May has been an extremely busy time for me and a whirlwind of new and interesting experiences. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to experience all these new things and hopefully will have many more interesting experiences to share in the future. And so without futher ado, here’s a brief recap of some of the interesting and unique experiences I had over the past month
1. Ontario Food Terminal
This was almost a surreal experience paying a 5am visit to the Ontario Food Terminal which is Canada’s largest wholesale fruit and produce terminal. This is where all the restaurants and grocery stores go to buy their produce, and where convenience stores, nurseries, and other retailers go to buy their flowers/plants. Apparantly all the action happens around 2-3am for the big buyers and it’s just a hive of activity, produce, and plants. Thanks to some inside connections, I was able to go and pickup some plants for my business.
For more info, check out http://www.oftb.com/info.htm
2. Visit to a local flower/vegetable farm
Not many people know this, but farming runs in my family. My mom grew up on a farm up near Newmarket and today my aunt continues to run the same farm growing flowers and vegetables. With several HUGE greenhouses, it was incredible seeing rows and rows of flowers and vegetbles as far as the eye can see. I had the opportunity to go and visit my aunt’s farm a couple times this month to pickup most of the veggies and plants needed for my business.
3. The inaugural Lemon/Herb camping trip
This trip can be summed up in two words – epic failure! Our reliance on only a flint/steel, fishing rod, and our wits for dinner on this camping trip ended up in failure. Granted we didn’t really do any research before attempting to fish, it was our first time attempting to fish, and we were using my dad’s 30 year old equipment which wasn’t in the best working order, we weren’t really setting ourselves up for success. We did manage to get and keep a fire going despite a massive downpour, but the fish and our lures were not cooperating. Despite that, it was an awesome trip and great chance to spend a weekout away from the city out in the woods.
4. A 10 hour teeth cleaning experience
And before you get too shocked, the entire 10 hours isn’t spent cleaning my teeth (my teeth aren’t that bad – promise!). One of my friends is in training to become a dental hygienist and needed some volunteers to help her get some practice and experience. And despite the extremely long time commitment (which isn’t finished just yet), it turned out to be the most thorough and comprehensive oral checkup and assessment I’ve ever had. I learned alot about my teeth, proper brushing technique, and a whole slew of technical jargon that I didn’t really udnerstand, but seemed interesting regardless.
5. Leading a focus group
I had the chance one weekend to lead a couple of focus groups for my business and it turned out to be a very interesting experience. I learned alot about moderating, leading and guiding a discussion, and soliciting input from a variety of different types of people. Thanks to Yafa for the help in creating the discussion guide and general tips on leading/moderating.
6. Visiting a friend’s photography gallery
The month of May was also home to month long Contact photography festival. It features local photographers to showcase their stuff and one of my friends hosting his own gallery during this festival. He’s got some amazing work and I had the priviledge of going to check out his gallery on opening night. Unfortunatly the gallery is wrapping up tomorrow, but you can go and checkout his website here. www.esmondlee.com
7. Spring kickoff BBQ
Spring is in the air and that means BBQ season. It was great having some friends over, sharing some good food and good company. With that being said, I think I’ll host another BBQ in the future.
8. Start of ultimate season
While not so unique, frisbee season has started – and for those who know me, know that I love to play frisbee. It’s a great chance to get some exercise and hang out with friends after a hard day’s work. It’s a great sport for veterans or for beginners and I encourage everyone to at least give it a try!
9. The JC Iron Chef competition
Right at the beginning of the month, I battled Jing in a cooking duel a la Iron Chef. The secret ingredient: BACON! The unexpected dish that I served to wrapup my meal – bacon ice cream! Yes that’s right, bacon ice cream. And it was delicious. Please allow me to explain. It’s not bacon-flavoured ice cream, it’s ice cream with bacon bits in it. Here’s the rationale. You start with your smooth, cold, and creamy ice cream (I used a base of vanilla ice cream). Add in some homemade shortbread cookies for a bit of chewy-ness and a change in texture, and to top it off, finely chopped bits of crispy bacon for an unexpected sweet salty surprise. Sure you may think it sounds unappetizing, but tell that to everyone present who decided to try it and like it enough to finish the entire bowl!
That’s all for the interesting/unique things in May. We’ll see what June brings in terms of more interesting/unique experiences.