new cities, uncertainties, and flourless cakes

I’m the type of person that prides herself on having her shit together, so to speak. Typically level-headed, rarely emotional, a stoic wall of realism and rationality. So the last few weeks have been a rather unwelcome change in my routine.

It’s as though the world is resting on a different plane; a mirror of reality tilted a few degrees past the point of comfort.


Turkey was a month ago, but it feels a lifetime away. I haven’t had as much time to dwell on the loss as I feared, though, since my days following arrival back in the States were spent flying from city to city; transporting crates of furniture and boxes of a life haphazardly printed on coffee mugs and pages of unread books; catching up with family and old friends; trying to assemble a picture of the upcoming months from puzzle pieces cut like shards of broken glass. It has been exciting and nerve-wracking and utterly overwhelming.

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nanaimo bars

[I’d like to preface this post by dedicating it fully to a good friend of mine, O, who tells me, every time she sees me, in no uncertain terms, that I do not blog enough. So, darling, here you go!]

Today is, really, my last free day before the start of the semester. A few hours of work training and a mad rush to skim hundreds of pages of philosophy for thesis research – that I absolutely should have been doing over the past 12 weeks but blew off to, instead, sleep and read copious amounts of unrelated, though arguably more compelling, fiction literature – awaits tomorrow, with classes beginning on Tuesday. So, I figured I’d spend it baking, since it’ll probably be a while until I have some time to do it again (my deepest regret, O).

If you know me from the old blog, you’ll know that I’ve attempted these things before. They weren’t totally perfect during my last attempt, but I wanted to
a) continue riding the Canadian high I’ve been enjoying since last week, and
b) raise them to my unnecessarily high expectations for culinary aesthetic perfection.

It resulted in a pretty commendable second attempt, if I do say so myself.

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toronto & montreal…

…or, “A Study in Walking Many Kilometers from Restaurant to Restaurant.”

I have been noticeably absent from the blogosphere these past few weeks, seemingly having left this poor old thing by the way side in abandonment. But this is not so, dear readers, for instead, I have been frolicking up north, traipsing about mid-70 degree weather with not a care in the world save how little time I had to spend in the company of good meals and good family.

So now, to make up for my absence, I will give you an extremely extensive, food-filled account of my adventures in Canada. Read at your own discretion.

I’ve been to Canada before, though my previous forays into the country only ever extended as far as a minivan with the parentals in Oakville, pawing at the outskirts of Toronto. My aunt and uncle live in town, and all three of their children – cousins much older and wiser than myself – were there this time around (which, actually, is an astounding feat).

This summer saw a trip made to the same house, but under much different circumstances: most notably, the absence of the parentals. Yusra, Mus and I made the trek this year (in the same minivan, of course, though now with an iPod jack so I don’t have to spend a good 3 hours of my time sitting in the passenger seat with the laptop overheating my lap, running through a pack of blank CDs to keep the merriment going as we drive 80mph on the interstate – true story). We were in Oakville for five days, alternating between exploring the town and Toronto, before making the 6-hour drive east to Montreal. A short week abroad, but a welcome change amidst a monotonous Virginia summer.

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