Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Vacation- Jour Huit

Pont des Arts.
Padlocks of Love.
Are you a romantic soul?  In March, I discovered that romance is alive and well in the world of 8th graders.  We had been to the Louvre and were ready to head somewhere else when I discovered we were getting ready to cross the Pont des Arts.  Non, I had not warned the kids or told them to bring their locks with them.  Non, non, I had not even told Best Guide in the World that we wanted to do this.  So, I got fussed at a little bit.  But there was an enterprising young woman selling both locks and Sharpies so we were in luck.
This is a tradition for sweethearts.  Lock the lock on the bridge and throw the key in the Seine to seal the deal.  I think that they are mysteriously removed periodically, but someone starts it up again and before you know it, the bridge is covered in them once more.
Some locks were dedicated to friends--
Some even engraved beforehand--
Some to a special someone (who says middle school boys aren't romantic??)--

And then some just for fun (also a middle school boy!)--
But definitely for BFFs--
I've already told the BFF group that we will indeed stroll across this bridge and to be sure to bring a lock if they would like to.
17 days to go, but who's counting?
Can't wait!

If you can't go to Paris and snap on a lock to pledge your undying love, whip up some cream puffs or éclairs.  They will do the trick.

Chou Pastry for Cream Puffs,  Éclairs or Profiteroles

1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400˚F.
In medium saucepan, slowly bring to boil one cup of water with butter and salt.
Remove from heat, beat in flour all at once with a wooden spoon.
Return to low heat.  Continue beating until mixture forms ball and leaves side of pan.
Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating hard after each addition until mixture is smooth.
Continue beating until dough is shiny and satiny and breaks into strands.
For cream puffs, drop by rounded teaspoonful on ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
For éclairs, drop by rounded teaspoonful three inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and spread each ball of dough into a four-inch strip.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cool completely on wire rack.
Slice off tops (lengthwise for éclairs), scoop out any filaments of soft dough.
Fill with sweetened whipped cream or custard for cream puffs or éclairs or ice cream for profiteroles.  Glaze with melted chocolate, if desired.  Or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Bon appétit, sweethearts everywhere!

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