Saturday, July 10, 2010

Picnics and bagels

Montreal. Mont-reeaale. I love how it rolls along my tongue when I pretend I know how to speak French.

So far, I’ve been lucky. Every weekend I go visit, the weather gods have been cooperative. Sunny hot days! Azure skies! A slight breeze! Not a hint of rain! This has led me to meet my picnic quota of the summer. I feel a sense contentment as I flap open the blanket, allowing the corners to flutter as they settle on the grass.

This Canada Day weekend, me and my pal Baran took an oversized tablecloth to Parc la Fontaine. Its border was navy blue, an explosion of white, green and pink bohemian swirls flooded a golden yellow background. Its colors had faded, I suspect after having been excellent use for previous outings. We laid it on a slightly hilly side of the park, over looking the water. We dropped our bags and sat with big smiles on our faces.

Next, our grocery store goods came out one by one: a vegetarian wrap with tofu spread, baby carrots (sadly, lacklustre in crunch), and ruby plums. We watched as clusters of friends surrounding us enjoyed the sun. Bottles of beer sweated in the heat, bursts of laughter floated in the air, puppies splashed in the water. It was moments like these where I wish I could stay on vacation, stay in Montreal, and never leave. Where I wish I had a tall glass of watermelon juice with me and a plastic swirly straw—because it really makes it taste better.

I could have wished harder, but we had to leave. For good reason though. We went to get Fairmount bagels. In fact, I burst into a fitful of giggles whenever I say their name. Baran’s bag that toted her batch of purchased bagels was folded in such a way that had her mistakenly call them “Fair-unit” bagels. HA.

I bought sesame, chocolate chip, sun-dried tomato and blueberry bagels. Sesame bagels—though plain, are my favourite. Always fresh and warm from the brick oven, every bite yields melting pleasure. The yeast binds homey wheat and nutty sesame flavors to create a chewy texture, yet isn’t too much work for the teeth. I’ve had What a Bagel here in Toronto before, but found them too fluffy and airy, lacking in that intensely chewy and dense mouthwork I look for. I’ve been back in Toronto for nearly a week and I just finished my dozen treasured bagels, I like to drag out the tastiness as long as I can.

I’m going back to Motnreal to visit next weekend (Hurrahhh! My fifth time since February) for my friend’s wedding, once again, I shall indulge in chocolatines and café au laits for breakfast, and scout the streets for moka almond fondant crème glacée.

Recipe here!

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