I worked in kitchens a few times throughout my career. Working in a fast food burger joint at age 16 taught me that people are assholes and expect first class dining on a shoestring budget. I have nothing but the utmost respect for McDonald’s employees when I see them working hard.  For a brief time when I worked at the movie theater, I worked in the kitchen (which was similar to a pub) and learned what a real dinner rush was. People had limited time to enjoy their meals before a showtime, & other staff members also had limited break times.  

My best experience working in a restaurant was Chuck E. Cheese’s. I loved the kitchen- I mastered every aspect of it. Ordering produce, preparing dough, rotating stock, and getting creative in my own personal pizzas. The staff began to beg me to make pizzas all the time because I made every bite count. I diced vegetables and spread them evenly. Or I marinated the chicken with Italian dressing for a bit before using it.  I’ve always loved cooking.

Last night we had some people over for a little BBQ to celebrate my wife and I being married for 15 years.  I made deep fried pita bread for the spinach dip my wife made.  My wife had marinated the pork kebabs that I grilled up.  I made my “fancy sandwiches” and my wife set up cupcakes with edible butterflies on them. Part of being married for so long is that we can complement each other’s styles of foods thus creating a caring and fantastic feast for our friends.  That’s not something you can learn in a restaurant.  Sure, you can learn what foods pair well with which wines, but putting love and care into your food is something you feel.

Sometimes at dinner we ask the kids to list off the ingredients they can taste in the meal.  More often than not, one of them will answer “Love” is an ingredient.  After last night’s dinner for our friends, I believe it to be true now.  My wife and I put “Love” into what we cook on a regular basis.

To quote a song from The Kids in the Hall: 

I guess you want to know what’s in this pie.

Well… there’s two cups love, a cup and a half of understanding,

A tablespoon of good old-fashioned compassion,

Sugar to taste,

And you know what? The ovens are our hearts

Home cooking

We returned home yesterday afternoon from our vacation (more like a rather fun business trip) and my wife & I decided that we’d do one more meal out for dinner.  We unloaded the car and then hit our favorite sushi restaurant- Nikko Sushi with the kids.  It was like a celebration for a job well done at the conventions and another successful family road trip.  


Volcano Rolls. sooooooooo good.

Driving for two days means we often stop for fast food (In-N-Out Burger FTW) and neglect our fruit & vegetable intake (French fries don’t count according to my wife).  When we returned home, our fridge was only filled with condiments & beers thus requiring a quick run to get groceries.  The major staples such as bread, eggs & cheese will have to wait- we needed fruits and vegetables STAT.  Luckily we live so close to farmlands that we went to a local vegetable market and stocked up.  Time to eat healthy again!

It also appears that we brought back the nice weather from California so we will be grilling within the next few days.  I’m looking forward to making our own meals and I know my family is as well.  We make preparing mealtimes a family affair. The art of cooking is something I love teaching my children.  They ask about how to make stuff, why we do certain things to the food, and they often want to get in and help on the stove or BBQ.  They help set the table and everyone takes part in serving the food.  However, washing & drying dishes is the chore grumbled at by everyone.

I’m looking forward to our first home cooked meal tonight.  Ribs, roasted cauliflower and a spinach salad are on the menu.  We even have the next few nights planned out as well (BBQ pizza and smokies).  My mouth is watering thinking of all the home cooked meals we are going to make.  Summer is almost here, so I’ll be heading out this afternoon to prepare our vegetable garden for the season.

Good eats everyone!

Fast food

When it comes to fast food, something about convenience makes me happy.  I only have a couple of favorite burger places.  But these are located in the United States.  British Columbia doesn’t offer up the same value or quality when it comes to fast food.  I’m not saying I don’t eat from these places, far from it.  I “treat” myself about once or twice a month to McDonald’s or Wendy’s. It’s not really a treat, it’s more that I’m hungry and need something in my belly.

Declaration of Delicious. Americans don’t take their politics seriously.

We, as a family, don’t make a habit of going for fast food. My children have never asked for Happy Meals. But on our road trips, I have mapped out all of our stops and the kids get excited as we approach our next location.  Only a fifteen minute drive from our home in Canada to the nearest Jack In The Box.  I usually buy myself an Ultimate Cheesburger when we go.  So tasty, and bad for me…  I love that they have American Dr. Pepper on tap.  Yes, there is a difference between Canadian and American Dr. Pepper.  We also buy a box of churros to share for desert.

But the best fast food burger restaurant in the West Coast has to be In-N-Out Burger.  I have included on our road trip maps, the locations of the restaurants and exactly how long/far they are from place to place.  Every time we go, the line up is out the door.  We wait patiently.  This is our treat.  The burgers are fantastic and worth the wait.  In-N-Out also had a travel kitchen.  Once a year, over the past few years, it has journeyed into Canada.  They come up to our hometown of Langley, BC every September for the Langley Cruise-In.  Guess what?  People line up for hours for the one day they come here.  The smell of the food fills the air and reminds me of exactly why we enjoy their burgers.

Soon we shall be indulging in their food as we journey on our road trip to our conventions.  Perhaps a chocolate milkshake will be purchased as an extra treat if we all behave in the car.