Excuse my French

Feb 12, 2014 by

I obviously chose to feature the single perfect macaron I made over the many, many cracked ones.

I obviously chose to feature the single perfect macaron I made over the many, many cracked ones.

          Over a year ago, I became incredibly intrigued by Paris. Of course, Paris has always been on my to-go list, but the travel blogs I was reading at the time quickly shot it to the top. Last spring, when I was turning to books for escape, travel memoirs set in the City of Light and a cookbook that romantically pictured Parisian desserts allowed me to virtually board a plane across the Atlantic when I physically could not. Written records of strangers’ adventures in Paris gave me reasons to keep pursuing the happiness I wasn’t yet sure was coming; I absolutely could not give up on life before ever having visited a love lock bridge. For a girl sitting in a GTA Chapters with no boarding pass to her name, I knew an abnormal amount about Paris’s arrondissements and laws surrounding apartment leases. Amongst my daydreams of the city’s elegance were visions of macarons.

          Thus, since March, I’ve been meaning to make these colourfully dainty confections. The motive required to bake them finally came when I numbered my days in my apartment. Those macarons were intended to be made as I whirled around my kitchen to my music in my home, so my fast-approaching move-out day caused macaron-baking motivation to kick in. My co-workers also happened to arrange a Valentine’s sweets day, and mandated that everything be homemade. Perf! If I had to bake anyway, might as well get French about it. Plus, I’d derive some cute happiness tip from it, like, “Can’t afford a flight to Paris? Bring Paris to you.” Evidently, I was a macaron-making virgin.

          As if going Parisian wasn’t ambitious enough, I decided to tackle three flavours and quadruple the macaron recipe in order to do so. (Why not just triple it? I don’t know. And, no, the idea to split one batch into three parts didn’t occur to me. Because I overanalyze everything, I’ve been told that I often fail to see the obvious. This is a great example of one of those times.) FYI: That recipe was for 24 macarons. Multiply by four. That’s 96. Yeah, 96 macarons, a.k.a. 192 macaron shells. I failed to do the math before my kitchen counter was covered in white, pink, and green shells (another obvious miss). Who the hell did I think I was? A Parisian? A pastry chef? A Parisian pastry chef? God? Trying to bake 96 macarons on the first attempt is absolutely the equivalent of creating the world in six days and not resting on the seventh. Just. Fucking. Saying.

          I started on Monday night. Still not done filling all shells by Tuesday, baking macarons turned from fun to frustrating. You’d think my first piping attempt would have allowed me to predict the impending disastrous state of my kitchen:

First piping attempt

First piping attempt

Disastrous state of my kitchen

Disastrous state of my kitchen

          Though my chocolate peanut butter macarons were done, my dreams of mint chocolate and raspberry white chocolate flavours were turning into nightmares. Macarons are time-consuming little fuckers, and I was tired, sick (to anyone who ate my macarons, know that I washed my hands so many times while baking that they still sting when I apply cream), and overwhelmed by the rows upon rows of shells sprawled across my counter.

          “Okay, happiness experiment,” I exhaled for the first time in a while. (I sometimes need to channel The Happiness Experiment for little stressors like this to remember that they aren’t worth stressing about.) I contemplated what I wanted to do. Put down the raspberry white chocolate ganache, I internally ordered myself before leaving my apartment without giving my kitchen another glance.

          I was so relieved to have let myself give up. I decided that those stupid macaron shells would be given to my mom to do with what she pleases. I was done. I didn’t even try one. I was so annoyed with those tiny, delicate bitches that I couldn’t bring myself to taste them. While I’m sure the real lesson here is something broadly applicable to life, like, “Don’t take on more than you can handle,” fuck it. I’m pissed at the macarons. I’m blaming them.

Happiness Tip: Buy – do not bake – your macarons.

Previous: Reluctantly Breaking my Health Streak Next: No Boyfriend by Valentine’s Day . . .

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It