(Depends who's asking)
(No one tell Pierre, right?)
(The children liked them anyway)
I think the global sum of mental health in the world has been depleted by this exercise and would have been better served by me deciding to spend Sunday under a blanket with a nice book, but there we have it. Also, when I came into the kitchen on Monday morning, I realised two cupboards had somehow been broken during the religieuse-arama. I think I was in some kind of higher, shamanic pastry-based state because I have no idea how it happened. Maybe the children did it when I was begging specialist advice on the terse Marcolini instructions? Or possibly I just leant especially heavily on the hob in my custard thickening despair. That could definitely have happened, there were several periods of custard related despair. Doesn't explain what happened simultaneously to the shelf in the shower though. Maybe my heavy, heavy head came to rest there for a moment.
In other household disintegration news, I have spent the last three days in pitched battle with the fire, like a particularly ill-trained and feckless parlourmaid. The fire has decided it does not "do" flames anymore. No, the fire - which is one of those ones with a glass door, I do not know what they are called in English, a poêle, here - is quite content to swallow any quantity of kindling, firelighters, wood, coal or strange briquette things, and transform them all into an Anthony Gormley style box of dense smoke. When I open the door, there is definite evidence of smouldering, and eventually whatever fuel or live sacrifice I have despairingly thrown into its depths gets transformed into a pointless mound of pale ash, but there is no discernible heat, and no flames. The only time in the last ten days when I have raised a hint of flame from its inky depths was when I entirely forgot about it for a few hours on Sunday due to excess shouting and pâtisserie. This feat has not been repeated. I find the whole thing particularly galling, because I was raised setting fires in icy, damp Yorkshire grates with little more than some Seabrook crisps, one hopeful shard of kindling and a sodden Yorkshire Post to aid me. This thing is supposed to be modern and labour saving, but in fact it is just mocking me.
In fairness to the religieuses, the empty choux that I couldn't be bothered to fill came in handy for nibbling when I realised this afternoon I hadn't eaten for 24 hours. I have been worrying disproportionately and appetite-destroyingly about a relatively minor work crisis. The crisis has resolved itself without death or litigation, but I feel a bit bruised. I can't remember if I was always this bad at dealing with mild disagreement, or if I've got even softer and more pathetic with all the time I spend in the attic by myself watching Youtube videos of small primates. Either way, my friends were lovely and supportive and generally amazing with my pathetic whinging, so thank you my friends.
In particular Madevi and I calmed our various neuroses by listing foods we would eat on our planned Facegoop trip to Paris at Easter. I say 'Facegoop', though in fact there is no beauty planned, just eating and possibly chasing a fat pony round the Tuileries to rub our faces on it. I realised this week that most of our conversations revolve around food (after some discussion, we concluded that if we subscribed to Klout, which neither of us understand, we would be authorities in the following categories: "food, giant insects and despair"). The food listing was a very calming exercise, I recommend it, if you are greedy and Tuesday is kicking you in the face.
Our combined Paris eating list:
Du Pain et des Idées croissants with beurre aux cristaux de sel
Lebanese galette "oozing with cheese and fresh mint"
"A really good saucisson with some very good cheap red wine"
The famous cappucino eclair from Cacao et Chocolat - except OH GOD IT HAS GONE BROKE WHAT NOW? I will substitute with the Ladurée St Honoré aux framboises, but M will disagree.
"A good roast chicken, with potatoes roasted in the chicken fat".
Sadaharu Aoki .. anything, really. Petits fours. A Bamboo. Whatever. Three of everything will do nicely.
Tomato salad with a chèvre frais and a baguette.
Frisée and lardons
Everything from Pierre Hermé's Infiniment Vanille range.
Panini from a place M knows near St Eustache, dusted with parmesan and drizzled with good oil.
A really caramelised, chewy palmier biscuit
The mythical Délice Café that I ate nearly every day when I lived in Paris, even though I tried it when I last went back and it is Not All That.
What would you eat today and where, if you could?