello panna cotta that was also very good, but almost forgotten after the cheese puff.

Forage is cool because ALL their ingredients are locally sourced. We really enjoyed all the dishes we tried… octopus, carbonara, stinging nettle risotto, mushrooms… highly recommend.

Thanks to the Dafoe’s to treating us to a great meal!!

Forage Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I redeemed by birthday voucher for a Picasso pedicure at Bloom. Those are hand painted lemons!

Lesley, Stephane, Scott and I went camping for one night at Cultus Lake. We played many games of Settlers (of which I lost all of them), and ate tacos and burgers and generally lazed around. We took the party island out for another spin. Cultus Lake is so warm!! Camping is weird when there is a fire ban though, you sort of run out of things to do when it gets dark.

More skeleton push practice at the Oval. Note to self, bring bug spray for twilight sessions because there are SWARMS of mosquitos. Who’s bright idea was it to have so many still water features around the facility, yeesh. I seriously got about 30 bites in half an hour. But this was a useful session, I now have a few new technical things to focus on for a bit.

Other unpictured fun stuff that happened:

  • We went to Charles and Ankie’s wedding at the fancy Terminal City Club downtown. Open bar, woot!! It was a fun wedding, although we couldn’t understand a fair chunk of it because we don’t speak Cantonese.
  • Our board games group tried an escape room, and failed. It was hard!! We got through the first two rooms but ran out of time trying to figure out the half dozen puzzles in the final room. The operator guy did say we got further than average though (does he say that to everyone?). We also came back to our place to play a few games of Seven Wonders.
  • Stephane made bacon wrapped cheddar stuffed burgers for Burger Friday. I thought they would burst into flames on the BBQ but they were fine!
  • Mary Ellen and Paul came over while they were in town for a wedding. Mary Ellen wanted to try purple yam and cheese ice cream but unfortunately Shoppers Drug Mart was out!! They only had plain purple yam, so Scott got that instead. It is Barney purple and tastes like… those cheapy styrofoam cones imo. The debate of the month is what type of cheese it would be in the yam and cheese variety. So far Kraft Singles type is leading. EWWW.
  • Work drinks at Tap & Barrel. We have to make this a more regular event!
  • The worlds smallest blogger meetup. We ate yummy tacos from La Taqueria and then went to Rain or Shine for ice cream. I had malted milk chocolate honeycomb in one of their delicious homemade waffle cones. Yum.

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Masterchef Australia Season 7 Finale Feast

After 3 months, 61 episodes, 22 eliminations, (+ 2 days of complete social media ban) it was time for us to watch the Masterchef Australia Season 7 finale. We had Rosemarie and Lauren over for a 4 course team challenge finale watching dinner where we all made fancy things from the show.

Lauren made salad rolls with shrimp and a dipping sauce.

Rosemarie made sesame beef tataki with gochujang aioli, pickled vegetables and puffed rice. Plated up in modern, negative space style.

Scott made meat pie with homemade crust, and homemade tomato relish (ketchup, hehe).

And I made lemon & thyme ice cream sandwiches with a lemon thyme syrup. Let’s not talk about the TWO glass bowls I shattered while double boiling, or the ummm… XTREME DARK CARAMEL syrup that fused itself to the pot…

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It stinks to have to work on your birthday, but it’s greatly improved when your (only) coworker has the same birthday too! The day started off shaky though, I couldn’t get the QC on the CT part of the camera to work and we had to call the service guy, who had to take the cover off the camera to investigate… while patients are piling up in the waiting room waiting and waiting and waiting. It was a bit stressful. Birthday cupcakes helped.

We had a bunch of people over after work for my birthday. Rosemarie organized a blind wine tasting. Everyone brought a secret bottle of wine (you can see them in the bags above), then Rosemarie made a list of the variety and the ~flavour notes~ of each of them (plus a few extras) and we had to taste the wine from little shot glasses and match it with the list. Plus say the country we thought it was from (basically a wild guess, haha), and the price ±$5. We had 4 whites and 4 reds, including one $7 bottle and one $30 bottle, hehe.

No one did particularly great but we did make some amusing conclusions. 1. $7 wine doesn’t taste good. 2. No one likes organic wine. 3. Vipi thought he didn’t like wine but turns out he’d just never had one sweet enough. He looooved the Barefoot Moscato, which basically tasted like syrup hahaha. 4. I really do like chardonnay, since I picked it as my overall favourite without actually knowing it was a chardy (for the lardy). 5. Everyone else’s favourite just HAPPENED to be the most expensive one…. after the prices were revealed. :P

Birthday gift headlamp. We ate chicken and vegetable kebabs and seven layer dip and all the rest of the wine, hehe.

Then we spent the weekend on the Sunshine Coast with Lesley and Stephane (Rosemarie and Lauren came too). We played lots of games (including this ultra nerdy version of Settlers!) and bummed around and PLANNED on going swimming at a lake, but then the next morning when we woke up it was suuuuper smokey out and ash was raining down from the sky. That was the first day where the smoke from the crazy forest fires drifted into the Vancouver area. Apparently there was a fire burning pretty close to where the lake was, so we didn’t go.

The smokey view from our balcony. The air quality index went up to 14 (10 is extreme!) in Vancouver. [It went up to 35 in Whistler!!] It was bad for several days. Made us all feel really tired and gross and everyone had a sore throat. Everyone was soooo happy when it finally rained and the air cleared up.

There are still a ton of fires around the province. It’s been a bad summer.

Found at the Shoppers Drug Mart downstairs. Purple yam and cheese. Interesting… interesting… is it worth $6 to try? What if it’s gross then I’ve wasted $6 and 1.5L of ice cream… but why would they even produce it if it wasn’t possibly good?

Celebration of Light fireworks night. I was extremely impressed with the sand couch these guys constructed. I was not impressed with the actual fireworks show. I would give China a 5/10 on fireworks (they lost 2 points for having those corny smiley face fireworks), and a 1/10 on music choices. Whyyyy was it so slow and sad and boring?? And cheesey!!

Other things that happened:

  • Scott and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary. We didn’t go out on the actual day, since we were going out for a fancy-schmancy dinner in the Okanagan a couple days later (another post coming). We ordered sushi and ate it while watching TV from separate couches. ~ROMANCE~
  • Kevin, Lisa, Phil and Lesley came over for dinner and Cards Against Humanity. We drank large amounts of wine. My face hurt from laughing so much. So much inappropriateness.
  • We spent a few days in Penticton with Braz and Lisanne (another post coming).
  • We hosted a Masterchef finale 4 course cooking party at our place (another post coming).


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