July 22, 2010

Aya's Exhibition Catering

Of course Aya catered the opening night of our art show.

Babaghanouj with focaccia.

Ham mousse with focaccia.

Roast beef and red pepper canapés with balsamic reduction.

Feta on watermelon with black pepper and honey.

Profiteroles with fresh raspberry whipped cream, lime madeleines.

We poured a few bottles of the delightful Gazela Vinho Verde, a perfect food-friendly summer drink; crisp acids and light bubbles.

Exhibition at Little Mountain Gallery

Our two collections of work, currently on display at Little Mountain Gallery in Vancouver, until August 3rd.
Aya's show: Ripped From History

Keith's show: Main Intersection

Both collections can be seen at Aya's art blogs and Keith's art blog.

The Groom

Spotted in the window of a cake shop at Main and Broadway; this lonely groom with no hands.
Do you really want a metaphor of this intensity in the window when customers are choosing a wedding cake?

Lemon Snack

Lemon curd, lemon pound cake and tea soda on Tim's balcony. Summer heat demands such delights.

July 18, 2010


I think that's how you pronounce these.These were rescued after being found scattered across our alley. We carefully tasted one and it was absolutely delicious. We scooped them up in something approaching a trice and absconded with them. We wonder if someone put them on top of their car and forgot about them when they drove off? We can empathize. There was no container of any kind around, which added to the mystery. Now we are researching recipes for Gooseberry Fool.

We have often heard "gooseberry" described as a wine aroma or in flavour profiles. It is easy to imagine a Sauvignon Blanc or other acidic white when tasting these.

July 13, 2010

Showing our Thirty Days Work

We're preparing for opening night, and we invite anyone reading this to come along. The gallery is open weekday evenings after 5 and most of the day and evening on weekends.

Please don't hesitate to contact us to arrange a private viewing.

July 11, 2010

Shigaraki Pottery

While in Japan in April, we visited Shigaraki with Aya's family. One of Japan's six famous pottery towns, Shigaraki is renown for its local clay beds and traditional wood-fired kilns. Tea Masters in the ancient capital of Kyoto created a national demand for Shigaraki pottery with their appreciation of the local artisans' unique wabi-sabi style.

From Wikipedia:
"Characteristics of the wabi-sabi aesthetic include asymmetry, asperity, simplicity, modesty, intimacy, and the suggestion of natural processes."

Tim and Keith tried their hand at undoing a thousand years of national prestige.

A few weeks later those that survived the firing showed up in a package. They had been glazed by the shop workers according to our selections of colour and style. We bought some appropriate display props for the photo shoot.

Tim's tea cup is truly magnificent; balanced, attractive, light-weight yet substantial.

Here Keith tried to mimic a particular style. The walls ended up rather too thick, but the glaze helps its appearance.

Don't know what was going on here. The bottom shrank alarmingly. Cute, in a funny way.

This is more like it. Light and colourful, and a fingertip finds its way inevitably into the dimple. The shop worker applied the glaze very thoughtfully with a big drip down the inside, just opposite the dimple.

July 2, 2010

Thirty Days: Done!

Another Thirty Days Project, our sixth, ended on June 30th. To celebrate, Aya prepared a fantastic steak dinner for the co-founders of Thirty Days Project (us and Tim Gerwing). You can see the global collection of everyone's work at thirtydaysproject.com

Aya started us off with salmon cakes with a mustard, dill and lemon mayonnaise. We opened Tim's bottle of BC's See Ya Later Brut, which proved to be charmingly lemony and bright, if a bit rustic in texture. Quite refreshing and a perfect pairing for the salmon cakes.

Aya also made "shrimp toasts", which turned out to be chopped shrimp in an egg-white batter on thin slices of bread. These were then gently sunk, like the Titanic, into a deep pot of hot oil. The main difference between the shrimp toasts and the Titanic soon became evident as the toasts emerged sizzling from the oil, crispy and delicious, while the Titanic remained on the ocean floor, untasted, as it has for decades.

The fact that there are no photos of the shrimp toasts is a testament to how they were simultaneously all-consuming and all consumed.

Aya served whole-wheat spaghetti, with its wonderfully nutty flavour, as the first course. The cream sauce was loaded with blue cheese and walnuts. At this point we started on a bottle of Sandhill Small Lots Syrah (2003). Sandhill was Canadian Wine Awards' "Winery Of The Year" for 2009, and this 7 year-old Syrah from the Phantom Creek vineyard was a perfect example of why they deserve that award. All dark fruit, spice and smoke, the wine was deep, rich and an excellent match for the creamy, nutty blue cheese sauce.

Then it was steak time: soft, flavourful strip loins, seared with crispy stripes and red inside. Aya made a mushroom cream sauce and sautéed some vegetables. The wine opened up to deep, complex spiced-plum flavours and ended up with an almost cola-like finish. Just spectacular.

Dessert was a spiced angel-food cake with a hot toffee sauce, light and heavy together, each needing the other and both pairing beautifully with the Knob Creek bourbon we gently sipped.
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