All of last week was spent counting down the days until the weekend. That regular two day stuff is so passé. Long hard hours at work to be rewarded with a two day pass? No thanks. So last week I paid particular attention to the calendar as days fell off one by one all around me.
We have this thing on Fridays. I call my wife from up the road to tell her I’m close. Really close. I turn into the driveway happy to be home and walk inside where she greets me. I remove my shoes and she puts them in the back spot of the closet, not needed for a few days. And we both smile.
It’s been a busy weekend and it’s not even over. That’s what I love about long weekends, it lets you fall back into every day knowing there’s a cushion all around it. There’s no guilt if you sleep in, no need to rush around frantically and stressfully and there’s rarely a concrete timetable. Rarely. This weekend has been a bit different. A bit of both.
Friday I walked through the door and shared that moment with my wife at the door. We smiled and then I bolted upstairs. “We have to leave as soon as possible,” my wife shouted out. I already knew that. I showered and changed in lightning time and we were off to see Billy Elliot.
If every weekend started like that, two days would probably be enough. Sadly, it doesn’t. Sadly, it’s not. It was a fantastic night out in Toronto. Hot but with a breeze, traffic had all but vanished and the people were in terrific moods with Caribana happening this weekend.
We stopped for dinner at a Michael Bonacini restaurant where we relaxed on that patio with a swirling cool breeze and shared some wine and crab cakes. W had mushroom gnocchi and I had lobster risotto. Then we had a a quick walk through the hustle of people and spent a few hours inside watching magic happen.
On those rare days that I spend alone, I usually to and experiment with food a bit more. Other times, I get right back to basics and remind myself that few simple ingredients is everything I really need. So that’s what I did. I made a super simple breakfast/sandwich and sat over it for longer than usual enjoying every last bite while browsing through some books in front of me.
I experimented with a cocktail in the afternoon while taking a break from the hot sun that seems to be present every day these days. I grabbed the cocktail that tasted just right and headed outside to tend to the yard. I watered the lawns, the garden, the flowers and then myself. Refreshed and alive I then tackled the front doors and steps.
I spent the better part of the day floating through time enjoy with inner peace and sanctity. Nurturing my soul as much as anything else. I tended to the lawn, the driveway, cars and myself. All in a days escape from work.
Evening came and W was finally on her way home. She wanted homemade burgers and sweet potato fries with aioli for dinner. A late dinner. I ran her a hot bath for her return and started on the food. She came through the doors like I usually do on Fridays, worn and tired. I greeted her and sent her to the bath where I had some wine waiting and candles lit.
While W soaked away the working woman’s blues and excitedly retraced her steps from the day’s activities, I finished up dinner and set the table. I put on some music and we sat and reconnected with more simple food. She told me about her day and I told her about mine. And we both retreated upstairs to relax and watch a movie.
The best part of long weekends is sharing it with someone you love. And even if your loved one is pulled from you for a day, you still have another waiting in the wings. Like today.
I’m not sure what’s in store. Most likely some good food and drinks, maybe a rafting trip down the river or beach stop. That will be figured out. But as long as we have each other, the details will sort themselves out. And it’s all that matters.
From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!
Toasted Breakfast Bagel Sandwich
(slightly adapted from Curtis Stone)
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 2 large organic eggs
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 cup fresh arugula
- 2 bagels, cut in half and toasted
- sea salt and cracked pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a muffin tin cup with two overlapping prosciutto slices. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15, or until crispy.
- While the prosciutto is baking, bring a medium pot of water to a boil and stir in the vinegar. Crack one egg at a time into a small bowl and gentle slide the egg into the water. Repeat with the other egg.
- Allow the eggs to cook for about 3 minutes and until the whites are set. The yolk should still be runny. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs and set them on a tea towel to drain of excess water. Do the same with the second egg.
- Toast the bagel halves and place on a plate. Top with a handful of fresh arugula and the prosciutto cup. Place the poached egg over top and season with sea salt and pepper and drizzle with your best extra-virgin olive oil.