Sonia and Jeff Hobbs both work in software and tech where, Jeff says, “a misplaced comma or period can crash a whole program."
So, when it comes to their more leisurely science activities like cooking, gardening and viticulture, they choose to let loose a bit and experiment.
"We don’t follow recipes,” Jeff says. “But we do follow rules."
For Jeff, the primary cook, chemistry provides the basics. He pays attention to reactions among ingredients, like the zest of a lemon, or the unctuousness of oil, or why tomatoes should never be cooked in a copper pot.
For Sonia, the primary gardener, her rules are agricultural in nature. She pays attention to where food comes from and how it grows, looking at things like companion planting and soil acidity.
In their backyard garden near Commercial Drive, she's planted Japanese greens, peppercorn and wasabi. They do well in Vancouver's comparable climate. “The challenge of trying something different is always fun," she says.