Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chocolate Filling with a Side of Happiness

Our first visit to a French Patisserie.

Ah yes.

Many years from now when I'm an old coot gumming nursing home food (if they don't euthanize me first), I will undoubtedly go into euphoric shivers at the thought of our first trip to Sugar Heaven. For that is what it was, the fat girl in me recognized it as soon as the bell tinkled over my head at the entrance. And I'm just telling you, the fat girl doesn't lie.

The glass displays flashed with a brilliance that would have made a Windex employee cry.

And the counters, you ask?


The trays?


The floors?

Glossed Marble.

For pete's sake, the place glowed.

There were beignets filled with caramel, chocolate, or if you wish, an apple filling. All nested in lacy doilies on perfectly golden trays. There were cherry tarts, creme brulee tarts, and cake slices the size of my head. I could feel the powdered sugar residue building up inside of my lungs just breathing it in.

The walls were lined with your choice of long and thin baguettes, short and fat baguettes, or crisp masses of floured sour dough bread.

In selecting our pastries of choice, we suddenly felt warm with the glow of people who have made not only a decision, but a firm decision.

One caramel beignet, and one chocolate beignet, if you please. . . No no, to the left man!
The left!

Add in a pointed jab with the index finger at the desired loaf of bread, and we practically radiated with importance, arrogance, and a feeling that we very well could be food critics from New York, come to pay a visit to our glazed European friends. Nothing like picking out pastries to give you a sense of empowerment.

A quick rustle of small white bags and wrappings, a flip of the coins, and a "Merci!" were enough to complete the quick, though meaningful outing.

The consumption of the product was of course, divine and filled with oohs and hmmms. We munched in harmonious contentment for awhile and smiled at each other with gooey teeth.

But! Alas, I must admit when it was all said and done, the crinkling and cracking of the bakery paper quiet, the anticipatory remarks on the flavor and texture passed, and the licking of fingers to savor those last delicate morsels done, eating the pastry was not nearly as exhilarating as selecting it in that shiny shop.

Later though, as I settled down to a quiet evening with Stuart, filled to my nose with the calorie laden treat, I decided that for tonight at least, I felt genuinely French.

P.S. How could I eat a French pastry and not think of our loving families at home? We took pictures so that you may share in the joy of our first tender bites.

*Notice how Stuart leaves me hanging in this first one. Undoubtedly to make me look as if I consumed the majority. The fiend!

*Now this is better! Except that I think I inhaled some of the powdered sugar and it must have gone to my brain, because I lost it just about here. I spent the next couple of minutes giggling like an idiot. No doubt euphoria brought on by an overdose of glucose.


  1. Oh my gosh! You are quite the writer, Haley. Very talented. I loved reading every but of your description of the patisserie. It is quite a heavenly place, isn't it? And the pictures are adorable. Also, I became very nostalgic after seeing the pics of the Daniels house. SUCH fond memories I had there... *Sighs*

  2. I loved this entry best of all the ones you've done! You are a terrific writer, it's very entertaining for Jonathan and me to read! I could literally feel my mouth salivating from the descriptions of those lovely pastries! I wish you could mail me some of those!!!

    Please make sure Stuart gets to see the pictures and videos on the blog of Elyana! :)


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