Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Eclair

One spring day, about 2 years ago, I popped into the boulangerie right around the corner from my friend's apartment in Paris to check out what looked like a delectably colorful window display.  I was new to the neighborhood, having just moved into Mònica's place* for the last few weeks of my year in Paris, and so of course, I had to scope out all the bakeries within a half mile radius.  I scanned the tiers of pastries and almost right away, my eyes locked in on these words: "éclair caramel".  Caramel eclair?!  A CARAMEL eclaaaaiiiir??!!  It was a no-brainer.  I'd had my fair share of chocolate, vanilla, and coffee-flavored ones, but this....this had serious potential to blow everything else out of the water.  So they handed me my little eclair in a brown paper bag, and I set off for my destination of the day--the Rodin Museum--with a little extra spring in my step.

I got to the gardens and walked around for a little bit, until I found a shaded bench somewhere in between two magnificently sculpted derrières (thank you, Rodin), where I sat down and opened my little paper bag.  The eclair was almost too beautiful to eat, but finally, taking one last glance around to make sure I was completely alone (in case I embarrassed myself with utter glee), I took a bite.  And that was it.  My life was changed forever.

Image drawn on my new iPad!
Hehe, I'll get better....I promise!
Since leaving Paris, I have suffered from what can only be termed unrequited longing for the caramel eclair from Julien (75 rue St. Honoré).  It has been the topic of more recurring dreams than anything else in my entire life (gahh, what does this say about mee?!).  I feel like Harry Potter, hurdling down the corridor towards the Department of Mysteries, coming closer and closer to my elusive goal every time, yet always waking up before I can actually close my hand on it.**  Sometimes I make the long, slow-motion sprint down the street to Julien and it's Sunday, so the place is closed.  Once I got there before opening and all the racks were empty.  Another time I got as far as the interior and even bought the eclair (they gave me my brown paper bag!!), but woke up before I could taste it.  Sigh....  Are you beginning to get the picture?

Really....I will get better.
So now, my friends, the moment of truth at last is before me.  After two looonnng, looonnnng years of....LONGING (ha, the word has new meaning!), I will finally be on the same continent as mon petit éclair.  Monday morning I'll actually be able to walk into Julien and buy one (or two or three).  But will I be able to keep anything of dignity about me?  Ha, now isn't that the question!  I have a mounting fear I will scare the bakery workers by smiling like a total idiot (highly un-french) or trying to converse with them about how much I've thought about their eclair (also highly un-french), or losing it all together in a glorious meltdown complete with tears of joy and floundering of limbs as they hand me my brown paper bag (the most un-french of it all).

Oh, there will be documentation, fear not.

love, aunbonanza

*a separate post about the a-ma-zing apartment, as well as the hilarious fiasco of moving in and out of it may follow at a later date
**yes, Harry Potter's dreams are about an orb that contains the secrets of his entire destiny, while mine are about a high fructose piece of starch, but you can appreciate the comparison, right?  RIGHT??

1 comment:

  1. I don't like caramel that much but you made it sound like heaven on earth! And I love how you brought Harry Potter in. :) July 15th!!!!!!!!!!!!