I was in a funk this weekend. Was probably still recovering from all of my food disappointments from last week. I was annoying for sure—whining, being lazy, being indecisive, whining some more. I finally got so sick of myself that I gave myself a time-out and went to lay down on our bed. I laid there and pitied myself for a few minutes, then started trying to figure out how I could shake the grumps, when all of a sudden: DING DING DING!
Yep, I know, most people are all about retail therapy. I’ve been known to indulge on that front, too, when in need of a pick-me-up. And it generally works okay. But not as well as FOOD therapy does!
The prospect of my so-called food therapy trip was compelling enough to get my hair in a ponytail, a hat on my head, and my Hunters on my feet in like 3 minutes flat.
1st stop: Rustica. I love Rustica. Rustica is one of the closest things to Paris that exists in Minneapolis in my opinion. Truly delicious croissants and pastries, made the way they were meant to be made. And delicious coffee that they brew by the cup. You actually watch them weigh out the appropriate amount of beans, put it into the machine (I don’t pretend to have a clue about coffee making beyond that), and voila. A steaming $3.50 cup of delicious coffee. Should be delicious for $3.50, right? I like the Limoncilo blend myself—as the barista there said once, “it’s bright, in a good way.” An accurate assessment.
2nd stop: With a warm cup of coffee between my hands, walked a few doors down to Barnes & Noble for a…drum-roll please…cookbook. I am obsessed with cookbooks. I find ridiculous amounts of joy in looking at them over and over and over and over (and over), flagging new things I want to try, counting how many I have, rearranging them by color / cuisine / title / height / author / how much I like them. Due to a lack of selection at this particular B&N, I ended up with a totally uncharacteristic choice for me—The Essential New York Times Cook Book by Amanda Hesser. I say uncharacteristic because it has no pictures. And it has a thousand recipes. It’s a good 932 pages. With no pictures. Idea is cool: Hesser (food columnist) digs through the archives of the NYT and re-tests / re-writes / compiles the best of the best. What surprised me is how far back some of the recipes date (1940s). So, verdict is still out. I’m partial to the beautiful food photography in Ina’s books.
3rd stop: Sugar Sugar. I love this little candy store. Across the street from one of my favorite breakfast places (Grand Café), what is so interesting about this shop is that it isn’t all about abundance like most candy stores are. Just half-filled glass jars of the really good stuff. A candy shop that definitely skews more fruity than chocolaty, much to my pleasure. I chose my usual little bag of wine gums (photo at end of “Introductions” post)—perfectly chewy, perfectly fruity and sweet. They’re kind of like juju fruits, although I hesitate to make the comparison because they are so much better. I highly recommend them.
And that was it. 3 stops. 1.5 hours. 1 city. 36 dollars. A few sugary calories. A much better mood.