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November 11, 2010

Dessert chez un vrai pâtissier

I've been hinting broadly to my students that I have more leisure hours than I could possibly fill. Last week a junior in one of my classes approached me and offered to remedy that situation. I was pleased as punch when he invited me to go to Vichy on Saturday, for as a WWII nerd it was my not-so-secret wish to see the place where Pétain played the puppet. We spent the entire afternoon there with his parents, brother Valentin and dog Corneille, before going to their home for dinner. I suffered from permagrin upon my return chez moi at midnight, for his family had made me feel truly, absolutely at home for the first time since I got here.

I emailed Baptiste this week to say that if he and his brother wanted extra English practice I would have nothing but time today since we had the day off from school in honor of Armistice Day. He replied asking if I would like to join him at his grandparents' house for dessert.

Baptiste's grandfather is a retired pastry chef. The answer to the above question would be, "No duh."

Baptiste's grandfather with his chef d'oeuvre
I arrived at his grandparents' beautiful home near the canal full of stately 17th and 18th century furniture at precisely 2:00 and, after a round of "les bises" (kisses on both cheeks) I was offered a seat for the grand presentation of the gateau. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of this confection, but it was puff pastry with a mousse interior, topped with candied almonds. Oh my. It was pure heaven. 

Gateau of Dreams, rosé champagne, and china made in Digoin's own ceramic factory (natch)
Though I had eaten a light lunch of pumpkin soup in anticipation of this treat, I was unable to finish the gargantuan slice I was given. That's probably just as well, for I have recently discovered that calories do indeed exist in France, and it might be time to cool it a little on the Nutella and the Speculoos and the butter. Just a little.

In further social news, my Facebook friend Suzanne called today to invite me to go wine tasting at a Burgundy vineyard this Saturday. Diggy, I gots such mad love for your peeps.


  1. OMG...this warms my heart!

    P.S. Send me some? Hahahahahahahaha....

    P.P.S. It's sounds weird when you talk gangsta about France....heheheh