A few days ago I started reading a book about Alice Waters and her restaurant Chez Panisse. Even though I’m barely reading a chapter at a time, it is probably a mistake to read this book at night. Inevitably there is some mention about delicious sounding food, and once I’ve turned off the light I lie in the dark and think about said food.
On Saturday night I finished chapter two, which concluded with a mention of warm baguettes slathered with butter and apricot jam. And bowls of cafe au lait. Well, I knew that I was going to have that for breakfast on Sunday – one way or another.
Sunday morning came and I hadn’t forgotten about the crusty bread with jam. The Hen woke up early and, as I’d been up with him three or four times in the night while my husband snored away, I deemed it ‘his turn’ to deal with ‘his child’.
‘Maybe you and the Hen can go to Safeway and get us a baguette’ I randomly suggested. ‘What for?’ Asked the man who had not been reading the same book as I. ‘So we can have baguette with jam for breakfast’ I replied in my obvious voice.
After donning hats and coats, the two boys headed off into the dark night sky (even though it was 7.30am) to Safeway. While G and I lay ensconced in a warm bed.
Little did we know that Safeway doesn’t open until 8am. So Jason and his sidekick sat in the car and waited for twenty minutes for the grocery store to open. Lazy Canadians.
While they were away I remembered G’s words from the previous day: ‘we need to get butter.’ Because we were out of butter. I groaned inwardly as I envisioned having baguette with jam but no butter. But I knew better than to ask a man who’d just come back from the grocery store, to go back. These are the times when one really needs a cell phone.
Shortly after eight, the boys came home and Jason walked in the kitchen. He perused the fridge. ‘Do we not have any butter?’ he asked, irritated. ‘No, I realized after you left that we were out.’ He sighed and closed the door to the fridge. He went to the change bowl to start digging around for loose coins. ‘How much is butter?’ he asked. ‘Depends….probably $4.50.’ He didn’t like that answer…apparently he thought butter was a lot cheaper, or that it came in (cheaper) mini packs. Not in Canada.
He grabbed the keys and walked back to the front door. ‘Maybe you can pick up some dark or bittersweet chocolate,’ I casually suggested once more. ‘Why?’ ‘So I can make hot chocolate,’ I answered, knowing I was talking to an increasingly irritated man.
He left and came back twenty minutes later. In the meantime I’d started the preparation for the chocolat chaud – heated the milk and the sugar, added the cocoa powder. I was just waiting for the bar of bittersweet chocolate to chop up and add to the milk.
Except he brought back baking chocolate.
And he wasn’t buying my argument that baking chocolate and eating chocolate are not the same thing. They’re not. Some huffing and puffing ensued and various irritated looks were exchanged. But, apparently his desire for hot chocolate slightly outweighed his desire to stay put. So he went to Safeway for a third time in an hour. And came back with a bar of Lindt bittersweet chocolate.
Which he may or may not have thrust in my hands with unnecessary emphasis.
In the end we got our baguette with jam – and butter – and we had our thick, frothy hot chocolate like they serve at Laduree.
We were just a little grumpier than I’d envisioned.
If you haven’t made hot chocolate like this, you really should. You will never drink Swiss Miss or Carnation, again. Well, you might, but only because your kid picked it out at the grocery store on a Friday night.