October 22, 2015

Since I’ve “finished” Dailimages people have been so very confused as to what’s going on now, so I wanted to clarify: I still post daily, but the images may or may not have been taken on that specific day. I’ve enjoyed more than I can express doing the blog over the past year, and I didn’t want to stop, but also I didn’t think following the strict “image of that day” posting system I had was 1) sustainable, and, more importantly 2) good in the long run for the quality of the images.

Here however, you have an “actual” image of the day wherein I tried to snap a chocolate éclair from the POV of a 5 year old kid salivating in front of it. And because I just felt like it, I wrote a tiny short story to accompany the image (It’s a treat!), inspired by the collection of short stories by Philippe Delerm, The Small Pleasures Of Life, and in particular its first story: The First Sip Of Beer.


My Very First Eclair or The Beginning of a Long Love Story

In our family we started getting allowance at five. I think the logic was that my mom could thus give us a coin of five francs each week and be done with it, since we would be satisfied with the explanation that “you’re five, you get five”. And I don’t think we even wanted to argue because at that time and age, a shiny silver coin of five francs meant the world! We coud buy so many things with it!

At the bakery, for instance, five francs could get me at least twenty pieces of Smurf candy or ten Malabars. So let me tell you I burnt through these first weeks of allowance pretty quickly, especially since we had a bakery right around the corner from our apartment.

I always looked at the éclairs when I walked in but they were at least eight francs and the idea of saving my pocket money was ludicrous to my five-year old brain! I would have failed the marshmallow test so bad… But I digress. So I would just salivate in front of the éclair for a bit and, after very careful consideration, still purchase candy every time instead.

Yet somehow one day candy started to feel unsatisfying… And I resolved to save my allowance and get myself my own éclair just for me, bought with my hard-earned money. The first day of the decision, my nanny was surprised when I didn’t ask to stop at the bakery, but I was resolved. Especially once I had realized that it wouldn’t be that long to save for eight francs with five francs per week.

When the glorious day came, I was so excited I could barely sleep or pay attention in school! We walked home and I told my nanny to wait for me outside while I purchased the éclair, I wanted to feel like a grown-up. I observed all the éclairs in the window, there must have been about ten, and picked the third from the front, he seemed extra-chocolatey. I paid the baker, I felt all proud.

My nanny took me to the park, and I sat on my own bench. I needed to savour my éclair in the most perfect way possible, and I could NOT be disturbed! I set my backpack next to me and the box containing my treasure on the other side. I carefully unwrapped it, and stopped to observe it for a second: it seemed even more appetizing up close. The second passed and I grabbed the éclair, holding it as if it was some baby mouse.

I took my first bite. The puff pastry was just the right balance of crunchy and chewy, my upper teeth sank in the chocolate ganache just right… And the chocolate custard inside tasted divine. It was all that I had dreamt it would be, better even. After that first bite the rest of the éclair did not last for very long, but my love story with the chocolate pastry did.

In fact there is one waiting for me right now.

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