A Sugar-Coated Milestone

© Jessie Kanelos

I am happy to announce that today I reached a major milestone in my life in France.   Sleepily ordering a pain au chocolat at the boulangerie this morning, the boulanger turned to me, looked me square in the eyes, and said, “Ca va?”  She asked me how I was!  And not in a “Damn, you look terrible!  Are you still wearing your pyjama shirt?” kind of way either.  France is not the kind of place where you hear “Hi, my name is Anne-Sophie.  How may I serve thee today, chéri?”.  It’s just not friendly.  It’s just that no one cares about a stranger’s day.  Only what they had for lunch.  But 3 years, a lot of pocket change, and bi-daily trips later, we are now kabitzing!  I need a friend like this.  She answers all of my burning pastry questions. “What’s in the chocolate flan?”  “It’s a flan, but with chocolate.”  “How does the viennois au chocolat look when watercolored?”  “I don’t know”  “What’s the difference between brioche and pain au lait?” “Nothing.” It’s a shame we are moving away from my boulanger bff within the next few days.  I should show my appreciation by baking her a cake.  Hmmm, or maybe not.

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