Monday, January 19, 2009

Vancouver Community College Annual Post-Christmas Turkey Dinner Gets an A+

There was a long line-up on Saturday for the free turkey dinner cooked and served by students in the cooking, baking, and food service programs at Vancouver Community College, Pender St. campus. One man in the line said he'd never seen the line-up so long at the annual dinner. The line-up snaked from the first floor lobby, up the stairs, and around to the cafeteria area on the second floor. It went fast though. And students served fresh coffee -- cream and sugar if you wanted it -- to everyone in the line up.

Students and staff were super courteous, just like servers in expensive restaurants.

The only place where the crowd control broke down momentarily was in the cafeteria where the line forked into two as people picked up a salad and fresh-baked roll, and then merged again into one line as people picked up a plate of turkey and vegetables. One woman in the line called out to the people in front of her, “Don’t back up any more!”, as people stepped backwards to let others merge back into the line.

I thought the stuffing was the best part of the turkey dinner. It wasn't too salty and didn't have that out-of-a-box taste. There were bits of carrots and celery mixed in with the bread crumbs. I said to the friend sitting with me, "This stuffing tastes as good as if it were cooked inside the turkey."

Everybody got a mixture of brown and white meat with gravy, mashed potatoes, and a steamed vegetable mix of carrots, brocolli, and cauliflower. The cranberry sauce tasted fresh-made and wasn't overly sweet. There was also a lettuce side salad with a tangy oil and vinegar dressing.

The free dinner came with a million dollar view. We sat in the "lower dining room" of the split level cafeteria, and had the above view of Victory Square.

You didn't have to be poor to attend the dinner but many people there were from the Downtown Eastside. It's the tail end of a five week welfare month -- cheques come out this Wednesday -- so even the most hardened Downtown Eastsiders were in a good mood as they got a free full course meal. And got treated like they had gold credit cards.


Anonymous said...


Dag said...

You can't afford to spell and capitalize and punctuate according to normative standards? Or are you a rebel who just don't care? Or are you someone who just wants to complain and couldn't think of anything useful or interesting to complain about? Or are you offering a lot of money for dinner out?

reliable sources said...


The VCC turkey dinner is a student practicum. It's not a soup line; it's not solely for people who can't afford a meal. Jimmy Pattison could show up and he'd be given a cup of coffee in the line up and welcomed.

Dag said...

The Internet is an interesting social phenomenon in that it's a higher form of speech. We can all of us talk to each other; and most of us listen according to our interest, some out of politeness. Everyone who can speak feels not only the need to speak but feels they have a right to speak. That's literally natural. But there is no natural obligation for others to listen to fools or even those others who, for whatever reason, they don't care to listen to. People make friends to find those willing to listen to them.

The Internet allows, in the case of many blogs, anyone to barge in and leave comments without regard to common interest or intelligence of the commentator. Often those so-called trolls are simply deleted because they are fools others don't wish to abide. It's like turning the dial on the radio or zapping a tv program. That doesn't eliminate the need people have to voice themselves. So, what I find interesting is that the Internet might make some idiots strive harder in future to find an appropriate way of joining a conversation so they aren't banned as fools not allowed to express themselves. It must be discouraging to be banned from an ordinary conversation time and again. Smart people will learn. Others might start blogs and write only for themselves, no one else caring to join in. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I like reading your blog, you write well! keep up the good work.

reliable sources said...

Thanks, anonymous.

reliable sources said...

I forgot to mention the desserts at the dinner.

I'm not really a dessert person but my friend suggested we stand in the dessert line-up after we ate our dinner. While in the line-up, a server with a plate of cookies gave me a shortbread cookie. It was good.

The dessert table had a variety of cakes and cookies. I spotted half a jumbo chocolate muffin on a styrofoam plate and picked that. I ate it later in the afternoon with my coffee. No complaints.

My friend enjoyed his thick apple pie with chocolate dribbled on top, but he was full so he took part of it home.

We both had chocolate ice cream too. I just had a few bites -- like I said, I'm not a dessert person -- and my friend ate the rest.