Friday, October 9, 2009

Anna and the Sticky Toffee Pudding

Lately I've been of the mind that my days off are my days to with as I please. Most of the time I revert back to my childhood days when the days off were the weekends and Saturday was spent mowing the lawn or cleaning the house. There was also the dreaded cleaning out the closet and from under the bed. All day affairs and not in a good way. Don't get me wrong, there was certainly a sense of accomplishment when the chore(s) was done.

So, to the present day we journey. I am much more content to run errands or do laundry or clean the apartment on a day that I have to work. My thought process is: my day is already filled with my job so what's adding a few more hours early or late to do the chores. By choosing the "chores on a workday" option, I get to have endless possibilities to fill my days off.

I like to go to the gym on my days off. I like to sit in a cafe or park and read a book or magazine. I like to find the cafe or park in a different area of the City. Sometimes I go somewhere familiar. Other times I finally go to a place I've passed more times than I can remember and have always been curious about.

Days off should be about doing things I want to do not about doing things I have to do.

Today was a day off. My friend Anna and I have been trying to find a time to get together and catch up on each others lives. Today was the day. After reading my blog from several weeks ago about going to Tea and Sympathy, Anna and I talked about going there together. She had been before and wanted to revisit, and I was certainly willing to go back as there were other things on the menu I wanted to try.

Anna didn't need much time making up her mind about what to order. We both knew we wanted tea and she was intrigued by the scones. I couldn't decide if I wanted a sandwich and dessert or just dessert. My interest was peaked by a sandwich made with Scottish cheddar cheese. I asked what was the difference in Scottish cheddar and other cheddars. Our waitress said it was very sharp. Done and done. I ordered the sandwich and my pot of Earl Grey tea. Anna chose English Breakfast to go with her scones. Honestly, other than wanting to enjoy each others company over the tea, I was interested in trying another English pudding. Those of you who read this blog know that in the entry Labor Day in Boston, my friends and I were looking for Sticky Toffee Pudding. Well, it was the first item on the dessert menu today. Success!! I finally got to try it. According to, Sticky Toffee Pudding is a British dessert consisting of a moist sponge cake, sometimes made with finely chopped dates, covered in a toffee sauce. When I asked our waitress what STP was she said it was a dark sponge cake with a caramel sauce (it could have been toffee, but I think she said caramel) covered in custard. Let the fat deposits freely attach themselves to my body. Anna and I shared this rich, decadent, sweet dessert. We couldn't even eat it all. I'm telling you right now I want to learn how to make Treacle Pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding. I'm convinced the hardest part will be perfecting the custard. So good!

Post Tea & Sympathy, we took the L train across town to Union Square and spent some time sitting in Union Square Park. The weather was interesting today. Not as cool as one would think. I'm not sure if that had anything to do with it, but the park was fairly crowded. We found a bench with available seating and proceeded to start catching up on the goings on in each others lives. We quickly realized we were separated by a mere hedge from the dog run area behind us when the smell of urine overtook the air. Thankfully we were able to move to another bench where the air was more pleasant. Conversation continued until it was time for Anna to meet another friend and for me to go to the gym and keep the STP from setting up camp.

All in all it was a good day. I caught up on some television this morning, met up with a friend in the afternoon, went to the gym in the early evening, and made dinner for myself tonight. So what if I didn't wash the dishes. I'll just do that after dinner, before bed. Nothing lost and a lot gained. Do not insert fat joke here!

Days off are necessary and it's necessary that we use them for ourselves. Life is too short for me to worry about childhood insecurities of not doing chores on my day off. I sure am glad I'm getting over that.