Friday, April 24, 2009

Do I love my job?

How could I not? Every so often, Adorable Isa organizes these breakfasts. Everyone signs up to bring, say, brioche or fruit juice or something. I signed up to bring a half dozen croissants.

My pledge had been the same at the previous breakfast but the croissants I brought for that one were overbaked, making me feel like a clueless foreigner who doesn’t know a good croissant from a bad croissant. This time, I vowed to go to a better bakery.

When I surveyed the display case at a small boulangerie near the office, their croissants looked great but I had a hankering for a pain au chocolat. I asked if they had any and the guy shouted upstairs to find out if they were ready and, indeed, they were. My quick reading-between-the-lines skills told me that if he were asking the kitchen, and they were newly ready, then they would be warm. Bingo. I ordered four croissants and two pain au chocolat.

When I walked out with my bag, the butter and warmth wept through the thin paper in equal measure. I was starving. I had already listened to a couple Michel Thomas French lessons and walked to work. I had been up for hours. I knew breakfast didn’t start until 10 and it was about 9:40. So I did what any sane, hungry person carrying a bag of warm croissants would do: I ate one on the way.

Have you ever had pain au chocolat, warm from the oven, first thing in the morning?? Heaven.

It only got better from there. A bit before 10, we all started gathering in the café with our contributions. And this is why I love my job.

Voila, a medley of home-baked and boulangerie treats.

Lionel made these incredible apple tarts. That, along with homemade bread (yes, Lionel made two tarts and Sylvain baked bread, just for our breakfast) and cheese is what I ate throughout the day. For the record, those apple tarts are one of the best things I’ve eaten here.

No comment necessary. French. Bliss.

Isa made these little bite-sized banana cake things, which were delicious. Annette brought the beautiful strawberries.

This isn’t even the entire spread. More people came with more goodies—cheese, meats, chocolate, pain au chocolat—but by then, I was too busy eating and had put the camera down.

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