The heat here has been exhausting and brutal.  Sitting in my chair, I feel like a bruised peach with my juices slowly leaking out into a puddle around me.  With droplets of sweat hanging on my forehead and a perpetually damp bra, I catch myself thinking about the summer I spent in the Philippines where the humidity and heat far exceeded anything I had ever experienced in my pampered and air-conditioned suburban life.  The tropical weather seemed to saturate my skin with a thin layer of oil that was present before and even after I (bucket) showered.  I don’t think I was ever completely clean during my stay there—a suspicion that was confirmed when I took my first shower after coming home to the States and saw the questionable color of my bath water.  I swore that I would never complain about the heat here again. 

                      

Of course, here I am now whining about a bit of Boston summer.  At least, I do not have to deal with shiny black cockroaches and giant red ants that occupy a special place in my memories of the Philippines.  I do however, have to contend with the normal household variety of ants that have been popping up in my kitchen and shower—and recently, in my bedroom, although they have not reappeared after swift and efficient preventative action on my part (screaming, swearing, and frantic cleaning).  I’ve also had an unpleasant encounter with a giant, hairy-legged centipede in the shower that had missed my bare back by inches as it leaped from the hanging shower caddy.  A few nights later, I spotted its cousin scuttling underneath my bed.  Good god, I am living in an insect farm.  One of these mornings I will wake up with a spider leg protruding from the corner of my mouth and count it a blessing that it wasn’t a roach. 

                      

Seeking asylum from new insect friends, I made the ten minute walk to Inman Square last weekend, in spite of the unbearable heat, to try brunch at City Girl Café.  Fortunately, my sweaty efforts weren’t in vain.  I ordered the french toast and was surprised to see they used slices of a french baguette rather than the customary square bread slices.  It was, hands down, the best french toast I ever had.  Granted, I don’t eat this dish very often since most places make it way too sweet.  But the anise custard coating was perfect without being overly rich, and went well with my rosemary lemonade.  The herb roasted potatoes on the side were also incredible; in fact, I may prefer them much more to the usual home fries.  But I think the real winner is the french toast, which will invariable bring me back to this place again pretty soon. 

                     

I love lingering in small, cozy cafés.  But I usually don’t because the good places are always crowded and I feel bad when they could use my table to seat another customer.  Otherwise, I would break out a book and just settle down for the rest of the day.  This place is nicely decorated with a mishmash of items ranging from buddha sculptures to antique vases that somehow create a homey yet hip atmosphere.  I can’t wait to go back again after I exhausted other brunch options. 

                     

For my first baking project in my new apartment, I decided to try these cute and simple corn muffins with strawberry jam.  They really were a cinch to whip up and tasted great for breakfast.  I love using muffin recipes where the batter just puffs up and overflows the cups.  Don’t these look like giant saucer-like cookies? 

                     

                      

Corn Muffins with Jam (from Bless Her Heart)

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