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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

pastries in paris

It looks like I have myself a job as an Au Pair.

I am realistic: it will not be perfect and the kids may torture me.

But I keep in mind that I will be living in Paris, with easy access to freshly baked croissants everywhere.

When I have a good croissant I can go on about it for months.

This summer we went to a jazz festival in France and stayed in an old hotel. It was practically empty. It had a huge unused ballroom with boxes piled up in it. The deco was retro; the rooms smelt of disinfectant. In the morning I would sneak down early to the bar where breakfast was served. Dark brown tables. Dark brown shelves lined with liquor. The old man who ran the place would come out of the back kitchen and bring me two croissants, jam, and a cup of tea. One morning they were warm, so fresh they melted in my mouth. I had come at just the right time. I savored them slowly. The man told me they had come from the bakery across the street. I thanked him and went back up to bed, satisfied enough to sleep a little longer.

In Seattle there's a small French bakery down by the market. As you walk down the hill towards the water the aromas make their way into the morning air. The smell of fresh bread baking, a warm sweetness in the oven. I went inside with my mother and ordered an Americano with two shots of espresso and an almond croissant. The almond croissant was moist, warm; slightly crispy on the outside. When the outside is flakey and yet the inside is moist, you know they have made your croissant properly. Made with real butter, the outside brushed with egg yolk before being baked. The inside of my croissant was laced with almond and marzipan that made my tongue sing. Made my taste buds come alive. Served in a small basket those croissants encompass every reason I have to live.

If all else fails, I'll always have my croissants.

Paris, je reviens.

YoungGillianCastelnau
(it's been in me since I was young)

1 Comments:

Blogger dbry said...

The writing teacher I had this semester was really into concrete (vs. abstract) descriptions. I never could do this! You always do such a brilliant job at this! I can taste the croissants! Now, if only I had access to some...

Congrats!

8:36 PM  

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