It's simple, really - especially now in Snow Leopard.
1. Fire up your Finder and go to Macintosh HD
2. Grab Applications folder
3. Put it into your dock next to the Trash bin, Downloads, etc.
4. Wait few seconds while it loads all the icons
5. Right-click it (or option-click it although if you're switcher, you shouldn't care about old-school Mac terminology) and select "View content as" -> List.
6. Click the icon and see the menu.
N-1. Though many find using QuickSilver easier and more simple to invoke your applications.
N. Personally, I use Spotlight as I hardly need QuickSilver's niceties, and good ol' Spotlight works better and faster.
N+1. Drag the app icon to your Dock, dammit!
P.S. did I ever say I am trying to promote my uni coursework for the phrase "mscais search optimization" ? :-)