8

Luggage Tag Seeks Same

If you travel at home or abroad, it is wise to attach a luggage tag to your luggage; if your bags go missing, they will find their way to you. But what if your luggage tag gets lost?

After visiting my dear friend in Victoria, B.C. Saturday, I arrived at my B&B, only to discover that my shoulder’s bag luggage tag had fallen off.

Had it stayed in the tea room to indulge more smoked salmon sandwiches? Checked out the Fringe Festival? Wandered Chinatown’s alleyways and indulged in organic dark truffles with maple cream, smoked salt, and orange? Maybe it was hanging out in the shade of the giant acorns in a nearby village.

While I retraced my steps over the next twenty-four hours, I tried to remind myself that losing a luggage tag was minimal compared to, say, losing my passport or I.D. It was even better than losing my sunhat, which I accidentally left behind in the Vancouver airport the last time I was in the area.

But this was no ordinary luggage tag; it was my favorite luggage tag. It showed three lion cubs on one side and my contact info on the other. I felt concerned for it, splat on some unknown sidewalk.

I wondered who my luggage tag was without its attachment to me; I felt lost without it.

Perhaps my luggage tag needed its own tag to find its way back.

 

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6

Higher Math & Eating Desserts

During my visit with my mother, I faced many challenges, the biggest of which came on July 18. On that day we traveled to a new bakery. While I stared at the artisan bread, muffins, giant striped croissants, multi-colored pastries, assorted cookies, and nougat, she asked what I wanted. “The raspberry croissant, please,” I said.

“What else?” she said.

“Nougat.” It was a small, white square with pistachios, sunflower seeds, and what looked like dried orange peel. It reminded me of something I ate in Istanbul.

“And what else?”

I contemplated the cheesecake, carrot cake, the macarons with passionfruit cream and berries, and the opera cake that promised flavors of chocolate and hazelnut. Of course, I had to have that.

Driving home, she asked when I would eat them. Once home, she asked in what order.

I thought and thought. Because I could not make up my mind, I decided to call on higher math. I posed my dilemma to the permutation gods. Should I eat nougat, croissant, opera cake or nougat, opera cake, croissant? Should I eat croissant, nougat, opera cake or croissant, opera cake, nougat?  Should I eat opera cake, nougat, croissant or opera cake, croissant, nougat?

I put a lot of thought into when I ate nougat. I decided to have it in the middle, a bridge between flaky raspberry chocolate croissant and melt in my mouth hazelnut chocolate cake.

As you can see from the photos, I forgot to photograph nougat. You will also understand why I felt so challenged. I had my hands full–as well as my mouth.

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4

Leave No Dessert Unturned

I have chocolate on the brain. It is a not so rare ailment that is easily curable, if given the right situation.

Which wasn’t the other night, when I seriously had it. Before the Royal We watched the Oscars, we chose desserts from our local grocery’s pastry case. Mine was Chocolate Tulip Cup. It consisted of chocolate tulip petals with white and milk chocolate, filled with chocolate mousse, topped with dark chocolate ribbons.

Here’s what this reviewer had to say: although the mousse was very luscious and the dark chocolate flavorful, the petals did not taste like anything.

Which meant I had to reward myself.

Tonight I went to hear Alice Medrich, in conversation with Linda Carucci. For those not in the know, Alice Medrich is one of the country’s leading experts in the field of chocolate and chocolate desserts. Linda Carucci is an award-winning culinary instructor. They discussed Medrich’s latest book, Flavor Flours: A New Way to Bake with Teff, Buckwheat, Sorghum, Other Whole & Ancient Grains, Nuts & Non-Wheat Flours.

The discussion was mouth-watering. Very mouth-watering. Luckily, support was available. Samples!

Initially, some of the desserts sounded weird, such as the brown rice flour sponge, or oddly unusual, such as the teff brownies, while others sounded somewhat appealing, such as the oat flour almond tuille or the oat flour chocolate cookies. But being a mature taster, I decided it was important to keep an open mind.

Here’s what this reviewer had to say: the brown rice flour sponge was moist and fluffy; the teff flour brownies were creamy and super light; the oat flour chocolate cookies had just the right amount of chocolate; and the oat flour almond tuille was a perfect buttery, almond crunch. Worth going back for thirds!

I am so glad I left no dessert unturned; I didn’t desert any desserts.