I hope that you and yours are well.
Bread Man (the man who delivers bread to our village, not a man who is actually made of Bread) is a bad influence.
I am still trying to lose the extra weight I put on during lockdowns when I started to bake at home with rather a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve been taking the dogs for long walks through the Seven Valleys where I live in northern France. I do 100 sits ups each night before I go to sleep. I’m doing a lot of gardening and working out in the gym 4 times a week. I’m cutting back on the things I love, wine and cheese, bread and cakes, delicious flammekueche – the local tarte flambée – made with stinky maroilles cheese and piquant crème fraiche. But it’s hard to say no. Really hard.
Each week Bread Man arrives with a treat. And that’s the hardest part – how to resist his melt in the mouth fruit tarts, his sweet chocolate millefeuiles and his oh so naughty sugar cakes.
This week when I heard him sounding his horn as he made his way round the village dropping off baguettes and country loaves, croissants and pains aux chocolat, I was determined to resist.
“Non, merci” I said when he asked if I wanted to look at the cakes in his little van and choose a little “treat.”
He looked crestfallen. Broken-hearted.
“I love your cakes” I hastily reassured him.
He brightened up.
“Macarons” he said. “With framboise. Magnifique.” And he closed his eyes, pushed his cap back, kissed his fingers and like a magician fluttered them dramatically but seemingly without intent over towards the side of his van where the panel was open to the trays of gateaux and my eyes followed as if hypnotised and fell upon the pretty pink macarons filled with raspberry cream.
Well you can probably guess what happened.
I trundled up the garden path with a loaf of bread and two macaron cakes – consoling myself that I was not only expanding my waistline but my standing in the eyes of Bread Man, himself no stranger to the irresistible joys of cake. I guess I will just have to walk a bit more each day.
Bisous from the middle of nowhere France, where temptation comes in the form of a raspberry-pink mouth-wateringly luscious macaron…
Bisous from France,
Janine Marsh is Author of My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream, My Four Seasons in France: A Year of the Good Life and Toujours la France: Living the Dream in Rural France (April 2022) all available as ebook, print & audio, on Amazon everywhere & all good bookshops online.
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