You know that excellent feeling when you reach into the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for a while and pull out a twenty dollar bill that you'd forgotten about? Well we experienced this feeling the other day, but instead of money, the found thing was an hour of time.
We needed some things that would best be found at a really fun kitchenware store, called Tap Phong Trading Company, located on Spadina Avenue. They stock anything and everything that you might need to cook with. Apparently it's the place where many of the city's chefs and assistants go to get their gear, which is good quality at very decent prices. NOTE if you go there though, to check your change carefully if you pay with cash because the three times I've been I've been short changed.
Anyway, we were going there and decided to arrive just as it was opening at 10 am.
However when we arrived we discovered that it didn't actually open until 11 am on that particular day. So like magic we found ourselves in an interesting part of town, on a gorgeous early fall day, with a spare hour to enjoy.
So we decided to go for coffee in Kensington Market which was a short walk away. We took the walk slowly, enjoying the everyday sights in a really cute neighbourhood. Both of us recalled having been along one particular street (called Nassau) before, a long time ago, when the area seemed to be very run down and uncared for. We so enjoyed seeing how the area has transformed over a decade, with the loving improvement of the charmingly detailed homes.
We are both big-time fans of coffee, but discussed the fact that the last time we had actually gone out for a cup was when we were away on vacation. We enjoy making our favourite beverage at home so don't really go out for it unless we're meeting a friend.
But this day, we went to a friendly spot called The Grind House, where Nick had an espresso, I had a regular coffee and we shared a delicious lemon-poppyseed-cranberry muffin. A really neat detail of this spot was their use of dry linguine noodles as stir sticks. How brilliant is that?! Totally biodegradable and fun to boot.
We took our drinks outside where we were joined by a flock of very trusting little brown birds. With the benefit of time, we talked at leisure, making plans and telling stories about our lives before we met. Yes, after almost 13 years of marriage, there are still plenty of little things to tell about our lives before we met. (Ours was a whirlwind relationship in its early stages, going from first meeting to marriage in just a year. Therefore we had not known each other long and both had had full lives before we lucked into finding one another. There are still stories to be told, although we do find ourselves retelling the best ones too!)
And as we sat there in the cool morning air, Nick said, "This is the life". And I agreed. It's the small thing, right?
Here's to finding some time where one has no choice but to relax and enjoy! I hope you have such an hour in your life soon. How will you spend it?
Links to our homemade coffee drinks and techniques:
Making Cafe au Lait
Making Mocha Coffee
Making Spice Sprinkle for Coffee
Making Coloured Sugar
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