The first time I was 19 and living in the UK - an alternative to the 'freshman fifteen' if you will. The second, when I was playing an alien in Japan (long story) at the age of 24. And I am possibly on the verge of another 'fat face' era. If only I could stop myself!
It's all down to one culprit. A buttery, flakey, perfectly light & delicious but altogether EVIL culprit.
The croissant. Or as my friend Alex would say, le Ckkkkkhhhhhrrrraaaaaaasaaaaant.
Damn you French pastry. Damn you straight to my hips!
In England, I worked at a cafe where we baked baguettes, croissants, and pain au chocolat every morning. We got to take home what wasn't sold. I was 19, living on four pounds an hour and my money was better spent on wine. Free food it was! Until my mum came to visit bearing some pants. Pants that I suspected she had shrunk in the laundry. Then I realized she hadn't shrunk them, I grew!
In Japan the assholes at Prince hotel gave us two options for breakfast: A traditional Japanese fare complete with pickled beans and fish OR fresh baked goods. Fresh baked goods like croissants. Well damn it, as hard as I tried I found my feet heading in the bakery direction every morning. Butter rolls versus moldy beans? No contest. I was told I was getting fat by one of the Japanese wives. Apparently that's not rude there. I comforted myself with more croissants.
Currently the problem is an amazingly lovely bakery I recently discovered a short walk from my house (short walk = exercise). Mazzola is like a piece of heaven situated on a peaceful corner of an ordinarily busy city. Scents of fresh breads, rolls, and yes, croissants, mixed with coffee waft out onto the street. Fall leaves scuttle past the wrought iron tables in the warm breeze. And New York seems to stand still for a few minutes.
Yes. I have an obsession with this place.
The staff is wonderful and friendly (something rare here), the coffee is hot and creamy, and the croissants are INCREDIBLE. Lovely and wonderful. I said to myself I could only come once a week. And then that turned into twice. Now it's almost daily.
To be fair, it's a good morning walk for the dogs. They too love croissants so it's not like I eat them to myself. Mop and Brooklyn now know we are almost there when we hit Court and Union, they pull like crazy on their leash. How can I deny them their croissant? I must go.
This morning I convinced L'engineer to go with me. I said we had to use up these last few nice days of fall before winter well and truly sets in. I need an extra layer. HA!
Anyways, we shared a croissant, a pain au chocolat (that is soooooo stuffed with chocolate it makes me cry. Not that dinky stick that most places shove in) AND an almond croissant (that made l'engineer nearly cry. It was that good).
On top of that, I purchased a loaf of lard bread. Yes. LARD bread. Ummm, good start to weight gain? I think so. We had it for lunch. WE HAD THE ENTIRE THING. It's a loaf of bread baked with so much butter and, I suppose, lard that it simply melts in your mouth. Plus it has the added bonus of having cured meats baked inside of it. Yes folks, a loaf of meat fat bread.
God. It was GOOD.
I pity those who are afraid of butter, fat and carbs. They are missing out on the joy of life. The flakey and delightful joy of life . . .