It has been, to be honest, a rough two and a half months. I’ve been busy at work: there have been advertorials and ads to write, scripts to draft, ads to be presented to the screening committee of the Ad Standards Council in the hope these could pass muster for either production or release. There’s A Jar of Starlight (of course!); the two-pronged process of putting the manuscript together and, subsequently, taking it to the National Library in Manila to get it copyrighted. The person whom I consider my best friend is away and won’t be back for another couple of months; that said, I haven’t seen the usual Boiler Room crowd since the 15th of last month nor have I met up with any of my other friends for ages. I hardly ever get to talk to my family; I leave early in the day and arrive rather late in the evening. The traffic and the weird, unseasonal weather have worn me out and, on weekends, all I really want to do is stay in bed and do absolutely nothing.
But, sometimes, I do manage to catch a break. There have been good points; a silver lining, as it were, behind the grey grimness that currently characterises life in general in this part of the world. A copyright gets filed; ads are approved for either production or release without a reproach from the powers that be. Pictures are posted from a friend’s travels; not quite a postcard or a letter, but proof enough of life and music and a fun time had by all and sundry. Recipes are tried and tested; the end results enjoyed enthusiastically, even greedily. And, for this blogger, these small wonders are enough for a small celebration.
A recent trip to Caffe Bene served as that celebration. I was craving for something sweet but not too heavy on either the belly or the palate. For some strange (or not) reason, I didn’t seem to want either coffee or tea; I was, nevertheless, hankering for something with plenty of dairy. In which case, something with blueberries would do…only, as you will see, I think I rather overdid it.
First up: a blueberry latte. The drink’s name is a actually a literal throwback to the real meaning of the word “latte” which is simply Italian for “milk.” Here, a tart, somewhat coarse-textured blueberry compote is whizzed into a mix of full-fat milk and runny plain yogurt. The resulting beverage is a pleasantly lavender-coloured one with a grainy layer of compote at the bottom you need to stir before taking a sip. The latte is tart, creamy, yet quite refreshing. It isn’t as thick as it could have been if the richer Greek yogurt had been used, but it was quite pleasant to sip. Be sure to ask for a spoon with which to scrape up the last of the compote when you get to the end.
I opted for a lemon-blueberry tart to go with it. It’s a dinky wee bit of pastry: a short, crumbly, and sugary crust topped with dollops of sweetened lemon-infused cream cheese with a lump of chewy blueberry jam smack in the centre. Like the latte, this dessert isn’t very rich and the creaminess of the tangy cheese topping was balanced by the shortbread-like crust. There is, as shown above, a thin disc of white chocolate underneath; a rather superfluous and – to me, at least – unnecessary touch. It was pretty good, all things considered though.
With every sip and nibble, I could look back on things that have happened and think: something good came out of it all, thank goodness.