Saturday was suppose to be my last day at Dirt Candy, but since I chopped 40 lbs. of onions so quickly, they were all caught up. My very last day will be on Wednesday. Little tear- not just from the onions! Saturday ended up being a really windy, cold and rainy day. Big plans of going to Arthur Ave were halted when when my umbrella did this crazy turn inside out thing and soaked me with all the water on the outside of it. Since Mast Brothers chocolate was just a half mile away I ventured down there and scored two more bars. Met one of the “brothers” and talked about how he roasts the beans in his convection oven that he got off of Craig’s List. There were three huge tumblers in the back mixing up the melted goodness. First bar, (which is now gone) was an almond/sea salt and second bar is a dried cranberry delight. Afterwards, I headed to Barnes & Noble and got a book. Since the weather looked like it was not going to let up, I ended up making a pot of warm soup and wondering why I sent back all my winter gear to Florida. Each morning I’ve been getting a true NY bagel and pass this pizza joint called Fornino. The sign out front says, “The art and science of pizza.” Peaked my interest, so went in an ordered a pie; wild mushroom, three different cheeses, and truffle oil. Thin crust, not the best I’ve ever had, but the truffle oil really made it. Today was blistery cold, but since it was the last day of the Brazilian themed orchid show at the Botanical Gardens, I doubled layered and headed out. Ended up taking the “4-line” almost to the end of the Bronx. It was an 8 block walk down the hill to the entrance. There is a tram there that takes you throughout the park (50 acres) and gives you an overall picture of the place. It was really beautiful and can’t wait to go back in another month or two to see everything in bloom. Right now the Magnolia, Cherry trees and daffodils are in bloom. The orchid show was really nice. You went through several rooms and there were so many varieties, it was hard to know where to look. At the children’s area of the garden they were holding a chocolate and vanilla bean demo. Okay, so I know it is a little strange, but you have to learn about these things somewhere. One cool fact I learned was that the vanilla bean actually grows as part of an orchid plant. It can only get fertilized in a four hour period, so most of the time it is done by hand. Which now explains why those vanilla bean pods are so expensive. And I got to see a real cocoa pod, the beans and how they crush them to get to nibs out. The particular part of the Bronx is mostly Hispanic, so stopped in the Pioneer Supermercado, grabbed the fixings for some guacamole and got my fiesta on. Ola! Stayed tuned for next week. Plan on going to a Mozzarella Bar, tea house, and have an Indian foodie tour in Queens.