Secret Mission Fail
Are you suffering from dating exhaustion? Tired of swiping right to disappointment? Kissed too many amphibians in princely clothing?
Well then there was SecretAgent.
Yes, SecretAgent. I had been traveling around the world and had recently arrived in Toronto, Canada to visit and stay with a close girlfriend, her husband, and two small children. They were situated outside the city in a beautiful log cabin nestled by trees of every glorious colour, and surrounded by bulbs bursting forth with happy flowers. We spent a relaxing few days or so catching up, talking life, drinking hot chocolate, and being entertained and exhausted by small children. But on the last day of my stay we weren’t to stay in by the fire. My girlfriend’s husband was an army officer and I had been invited to join them in Toronto for the annual army ball. It was a big, posh event with fancy food, flowing champagne and visiting English royalty. Dressed to the nines in borrowed black velvet that clung to every part of my terrain I was feeling excited for the night ahead. And I had a pre-arranged date. He was the best friend of my friend’s husband, personable and charming, attractively sharp and debonaire, looking like a newly initiated member of the rat pack in his his freshly pressed Italian suit, he worked as an undercover agent and had just returned from a mission in Afghanistan, his disguise beard shaven off only that day, and his liveliness and vigour for life was infectious to everyone around him. Note: He was also married, and had left his wife and newborn baby at home for the evening.
And so, it was nothing. The night started with all of us sharing a glass of champagne, engaged in great conversation and eating any of the hors’d’oeuvre that wandered past temptingly on a plate. But as we sat down at our designated table and found ourselves next to each other SecretAgent unveiled his secret agent. He was full of wild stories, devilish humour, and the energy he was giving out was anything but that of a taken man. He paid keen attention to my wine glass, making sure to refill it if it started looking thirsty, always keeping his focus entirely on my person. And as we started on dessert his focus only intensified. “Where did you come from?”, “you are breath-taking”, “where do you travel to next? Maybe I could meet you there?”. Thinking that SecretAgent was being a little forward and perhaps forgetting the existence of wifey I had a quick word of concern with my friend. She expressed surprise at SecretAgent’s bold manner but was convinced that his intentions were friendly, and promised to keep an eye out for any frisky naughtiness in the meantime.
By this stage I was feeling very tipsy and slightly euphoric, so I decided to relax and keep having fun. But at some stage not too long after I went from feeling tipsy to drunkety drunk drunk. Perhaps I hadn’t been paying attention to how often my glass had been refilled. And from then on the details of my memory become a little sketchy. Although I do recall SecretAgent running his hand down my back whilst whispering “I can’t wait to take this dress off you…”. Frisky naughtiness indeed. But from there my memory fails me completely. It’s a black hole.
However, thankfully my friend had been keeping an eye out as promised as she happily informed me of the missing details the next day. Apparently her husband had come to the rescue and man-handled SecretAgent and I away to the safety of the shared hotel room that we were all intended to sleep in. I was put to bed and SecretAgent was banished to sleep on the other side of the room. But when the lights were out I proceeded to remove my top and attempt to climb “like a tiger” on all fours across the obstacle of each bed, including one containing two small children. My mission was to get to SecretAgent. Word was that I put on ‘quite the show’. Perhaps there had been something other than wine fuelling my obscene antics? Never before had I behaved in such an uncontrolled lascivious fashion after a glass of wine or five. And I can’t help but speculate that SecretAgent may have had a ‘briefcase’ of antidotes that could assist on such occasions. But by the next morning the only thing in my head was a will to survive the most incredibly painful hangover I had ever experienced. That and the feeling of relief to have avoided being poked by such a danger seeking, drink spiking(?), marriage faking, ingenuine, non-valiant, similarly short but not so attractive try-hard version of Tom Cruise. Time to put this one to bed, with a clear head. I’m getting me some maple syrup and bacon and turning up the oven. This one has to be tasty, for sure. And this time I’m going to remember every moment of it.
Further note: I was lucky enough to have had a friend looking out for me on this particular occasion but drink spiking is no laughing matter and certainly can’t be forgiven with a plate of fatty goodness accompanied by a story shaming. If this happens or has happened to you the best course of action is to seek medical advice and emotional support, and report any suspicious goings-on to the police. I have no proof if I was a victim to such foul play but am so grateful that I didn’t fall victim and become his foul prey.
A taste of Canada
Cinnamon scrolls with Bacon and Maple Syrup Icing
7 g package dry or instant yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
76 grams butter
4 cups plain flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
76 grams butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
5-10 pieces middle bacon, thickly sliced
1 cup icing sugar
50 grams butter
3 tbsp maple syrup
Combine your dry yeast with the warm milk and leave for 5 minutes. If using instant yeast you can just add it to the flour.
Beat 76 grams of butter with the white sugar. Add eggs and whisk. Add in flour, yeast and milk and combine. Knead the dough until it’s a good consistency, so it’s not too tacky to the touch and it binds smoothly. Place in bowl, cover, and leave to rise until dough has doubled in size, for an hour to an hour and a half. Make sure the room is at a suitable temperature for this to occur, around 27 degrees if possible.
In the meantime cut up the bacon into strips as you like. You can either pre-cook to make sure they are crispy or leave to cook inside the scrolls when they go into the oven.
In a separate bowl combine the other 76 g of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until smooth.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. When risen adequately roll out your dough on to a floured surface until it’s approximately 20 inches by 16 inches. Once rolled spread the cinnamon butter evenly across the surface. Now scatter the uncooked or pre-crisped bacon over the dough. Carefully roll the dough until it is a log. Cut into 2 inch pieces with a hot knife and place side by side on a well greased baking tray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until risen and golden.
Prepare icing mixture by combining icing sugar, butter and maple syrup. Add maple syrup to taste or if you prefer your icing a little runnier. Spread across the top of each sweet, cinnamony, bacon loaded treat.
Um, think I may have cardiac issues if I keep eating these but right now I have no conscience. This is a taste memory worth keeping.