Merde Il Pleut

Yesterday, after submitting a take-home exam which marked my final assignment of undergrad, and feeling an insatiable urge to escape the familiar grounds of campus, I decided to venture to the public library, where I stumbled upon a quiet, secluded spot by an outstretched window overlooking the movement of cars and pedestrians down below. And mesmerized by the tranquil sound of thunder and sight of heavy rain, I simply stared out the window, lost in thought. I even saw a woman with an umbrella that read “Merde Il Pleut.” Cheeky with a touch of sarcasm — love it!

If there’s something a dear friend who’s come closest to my heart has noticed about me, it’s that every time I sit by a window, my antennae begin to pop up like bunny ears and activate their first class sense-perceptions. Playing a creep of a detective, I’d study human interactions and situational dynamics from a distance, and draw theoretical connections — just because. Indeed, if you find me being uncommonly quiet, you can rest assured that I’m busy diving into your soul, and taking notes.


Strawberry Banana Bread

Lately, I’ve been experiencing overwhelming pity for my overripe bananas and strawberries, since they’ve been looking painfully old and feeble. Thus, yesterday morning, rather than focusing diligently on my take-home exam that was due in the late afternoon, I decided to put my fruits out of their misery, and bake instead.

The life of the student procrastinator summed up in one insightful comic strip:

The union between strawberries and bananas sure was an angelic one, for my house smelled heavenly. With my windows wide open on this surprisingly warm spring day, I’m sure my neighbours, and even their dog, woke up to a whiff of sweet baked goods first thing in the morning.

Although the strawberry banana bread turned out quite good, I found it a tad dry and flavourless. Something I could’ve done differently was add more strawberries and bananas into the mix than the recipe called for. But I shall hope for the best, for it’s been the case that the moisture and flavour of such quick breads tend to kick in a day or two after they’ve been baked.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup strawberries, diced
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • walnuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Spray pan with a vegetable spray.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave and let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla extract, and mashed bananas. Add the melted butter and stir together.
  4. In another large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the berries. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into pan, sprinkle walnuts on top, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. (About 50 minutes in my toaster oven).

See original recipe here:

It has to be your last (chip)


Flapjack’s Pancake Shack @ 809 Bank St., Ottawa, ON

At midnight last night, I felt the onset of a craving for pancakes and/or waffles. So while yawning a sea of tears, I dispensed whatever remaining energy I had browsing the internet for pancake joints in the city, and stumbled upon Flapjack’s Pancake Shack. After scanning their drool-worthy menu, I messaged a friend ASAP about my new discovery, and being the spontaneous birds that we are, we agreed to meet the following afternoon for a pancake mission.

It was endearing that this pancake shack was nestled safely in the courtyard behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s, away from the hustle and bustle of the street core. Note the colourful and artsy wall mural that leads to the courtyard, too — really cool! And the awesome thing is, after you’ve placed an order you’re given a playing card which they call out. My stroke-inducing moment was forgetting what the suit was called. Spades, hearts, diamonds, and darn it, what’s that leafy one again? Ah, Clubs — 9 of Clubs!

Our “panwiches” were impressive. Whereas the friend ordered “The Campfire” which included marshmallows and Nutella between two graham cookie pancakes, I tried their infamous “Breakfast Panwich” — bacon strips, egg, and cheddar cheese between two original pancakes. The “panwich” was the size of a palm, and the pancakes themselves were super light, soft, and fluffy. It was very yummy — a light eat, and not heavy or greasy at all.


Second Avenue Sweets @ 151 Second Ave., Ottawa, ON

Following our pancake mission and accomplishing some readings at Bridgehead, we ventured to Second Avenue Sweets to hunt for desserts, since I recall having read good reviews about this cozy and inviting little bakery. Even though their selections looked both enticing and deadly, I left with just a pecan cookie. Nothing special, just your ordinary cookie — hard, brittle, and sweet.

All in all, this fine spring day was excellent for wandering about in the Glebe. Not only did I experience a bittersweet nostalgia for old times, but my inner child was filled with excitement, for I felt a deep desire to scurry left and right like a mouse and explore every food joint.

What’s sweet, too, is that all of these shops — Marble Slab, Morala Coffee, Wild Oat Bakery, Truffle Treasures, Flapjack’s Pancake Shack, Second Avenue Sweets, you name it — are all in close proximity to each other, which makes hopping from one shop to another a breeze. Well, at least one could dream, right? A great deal of exploring to be done this summer, that’s for sure.