I know I’m supposed to be on this stupid diet or whatever, and I swear to god that I’m mostly good about it, but sometimes my sweet tooth prevails. And it can get pretty scary when I try to fight it, so I just basically throw my arms up and concede.
It’s fine when it’s only one “bad” thing per weekend, but this past weekend I really went hog wild. I couldn’t help it. Sometimes you just have to have your fucking cake, you know?
It all started on Friday when I went to lunch with some of my bosses and co-workers. We went to a new-ish pizza place called Proper, except that by calling it a “pizza place” gives the impression that it’s some ordinary bullshit Domino’s. It’s not. They use all kinds of fancy, fresh ingredients and their seasonal menu stopped me dead.
First of all, they had a Harvest Pizza, which had a pumpkin puree sauce, squash, nutmeg, globs of some sort of wonderful homemade cheese that I forget, and sausage which I ordered without. But this is not the point of this post. The point is that also on the seasonal menu was a QUINCE AND PERSIMMON COBBLER, are you fucking kidding me. You guys know that persimmons are basically my favorite fruit other than apples, right? Well, now you know.
I didn’t order it for two reasons:
1. I didn’t want to be That Person who ordered dessert when no one else did, because I wasn’t with a group of people I was all that comfortable with, and I also wasn’t paying for myself. (That probably would have been most people’s go-ahead to order dessert, but I have a Guilt Complex, OK?)
2. One of our bosses ordered two flights of beer so we all could have one without getting too hammered, and I was fortuitous enough to choose an apricot wheat that didn’t activate my gag reflex! In other words, I was able to drink all of my beer and felt pretty full.
Alas, I went back to work with no persimmon cobbler stuffed inside myself. And I pretty much spent the rest of the day thinking about it. And also that night. And then the next day, too. I feared that this could be a repeat performance of the Waffle-copia Letdown. I just can’t go through that again. Not so soon.
And that is how Henry got suckered into driving downtown Saturday evening and grabbing thsi sacred and seasonal cobbler to go. And then he proceeded to get stuck in Pitt football traffic on his way home, which I would normally laugh about except that MY HOUSE MADE VANILLA BEAN ICE CREAM WAS MELTING.
It was still so fucking good though. I have only ever eaten persimmons fresh and on their own, never baked alongside quince and sweet crumbly things! Mother lord, I can’t wait for Henry to perfect this recipe. I don’t give a shit that this picture looks like a pile of dirty albino vomit. I just wanted to eat the fucking thing.
On Sunday, I had plans to go to the grand opening of French patisserie Gaby et Jules with Corey and Janna. This classy joint has technically been open since August, but they celebrated their grand opening all weekend long and the reason I really wanted to go was because I saw “free samples!” And I am a sucker for the free shit.
However, it was rainy and miserable all day on Sunday, and I was starting to feel those initial twinges of Sickness. I almost bailed on Corey and Janna, but goddamn am I glad I didn’t!
So excited for French shit!
I learned that “et” means “and” in French and that diets can GTFO when it comes to patisseries et macarons. It was a really cultural day on so many levels.
When we walked in, I was prepared to be treated like your basic Walmart Shopper looking for Twinkies and Ding Dongs. But instead, the people behind the counter were super friendly! God, I can’t believe Janna judged them on their accents. She was so sure they were going to be dicks!
(That’s how it happened, right Janna?)
HATS!! Gaby et Jules’ Instagram account really had me hyped for hats.
After a nice lady plied us with samples of their new Noel collection (so delicious and out of my pay grade), we proceeded to stand in everyone’s way and act like complete dessert dunces. It was so overwhelming! And that was before I even turned my attention toward the macarons.
Luckily, everyone was very helpful and jovially answered us when we jabbed our grubby fingers at things like mute hitchhikers. A very proper Frenchman even offered us more samples and when I said we had already been given some, he laughed and thrust the small paper cups toward us once more. “Bonjour! Have another! Oui Oui!”
I don’t know. It went something like that, anyway.
I ended up buying one patisserie each for myself and Chooch, plus a white chocolate basil macaron and a pumpkin macaron just for my own piggy mouth.
The woman who administered our first round of samples was the one who rang me up and she broke character long enough to tell me that she likes my purse. (Ha ha, Chooch! IN YOUR FACE!) It was like being in a haunted house and having Jason Voorhees lift up his hockey mask to tell you that he likes your Nickelback hoodie. Seemed weird.
I mean, she could have at least said “le purse.”
Once the three of us were sufficiently patisseried, we went to a coffee shop across the street so we could indulge like True French. This was actually Janna’s first good suggestion in approximately eight years, so I have to hand it to her. I was prepared to just eat my purchases with my hands in Janna’s backseat.
Corey’s lemon boob. It was delightful! I will probably get this the next time I’m there, because I love when things are lemon.
We each ordered a different holiday specialty latte. My soy pumpkin was great but I wish I had went with plain coffee to offset the sweetness of my French spread.
Corey Instagramming his glistening lemon boob, croissant and passion fruit macaron.
Janna got a rasberry cylinder and a caramel cylinder. She saved the caramel one for later but I can attest that the raspberry one was really great! Perhaps she can tell my two readers what the caramel thing was like in a comment. Go on, Janna.
I got the L’Orient, not to be confused with L’Oreal, which I had been salivating over since the first time I saw this glorious green creation on their website. I LOVE pistachio-flavored things and if that’s an option, I will usually pick it every time. Especially if it’s gelato. Sorry that these pictures are so banged up but do you really think I was about to sit in a coffee shop and food-style when this log of L’Orient could be in my mouth? No. It’s amazing I had the restraint to take a picture at all.
That chocolate thing up there was for Chooch. First he told me to bring him back a cupcake but when I was like, “French people don’t care about cupcakes” he said, “I don’t know. Chocolate, then.” Just chocolate. I took my task seriously and made sure that I chose the thing that had the most kinds of chocolate. Henry took Chooch to the zoo that morning so I needed to compete with that.
After Corey, Janna and I succeeded in putting ourselves in a sugar coma, we deemed the day a win and vowed to turn “Frenching up our palates” into a habit. Crepes are definitely on the agenda.
A door that has nothing to do with French foodstuffs.
Chooch and Henry were on the loose when I got home, so I took some time to get Chooch’s Le Royal Chocolat plated and ready to be presented to him on bended knee. And of course he turned his nose up at it.
“BUT THAT IS A REAL GOLD FLAKE ON TOP!” I cried, and that was enough to make him backtrack and give it a whirl.
This is his “I’ll tell you if it’s any good” face. He declared it delicious, or course. I mean, its entire consistency is chocolate, how bad can it really be? I strong-armed him for a taste and I can hereby attest that it was DIVINE. And not in a John Waters sense.
Then Henry was all, “Wah, let me have some too” and we shouldn’t have given him ANY since he acted like he’s better than a French bakery when I asked him if he wanted anything. What a l’douchebag.
To summarize: Gaby et Jules needs to open a second shop in my backyard. The landlord just sent some inbreds to weedwhack our mini-rainforest back there, so there’s plenty of room!