Monday, March 31, 2014

Macaron dreams

So, I must be feeling better-- back in my plate, dans mon assiette, because last night I dreamed of macarons.  Not just any macarons.  Pierre Hermé and his macarons.  The photo here is proudly stuck to the front whiteboard of my classroom.  Et oui... it is signed Pour Teresa.   He may only know me in my dreams, but he has written my name expressly for me one time.

My 8th grade students have to write thank you notes in French as part of their final exam.  I mail them and wait to see if anyone responds.  In 2012, several of them wrote to M. Hermé, thanking him for the macarons they tasted while in Paris.  He wrote back.  Sent a beautiful poster of all of his flavors and autographed photos. (Take that François Hollande, M. le Président, who didn't even acknowledge the letters.)

This year, just two weeks ago, I took those who wanted to do some quick power shopping to Galeries Lafayette while the other group went to the Catacombs.  (Yes, the boys and two brave girls went to see the skulls.) We had one hour before meeting the rest of the group for lunch.  That's really all one needs when a Longchamp purse and Pierre Hermé macarons are on the list.

I can tell you where to find both.  (The quickest place to get the purse- without body guards and a long line- is on the 4th floor near the luggage department and Pierre Hermé's shop is found in the basement, -1, with the shoes.)  I hate to shop, but I can make exceptions now and then.  Look for his logo.

Drool over all the flavors, but ultimately you have to choose.  I always feel hurried, but it doesn't really matter.

I explained to the young lady waiting on us that M. Hermé is a very nice man and I have an autographed photo to prove it.  She was quite impressed and said that she doesn't even have that.  Yes, I can be a bit of a braggart de temps en temps, from time to time.  (He does sign her paycheck, though, I suppose, so if it's a competition, she wins.)

My regret?  Not the euros that I spent on the beautiful cookies, if I dare call them that.  I gave them as gifts to my French daughters, one who always sacrifices her room for me.  I didn't buy the cookbook on display.  A Pierre and Dorie Greenspan collaboration.  Oh well.  La prochaine fois.  Next time.
One of the girlies shared her macarons with me, though, on the bus on our way to Normandy.  What a sweetheart.

Last night's dream?  Strange as usual.  But here you go.

I was with my students on our annual trip.  We didn't seem to be in Paris, though.  We were staying in a really cute hotel and it seems that we were on the Riviera, maybe Cannes or Nice.  I let the students loose to go shopping one afternoon and some of the girls and I went to Pierre Hermé's shop.  They bought their macarons, but just as it was my turn, the lady behind the counter said that it was time for a shift change and would I mind waiting.  I wandered around the shop and even found a comfy chair where I fell asleep.  When I woke up, all the macarons were sold and they were closing.  The lady told me to come back the next morning and I wouldn't be disappointed.  So, I went back to the hotel.  It was almost 9:00 pm and I had missed dinner at the hotel.  Some of the students were still in the dining room, though, as was Arles Lucy, my co-chaperone on this dream trip.  My Favorite Parisien was the tour manager and he fussed at me for missing a wonderful meal.  Of course.  He is French.  Missing a meal is a blasphemous.  I explained to the kids and to Arles Lucy what had happened.  They were under-impressed.

At this point in the dream, I woke up, looked at the clock (4:11 am) and decided to go back to sleep.
I resumed the dream.  (Don't you love that when you are in the middle of a really good one??)

Dream Part Deux:
I got up early and went back to the shop.  The shop keepers were all dressed in really cute black dresses, perfect make-up and hair.  I was the first one there.  As the ladies were filing into the shop from what I guessed was the kitchen, I watched.  Then, lo and behold, Pierre Hermé himself walked past me, touched me on the shoulder, and winked.  One of the shopkeepers started smearing a pink concoction onto a slice of brioche-type bread shaped like a teddy bear.  It looked divine.  Pierre watched me watch her and then he came over and told her to wrap that up for me, along with a cup of café nonna con crème.   I know that nonna is Italian for grandma.  The rest is just my jumbled up way of getting a cup of coffee with cream, café au lait or café crème.  Pierre bid me farewell with a kiss on the cheek and told me that he had to get back to work and that he hoped I enjoyed the rest of my stay in his country.
And I woke up at 6:15 am wondering if I should attempt rose or lemon macarons today.  Or maybe some using the confiture de lait that IronWoman found for me...I can make up my own!

I still haven't decided.  The eggs whites are sitting out, 110g of them, warming to room temperature.
More later.  Stay tuned.

Macarons made this past week by students and their dads.  I am always happy to sample!!

Peanut butter

Bon appétit and sweet dreams to all macaron-lovers!

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