Saturday, November 06, 2010

Food Revolution Friday: FoodBliss

Before you all start waving a calendar at me and remind that it's SUNDAY, for heaven's sake so why am I publishing Food Revolution NOW because it's so late, let me explain.

Last week killed me. Okay, almost killed me, if I want to be completely accurate. Between 4 am mornings, 5 days of complete non stop action, venturing across the country and surviving a 3 hour time difference, and then hopping right back into work, by Thursday I thought I was going to cry. Or fall asleep while I drove a curvy country road home from work, which really almost happened.

Completely off topic-photos!

My first session. I'm tweeting. (you expected something else?)
Janice from Five Minutes For Mom and I at the Roots Party
Day Two session. Oh! I'm not tweeting!
On our panel. I'm grinning. Why is that? It was the crying session!
Now I'm serious. On the panel.
Talking about Food Revolution Fridays (I was terrified to go first)
Bon Stewart was amazing. She made us all cry.
Shannon is my go-to person for all eco-friendly stuff now. She was so nice in person, too.
It was great to meet Denise, too. I haven't been to Blog Her yet!

Where was I? Oh yes, Blissdom and me almost dying from lack of sleep.

Now that I have my weekends back and have some time to recover (read: sleep in, hang in my pjs, and bake cookies), my sanity is returning and what better way to wrap up these stories of Blissdom than to tell you my foodie adventure in downtown Toronto?

It started out innocently enough. I had packed up and checked out of my room at the Delta Chelsea, and then stood in the lobby to see if I recognized anyone I could join for breakfast.

Nobody. Not. A. SOUL.

At that point, I was STARVING. You see, I'm a girl who needs to eat. Skipping meals isn't something I do well-I end up with migraines, and general bitchiness that usually scares people off. In all honesty, I ran on adrenaline and tons of coffee throughout all of Blissdom because while there was really delicious appetizer type food there, I didn't have a MEAL practically the entire time.

Despite that, I think yam fries and wine at Elephant and Castle on the corner could possibly count because they were SO delicious, and Ariane and I became fast friends as we sat there and chatted. I let her know just how grateful I was that Foundation Studios sponsored my airfare because Blissdom was the most fun that I'd had in a long time, and I was so proud to represent her. I wish she lived closer, I'd totally make her a coffee buddy. Or yam fries and wine buddy. Whatever works. That night, we laughed at the costume party with her dressed as Pippi Longstockings and me as a kitchen witch, as I avoided being made to sing karaoke or dance (I do neither well. Honest. And by the way, if you find a picture of me in costume, let me know. I'll link to it).

There I was, starving to death, standing in the lobby with nobody I knew in sight. Granted, this was my frustration of the whole conference. You see, I'm so terrible with names and faces, that I'd be introduced to someone and we'd make plans, and then I'd have to try to pick them out of a crowd awhile later.

Would I be able to find them? No. I wouldn't even remember what they looked like. Can you imagine how embarrassing that is? I can't even remember where I've parked my CAR, people. For me, picking out people I've just met from a crowd is virtually impossible.

I tweeted Emma, because for ages we had tried to get together but nothing had worked out so far, and then I waited.

Starving.

In the hotel there was this cafeteria style restaurant (if you could call it that), serving eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, etc. It didn't look too bad, even though it was almost $12 and as I stood there, the scent of literal MOUNDS of bacon playing with my hungry stomach, I finally caved and bought breakfast.

I've had a lot of hotel breakfasts in the last 7 years and numerous 8,000+ km road trips. Some have been good, some have been very, very, bad. This one was BAD.

Very, very, bad. Cold, rubbery eggs. Cold toast. Greasy, overcooked bacon.

Wins the award for worst ever bad.

BAAAAAAAD.

As I sat there, empty plate in front of me, I found that I had a text from Emma. She was up, and was I interested in breakfast? Wait. I just ATE breakfast. But on the other hand, could I really refuse breakfast with Emma? We had been trying to get together all week and now was my chance. Would I be able to eat a SECOND breakfast?

Damn rights I could. I said I was starving, didn't I?

So off I went with Emma and Karen to The Senator Diner, a tiny little place in downtown Toronto that was a short walk from the hotel. Deliciously strong coffee, crispy bacon, and french toast smothered in maple syrup drowned any and ALL memories of my previously really bad breakfast.

Emma and Karen are really super cool. That's one of the things I loved so much about Blissdom-meeting the people behind the blogs and Twitter avatars and seeing that they are such great people that if I only lived closer, I'd have over for lunch or something.

After breakfast Emma and I hoped the subway up a couple of blocks and went to The Cookbook Store on Yonge Street. If you have a cookbook obsession, this is the store to go to. Not only are the staff really knowledgeable, they have the biggest selection of cookbooks I've seen! I picked up one that hopefully will help me develop my OWN recipes. I know. Aren't you excited?

We still had a little time to kill, so Emma then took me to Pusateri's. If you've never been to Pusateri's, you have to go just to wander, look, and taste. Pusateri's is this store just PACKED to the hilt with all the fine foods you can imagine. The best chocolate? They have it. Best yogurt? That too. I bought chocolate buns to eat on the plane and some truffle honey to take home to a friend. Honestly, I could have wandered in that store forever, but I had a plane to catch.

So I said goodbye and off I went to the airport with Barbara Jones and Paula Bruno. They are both so kind, and Barbara left me with one question that has had me deep in thought ever since.

"In a year from now, where do you want to be?"

Thoughts of sucking less (from Scott Stratten), being a content ninja and deciding on a great little community or complete world domination, mapletastic friends, and more swirled through my head the entire week. Where do I want to be?

I finally have it. I know what I want. Writing, ever since I was a little kid, has always been my bliss, my first love, what brings me joy. If I can forge a career out of writing, THAT is what I want-be it online, in print, a column, a published book, with a newspaper, whatever. I dream of being a writer the likes of Stuart McLean (I know, ridiculously BIG dream, huh?), who warms people with stories of family coupled with my other loves, food and photography. There's lots of work to be done, and in the next while you might notice some big changes happening on this blog as I switch from Blogger, clean up posts, and more.

Look out, Canada.

This girl isn't afraid to reach for the stars.

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