In my already scarce pockets of leisure time, I embarked on expeditions of sustenance. Longtime pizza longings were rounded out with discounted Dr. Oetker thin crusts, while unsatiated cheesecake cravings prompted a revisit to basque cheesecake.
My Amazon purchase informed me of vast fluctuations with my secondary cooking apparatus, though my tardy response led to only partial charring. The desire for more uniform colour led to overbaking, indicated by a lack of ooziness in the cross-section. A more watchful eye is demanded in future iterations.
Green Tea Snowballs from Sunday Baking were created within 24 hours of video upload. A tad crumbly yet nonetheless grassy and delicious, the circular morsels disappeared well under nine hours of being removed from the oven. Glutinous rice flour had been used in place of rice flour due to availability, however it is humble hope that adopting the standard variation shall lend the cookies structure and crunch.
I predicted my "bucket list" trail to be closed yet again due to a persistent dampness in climate conditions, and thus opted to venture northbound as opposed to south. Avoiding construction along the arterials, I took to a mixture of sidewalk and bicycle lanes on local streets. It led to me a decidedly bumpy patch of a park, where the quantity of protruding tree roots had me gripping to my handlebars for dear life.
Pedalling feverishly up Thomas, I recalled the arduous incline that had worried me even as the driver of a vehicle. The road had incorporated a mix of a cycling lane and multi-use path, though I took to the wide, concrete sidewalks and merely walked the stretch to preserve energy.
Retreating onto sidewalks for the final kilometre, frustration surged as evening strollers neither paid attention to warning lights nor the ring of high-pitched bells. Not a single person would step aside for the safety of all, nor had they bothered to don high-vis gear for visibility.
As we approached the unmanned host station, a relatively unoccupied patio area came into view. Opting to dine under the balmy rays of the sun, we ventured inside to place our order. At first, we were inquired of proof of vaccination, given that the mention of "dine-in" was interpreted as "indoor dining". We confirmed completion of the vaccination doses, to which the lady nodded but did not press further.
"Do you need to see it?" I asked.
"Oh no. It's fine!" came the anxious reply. "We just follow the law."
Orders were distinguished on the basis of names rather than numbers. In review of the orders before us, we took to securing a table outside first. Our entry had been made around 12:30 PM, with order placement roughly fifteen minutes later. A steady queue had begun to form as we exited the first time; this takeout line only grew longer past the 1 PM mark.
The wait was positively grueling and really quite unpleasant. Beyond the utter absence of physical distancing within the restaurant, the atmosphere was stuffy, warm with the congregation of countless bodies. I paid a visit to the bathroom during this time, witnessing a questionable lump of sodden, crumpled paper towel immediately before the toilet.
The Mini Chef's Platter had been selected solely on the basis of baba ghanoush. Having tasted the creamy delicacy that was Me Va Me's edition, expectations were high. However, Masrawy's version was looser than it was creamy, boasting a greyish hue with purple undertones. It further incorporated tahina into the roasted eggplant mix, along with a distinct concentration of herbs and seasonings. The Hummus was seriously thick and extremely filling, causing a rebound in appetite with each spoonful. My least favourite of the trio was besara, which was labelled as fava bean paté. A rather runny consistency had me in disfavour of its texture. Moreoever, seasonings could not be clearly identified and liquid would gradually seep out over time. Allocated per person were two quarters of a whole wheat pita that could either be used as a well for the dips or submerged into one of the other accompanying condiments.
We had ordered the Masrawy Fusion Sandwich with the intention of sharing. The creation seemed to merged the crispy edges of shawarma meat with the fatal basicness of a hot dog. Too similar to a Walmart-grade hot dog bun was the Fino baguette, and too thick and spongy was its cross-section. Perched within its depths were pieces of savoury, charred meat hidden beneath a white garlic aioli and a hot sauce I could have easily done without. By default, the sandwich would include marinated, grilled chicken; a mix of chicken and beef was chosen, though its two-dollar surcharge was not addressed until its appearance of the receipt.
Delineating our paths of consumption was managed only with the assistance of disposable plates and cutlery from my car inventory. A grand total of four napkins, two forks, two knifes, and one spoon had been placed in the bag, yet there were far more sauces than the single spoon could suffice. Navigating the patio area was another mission, for there were multiple trip hazards ranging from uneven tiling to protruding patio bases. Not all tables offered uniform coverage from sun, and not all tables were given adequate spacing in between.
I was quick to deem a second visit unviable in evaluation of the extraordinary wait time and prominent lack of safety protocols. Albeit assuming a generous portion size, our orders remained costly and far from memorable.
We commenced with Bosu ball warmups, first with marching at slow tempo, then quickening to a medium tempo with claps (beats) for guidance. The marches would continue as two tardy members of the class joined the floor. "Everyone, lift your chins up!" we were reminded.
Core engagement was stimulated with "flying steps", where one foot would be marched onto the Bosu ball while the other leg is extended behind oneself with the arms raised straight about the head. Further testaments of balance were tested by inverting the Bosu ball and conducting squats on the round-bottomed apparatus.
I stepped aside around the midway point to tend to unexpected circumstances, then rejoined as the class had adopted a Reformer box and begun extensions of the arms with the tension bands. Altering the footbar height was a skill acquired from the past weeks' sessions; this class saw the terminology of "long box" (parallel to the Carriage) and "short box" (perpendicular to the Carriage). A few more arm mobility and strengthening moves were executed, then succeeded with a half-rolldown for further core engagement.