09 November 2008

Sweet Things

For a few days I am back in Madison, playing student again as I did only five months ago. During the day, I'll be concentrating on learning the role I can play in helping the economy, at least on a local basis.

I swear I lose 10 years every time I revisit this wonderful small but remarkably diverse city. I feel young again, walking the same streets I walked as a student, revisiting my old haunts. Was it only 20-odd years ago?

For many of my years here, I lived a few blocks off State Street. During the years I did not, I used that trendy little thoroughfare to reach my downtown office. My standard practice was to pop into a State Street bakery for a croissant or a brioche. Those were, of course, the days when I could comfortably eat sweets without assuming the girth of an entire Panzer division (is anyone out there familiar with just how large that would be?).

The photo above was taken in France. If I look hard enough this week, I'm sure I'll locate a bakery with comparable offerings. (Oh, how I miss the Ovens of Brittany on State Street!)

The test will be whether I can resist them or not. Save for a chocolate mousse-y thing, cream puffs, tarte tatin and a Jesuite, I was pretty good in France. For every whim I gave in to there was at least one more that I resisted.

How about you?

18 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I fear I give in more than I resist.

Martha said...

Alas, here on the prairie, the only good pastry is what we make ourself!That can be a good thing -- or a bad thing!

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Me too, Tanna. Aren't we bad?

Ah, Martha, the act of making pastry is as good as the taste!

TNelson said...

I feel Martha's pain. I'm sure there's some wonderful bakery here in Omaha, I just haven't found it yet (we're big on Krispy Kremes here - bleh...). I am getting into a baking mode again since the cold weather hit. I've concentrated on breads - it may be time to try my hand at some sort of pastry...

Trish

Judy said...

I mostly bake my own treats but a fresh croissant is hard to pass up. I love the picture, you can almost reach in and grab one. I tried too!!

Jann said...

I can pass no bakery~do not have a good one here,maybe that's a good thing. I have been so desparate at times, I order treats from Williams-Sonoma!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Ohhhh those look so good!

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Trish, I share your opinion of Krispy Kremes. What on earth is the fuss about?

Judy, I think the thing to do is tell yourself you are on a mission to find the world's best source for croissants.

Hey, Jann, I've been thinking about you lately! I've traveled so much this year, I could be you!

Cassoulet Cafe, I was soooo tempted.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I could never live in France, unless the bakeries were 10 miles apart, and I lived in the middle with no car so I'd have to hike 5 miles for a pain aux raisins.

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Welll now Lydia, that would be one way to enjoy pain aux raisins and maintain a healthy weight! It works!

MaryRuth said...

OMG--Ovens of Brittany!!! Thanks for the blast from the past Mimi!

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

MaryRuth, my new favorite place in downtown Madison is Fromagination on Carroll Street across from the capital.

Toni said...

As someone once said, "I can resist anything but temptation."

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

That's certainly true, Toni.

No cinnamon buns yet. But I am enjoying good old Wisconsin cheese.

dharmagirl said...

I have a hard time saying no to home baked sweets, and I've joined a baking/blogging group and am already seeing a little scale creep...it's time to stave off the Panzer division:)

Incidentally, I'm going to Madison next week for a conference and can't wait to hit the foodie spots...any particular bakeries you'd recommend? I've read about Fromagination and can't wait to go there!

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

I can heartily recommend Fromagination, DG.

The Samba Grill is highly rated. I can also recommend Le Chardonnay on Johnson just off State. Wednesday is paella night.

Have fun! I will be here one more day. I always love Madison in November - even though it gets gray and dank and I cannot even see the capital from my window tonight, it is so foggy.

maro said...

Ah, is it the dreary,overcast November light that makes chocolates ever so much more enticing? Maybe it is the added magnesium(another excuse)in chocolate that helps us through the fog. As a transplanted midwesterner,now with roots solidly in the Périgord, I really appreciated this post. Thanks for your comment on vagabondgourmand's Paris Noël. Will keep an eye on your posts from Madison. Marolyn Charpentier

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Marolyn, I love Vagabond Gourmand, and plan to link to it (I hope to do some housekeeping this weekend).

Was it only 7 weeks ago today that I visited LaRoque-Gageac?

All I know is November and chocolate have always worked together for me.