Friday, 5 October 2012

A foggy night and a warm drink

I went out tonight shortly after I came home from work. I didn't want to stay out too late because I am dead tired. I had a hard time falling asleep last night because my mind was just racing too much over stress and some other stuff. I got downtown around 8 o'clock at Place des Arts and as night fell, the humidity in the air turned into a thick fog. It was beautiful. You could barely see the skyscrapers downtown. It would've been perfect for Halloween weather.

I was a bit hungry, but not that much. My appetite has been a little low this week so I went to Chinatown to get a little pastry as a filler. I got myself a sweet bun stuffed with barbecue pork. It was sweet, meaty and delicious and quite filling.

Walking up Saint-Laurent I saw a couple that had the cutest little corgi puppy ever. He was so cute I had to ask them if I could take his picture. But, the little bugger was so excited to have a stranger pay attention to him I could barely get a good shot of him. I had to give up and leave the couple go on their way otherwise I would've spent the whole night there playing with their puppy.

Who's a good wittle corgi?

Yes you are! Yes YOU ARE!

He was such a sweet little puppy, I can see why her Majesty the Queen got two of them! That cute furry little thing is nothing like the beast of a dog I saw near my place. My god that was an ugly mutt.

And that's the face he makes when he's happy!

A block away, I passed by this little grocery shop called La Vieille Europe. (The Old Europe) I pass in front of it all the the time and it always stinks to high heaven. Mostly because they sell a lot of deli meats and cheeses. So you get strong smells of cured meats and salamis and the vinegary smell of cheese in brine.

Also, every time I passed in front I always noticed this product with the most ridiculous logo I've ever seen. Coupled with the name of the product, it just seems like a complete marketing disaster and you gotta wonder how this could be displayed on store shelves without ending in some kind of lawsuit.

Like, seriously. WTF. ಠ_ಠ

When I usually pass by it, it's closed because it's too late. But, this time I was early enough to find it open. I knew it was my duty to go in there and buy that god damn Banania and try it out on my own. Inside the store I got to see what they sell. It's really a whole bunch of imported foods from Europe. You'll find a big selection of imported chocolate bars from Belgium and Poland and Germany, a huge variety of bulk coffee, jams, cocoa, baking supplies and lots of those little rich cookies.

On the other side of the store you'll find all the different cheeses and cured meats. That's the stinky half of the store. But, everything looked so delicious. I wanted to buy some and make myself a little cold dinner with some baguette bread and some wine.

I also found a rack filled with Turkish delight. They had the real thing as in the original candy the way it's meant to be: flavoured with rose-water and lightly dusted in powdered sugar. Some of you may have heard of this candy from the books of The Chronicles of Narnia. Specifically The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe. I know someone who's a candy freak who once read the books and wondered what the hell Turkish delight was like. When she finally tasted some, she found it absolutely horrible. I think that's pretty funny. They're not bad. It's just some thick jelly that's flavoured and is sometimes covered in sugar, sweet coconut or even chocolate.

But the real reason I was there was to buy that hilarious Banania. I found it in the baking isle next to the cocoa and tea and instant coffee. I also noticed some interesting cans of chai latte powder and hot cocoa with marshmallows and candy shapes and even chocolate chai latte! Mmmm that sounds interesting.

I grabbed a box of Banania and headed for the cash register. The damn thing costs over seven dollars!!!! Jesus H. Christ! It better be worth it! So, I paid, stepped out and on I went with my walk. I went all around the Plateau and when I got on Sainte-Catherine I passed by the graffiti exhibit studio or street art gallery. I like that place because it has some very funky artwork and it changes all the time. The entrance fee is you pay how much you want, but it's 5$ minimum. There's always some supa fly old school 80's hip hop and break dancing music playing. I can't help but think of the old school movie Wild Style every time I'm in that area. An entire scene of that movie was actually used in the beginning of the song Professor Booty by the Beastie Boys.

Now for the honourable automobile mention. As I was getting close to Place des Arts, I saw this beautiful vintage 1966 Mercury M-100 pickup truck. It was in pretty good shape considering for what most people use pickup trucks.

At that point I went into Place des Arts, took the metro and went home. The fog was pretty much lifted when I left, but was still very thick when I arrived at my place. When I finally got home, the first thing I did was prepare some of that Banania. I was reading the box first to see if there was anything special about it. I was confused because they make it sound like it's some kind of cereal. But, upon opening the box, it really was just some kind of Nestle Quick powder. And it smelled the same too! Except this one is supposed to have dried banana flakes and wheat flour in there. Also, did I mention this comes from France?

I also learned on the box that the logo comes from the original picture on the box of the product which was a Senegalese Sharpshooter sitting down sipping on some hot beverage with his rifle by his side. The idea was to honour these volunteer soldiers who were considered as heroes by the French for helping their soldiers during WWII.

They could've kept the original image.

I followed the recipe on the box to make sure I do it right the first time to have a good idea of what it's really supposed to taste like. The recipe is simple. Heat up one cup of milk in a small saucepan. One the milk is hot, lower the heat to low and add two generous tablespoons of Banania and whisk gently while simmering. Continue mixing until everything is blended in and the mixture becomes smooth. Then serve.

I have to say, I don't think I've ever had a smoother instant hot chocolate. It was absolutely delicious. It was super creamy and smooth. I'm definitely going to enjoy this during the cold winter evenings while snuggling up under a blanket and watching some cartoons or tv-series on television.

After drinking a cup, I feel all warm and fuzzy and I just want to go to bed. So, I say bonne nuit to all of you who are reading my blog.

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