With hair flying and jacket flapping, I braved cold, wind, and rain, to check out the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (a free event, by the way!). Tables of small press and independent publishers channeled a sea of people flowing across two floors. Standing behind their comics, illustrations, and merchandise, creators and artists were primed, ready to engage and entice passers-by to spend some time at their table and – just maybe – spend some cash too. I didn’t walk away empty-handed, but I held back from buying more books in an effort to keep clutter at bay. I gave myself a mental pat on the back for my success.

Now, this has nothing directly to do with food. Except that TCAF’s venue is the Toronto Reference Library and, more to the point, that puts The Cookbook Store right across the street. Of course, I’d drop by for a quick browse!

A cookbook of petit fours recipes

While it'll always be cheaper at Amazon, I love the existence of The Cookbook Shop more.

After dashing across the street, I’m two steps in and suddenly sucker-punched by a book’s cover: pastel meringue sandwiches with a royal purple backdrop, printed on a canvas-textured hardcover, and glossy-on-matte finishes. A pale grey ribbon peeps out from the bottom of the book and silver-embossed text winks at me, even with the overcast sky. I quickly flip through the book reminding myself that 1. these will be a pain to make, 2. they won’t look as good as they do in the photos, and 3. it’s probably cheaper at Amazon. I gently put the book back on the pile and turn away.

Charms by Honey Roasted

Only to encounter and be enthralled by bookmark charms (by Honey Roasted) in food themes by the cash register. Coming in a myriad of options, I’m most tickled by the whale with the movable mandible, the moka, and a pair of measuring spoons. Will-power in full effect, I move on and continue my turn about the shop, muttering about the dangers of buying too many cookbooks.

But arriving back to my starting position, I hear the Siren call from the prominent primary display table. My hands, both eagerly, and at the same time, reluctantly, reach out and begin to flip through the book’s pages – this time slower – and I notice that the recipes are in gram-weights. Oooh, gram-weights! whispers through my mind and immediately an avalanche of additional excuses pile on, crushing my will-power in an instant. A friend’s chuckling was my procession theme to the checkout, book clutched in hand.

Of course, that places me right beside the bookmark charms I had admired earlier. Since my will-power had already been dispensed with, I snag the moka and two of the measuring spoon charms (gifts! really!), adding it to my haul. I sign away my hard-earned pennies and exit the store with a grin.

Though I spent a couple of hours at TCAF, I don’t think I spent more than fifteen minutes in The Cookbook Store. Apparently, my success-over-hours in one arena translates into failure-over-minutes in another. I guess I’ll be making many sweet bites in the future. I’ll let you know if the book is actually any good in implementation. Pretty though. Oh, so pretty!