The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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July 20, 2011

Paris in July: Too hot for baking, except in books

But still, I remembered this shop exactly. And now I knew what all of the cakes were. I knew some of them quite intimately. Suddenly I wanted to hear the words in French. I pointed at one of the beautiful, exquisitely detailed desserts. ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est?’ I asked. What is it?'
‘Américaine?’ the baker asked.
‘Oui,’ I said.
The baker grew serious then. He looked at me and then at Julien. He seemed to want to ask a question…but he didn’t. Instead he described the framboise, a raspberry mousse with pistachios and two layers of genoise soaked in a raspberry syrup.
I pointed to the next and asked again.
He described, patiently and reverently, the tarte citron, a lemon curd in a sugar pie crust.
I asked about the next and the next — the tiramisu, where the almond jacond was soaked in coffee syrup; a pear pinwheel, poached in white wine; a hazelnut meringue with buttercream and chocolate ganache; a white circular mango-topped cake that involved rum, sautéed mango and toasted coconut; truffles with spongy layered centers and bitter , dark-chocolate ganache; and tarts, one with chocolate, nut, and marzipan.
I repeated the words in a quiet voice, almost mouthed them. I loved the feel of the words themselves: framboise, mousse, pistache, citron, coco

— From The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, by Bridget Asher

{I've hung this painting, by Janet Hill, on the wall just outside my kitchen}

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Karen K. said...

That sounds delicious -- and it's way too hot to bake here in Texas too. Wish it was winter and I could curl up with a hot chocolate and a good book!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Good gracious. I'm not sure if I want to book a flight to Paris, run to the store and pick up the ingredients to make all of these so I can stuff myself silly tonight. What wonderful imagery. I can just taste it.

Joan Hunter Dunn said...

What a delicious quote. It's cold and wet here so the idea of sinking onto the sofa with a cup if tea and one of these delicacies is most tempting.

Vintage Reading said...

Ooh tarte citron - I love lemon tart! What delicious descriptions.

JoAnn said...

Oh, delicious! My oven has been strangely idle this week, too. Hopefully this is the final day of our heat wave....

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