The Eternal Quest

25 04 2015

Some set their life’s intention to seek a wiser existence. Some seek to find inner peace. Some look for the answer to the one question that puzzles us all: what is this life lived for?

Not I friends. Not I.

My quest is simpler than all of this.

I’m just looking for the perfect sugar bowl.

You see, I’ve broken a few sugar bowls in my day. And now, the addition of granite counters in my new kitchen has made this quest feel like a weekly expedition because I’ve broken two since the reno.

I went out one day and hit up every single store in Nelson I could think that might sell sugar bowls. It was like searching for the Holy Freaking Grail of Sweetener Holders.

NO ONE HAD A SUGAR BOWL. Not a single one.

I finally found one so ugly I wouldn’t have given it to my worst enemy for a joke. It was blue and orange, patterned like the worst mu-mu Mrs Roper ever wore on Three’s Company. It sat on the sale table, woefully bearing the orange sticker of clearance. It looked ashamed of itself, and frankly, I don’t blame it. Being desperate though, I bought it. The seal around the lid was awful and Dan found that sugar crystallized and formed little hard chunks in the bowl, which he would have to scrape out with his spoon to sweeten his morning cup of coffee.

I broke the handle off that bitch a week into owning it. My eternal quest continued, while we kept using this ugly broken INEFFICIENT sugar bowl.

A spur-of-the-moment trip to Kelowna last week excited me. As we drove, I imagined the plethora of sugar bowls we might find. The colours, the shapes, the unique style. I admit I was more excited than I should have been. But hey, a girl can dream.

I hit up Pier One, Urban Barn, Home Outfitters, Bed Bath and Beyond, and finally, Home Sense. Every single store had one plane Jane sugar bowl. I’m not kidding. The lack of choice was disheartening.

But finally, deflated, I walked around a corner and found this cute white and blue sugar bowl, with a delicate lid. I picked it up and realized it matched a set of dessert plates my sister had given me. Giddy, I caressed the smooth ceramic bowl, and looked at the price. $6.99!!!! WHAAAAAA????

I almost fainted. With a suppressed glee, I bought that sugar bowl, anxiously watching the clerk wrap it up with several layers of protective paper.

I place my purchase safely under the seat and we went merrily on our way.

Upon arrival at home the next night, I revealed the sugar bowl to Oooohs and Aaaahs from everyone. I tore the plastic wrap away and proceeded to drop the lid onto the counter, where it broke in two.



Hey kids, it’s story time….

1 04 2015

Long, long ago, I travelled to Italy to see an old high school buddy who had moved there when we were in grade 9. I stayed with her lovely family in Firenze (Florence), ate amazing food, witnessed mind-boggling art, met all of her fun friends, toured around Europe a wee bit, met my old pen-pal in France and stayed with her family for a couple weeks. I learned a few things about myself and, yeah, I admit, got a wee bit chunky from Maria’s (seriously amazing) risotto.

How fun that time of my life was…. It is, of course, glossed over in my memory’s rose-coloured glasses. I sadly realize a lot of things were lost on my red-neck 21 year old self…. Did I even try any good wine? Hell no. Did I take an Italian lover and spend long sensual nights (and days) in his bed? Sigh… nope…. I did, however, savagely learn heaps and bounds about the Renaissance and the deep and wondrous Italian heritage. I declared myself Italian in my heart, gazing for hours at the sculptures of the Masters. It ingrained in me a sense of TIME…. The house we stayed in was hundreds and hundreds of years old…. From our bedroom window, I could see the Duomo of Firenze grazed by the “fingers of God” as the sun set. The sky was different, the air was different. I was different.

When I left, they gave me some parting gifts. One was a bottle of red wine, called Nozzole. The label was a map of Firenze and the surrounding area, which included drawings of the house where I stayed. I vowed to only open that wine upon a VERY SPECIAL OCCASION. I placed it on its side in a dark dry closet and promptly forgot about it.

Special occasions galore came and went. Dan and I had our first baby. Then we got married. Then I turned 30 (but I was pregnant for the second time, soooooo). Then I had that baby…. I realized one day that I just needed to drink that goddamn bottle of wine, and that was right around the time my sister turned 30.

“Well, hot damn,” I thought to myself, “perfect excuse to crack this motherfucker open.”

We had a lovely dinner together, and I brought the bottle out.

“Are you sure?” Kim asked, feeling intimidated towards this bottle of wine. As if her 30th wasn’t good enough.

“I am so sure,” I said and removed the cork.

We let it breathe. And then we poured.

What poured out wasn’t the glistening blood red liquid of a fine Italian wine, the aromas and sensuality swirling around our heads… evoking images of piazzas, Italian cigarettes, dark eyed men, thousand year old stone villas and old olive tree orchards.

No. What poured out was a chunky, vinegary hot mess of a wine gone bad.  You guys… YOU GUYS…… IT WAS BROWN.

Kim and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. I admit we actually tried a wee bit and spat it out in the sink….

All those years stored away as a special occasion reward ended up as a candle holder in my bathroom.

And I enjoy it every chance I get.