A Day in the Life of SJC Students

Experience the life of students living in St. John's College at UBC


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French lunch on a sunny New Year weekend

Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

Eleven Johanneans joined our first restaurant trip in 2014. We had lunch at Le Parisien, a French restaurant in West End. Many items on the menu are a novelty to some of us e.g. croque monsieur/madame, quiche, bourguignon. Guillaume, one of our foodies from France, patiently explained to us what each dish contains and tastes like. We were curious about everything and it took us a while to decide what to order.

Duck confit egg's benedict

Duck confit egg’s benedict

Many of us were interested in duck confit. We learnt that confit is a way to prepare food in oil or syrup, which is a specialty of Southwestern France. Those who had duck confit salad or egg’s benedict were all very happy with the unique taste. As for me, I tried quiche, a pie-like pastry with custard and cheese. I love the flaky crust and savoury filling! One of us had mussels marinieres, and I still remember how Guillaume demonstrated his special way of removing the shells.

Duck confit salad

Duck confit salad

We were already quite full after the first dish, but how can one resist desserts? We ordered a few items to share and sample. Crème brûlée, chocolate mousse and cheese plates marked the end of our fabulous lunch. My happy palate tells me that I’m fully energized for the challenges in the new year!

– Zoe

Cheese plate

Cheese plate

Duo chocolate mousse

Duo chocolate mousse

Quiche leek

Quiche leek


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Baking Christmas cookies

Baking Christmas cookiesTo me Christmas is all about food. Well, at least food is an important part of Christmas, and Christmas cookies, including a gingerbread house, are key elements of Christmas food, and not least Christmas preparations. Where I come from, in the days before Christmas eve, we usually have a number of Christmas preparations: making head cheese, making pickled herring, putting up a bundle of oat straws for birds to eat, decorating the whole house, and, last but not least, baking lots of Christmas cookies, including a gingerbread house.

Baking Christmas cookiesIn the spirit of sharing some of the joys of baking and Norwegian Christmas traditions, I invited fellow Johanneans to an afternoon (that spilled into the evening) of baking cookies on December 21. We started with rolling out the gingerbread dough (we made it the dough previous day), and carefully cutting out all the walls, chimneys, windows, doors, and porches. The walls and other pieces were assembled using melted sugar, which turns into caramel when heated. Making gingerbread houses took a lot of time, not least since we had to bake the pieces in several batches. The other cookies – sandkaker (“sand cakes”), peppernøtter (“pepper nuts”), and mandelflarn (“almond something…”) were less time-consuming, but because of the number of batches we had to use the oven in the clock tower as well, plying between the two kitchens for an hour. But the best part was decorating the gingerbread house, of course, with coloured frosting and smarties.

Baking Christmas cookiesBaking Christmas cookies was a great way of maintaining an sharing some of my traditions, but also a fun (and tasty) way of meeting people over the holidays. As we say in Norwegian: “God jul!” (Merry Christmas!)

– Espen (text) and Tanvi (photos)

Baking Christmas cookies