It’s that rosy time of year again. You’re expecting me to go all gushy on you, aren’t you? Living in one of the most romantic places in the world and being married to a Frenchman must make anyone go weak at the knees at this time of year, right?
I love France and the French. I love Paris and where we live, surrounded by such a gourmet foodie culture. I love macarons. I love my husband. Not in that order, of course. I used to be a soppy romantic; now I just go weak at the knees when I find myself driving around the Arc de Triomphe.
There’s something about living in France that brings out the more serious in you, though. Hard to believe? I dreamed that my Frenchman would whisk me off my feet, feed me with French romantic phrases; and pop the question on bended knee at our ‘local’, up in the Eiffel Tower’s Jules’ Verne restaurant, producing a surprise box over the most dreamy Parisian pâtisserie dessert.
Who am I kidding? We were just starting out with new jobs, living in a matchbox studio in the 7th arrondissement. That was already pretty chic but you couldn’t swing a cat in the place. I won’t embarrass Antoine in front of you about how he proposed in real life. How could I expose him – much that it’s tempting – as he never has time to read le blog? My adorable Frenchman has gradually become more romantic over the years, however. Could it be that macarons make the heart grow fonder? Like a blockbuster bottle of Burgundy, each year together just gets better and better. (If I said, ‘improves with age’ that makes us sound like old fogies, no?)
What’s sweeter than saying, “Darling, we don’t need one day in the year to give presents and say how much we love each other”? Too true. In any case, he’s on biz galavanting around India this week so he has a valid excuse. I’ll enjoy a cosy evening with my girls at home which is just as special: we can secretly enjoy lentil and bacon soup with oh-so-British cheese scones without him going into cultural convulsions. But I know that after a few days, it will ware off. When he returns in a couple of weeks, we’ll have our usual candlelit French dinner together like any other day in the year. La vie en rose? Aye right. If I’m in luck, his suitcase will be filled with curry leaves and exotic, original spices – but my guess is it will be full of mini hotel shampoos and conditioners.
Before he left, he tasted these macarons to accompany that White Chocolate Valentine Mousse recipe. No guesses as to what kind they are, if you already saw my previous post. I’m addicted to them already and keep wanting to make more. Quite simply, it’s a cross between a rose macaron and a orange blossom macaron: it’s a rose-orange blossom macaron and it’s bliss!
Simply follow the recipe for either Rose macarons (on p. 45) or Orange Blossom Macarons (on p. 77 of Mad About Macarons!) Replace the fragrant water with both 2 tbsp rose water and 2 tbsp orange flower water. It’s that simple, and you’ll taste them both in there. Can you imagine that with a glass of bubbly? It’s what dreams are made of. Who needs posh restaurants?
Aye Write! Free Tickets to Give Away
Want to learn how to make macarons like the French? Come to Glasgow for the annual Book Festival in Scotland, Aye Write! I’ll be demonstrating how to make macarons as well as answer your questions. It’s a great excuse to meet each other and even taste some macarons.
When and Where?
Saturday 10 March at the Mitchell Library, 11:00-12:00.
Reserve your place now at the Aye Write website!
Waverley Books have FOUR entry tickets to give away. To enter, just leave a comment below saying “My favourite macaron is…..” Tell us what kind of macaron says it for you. The Giveaway ends Sunday 19 February. I’ll announce the winners on Tuesday 21 February, when I have a special guest coming to join us on le blog.
If you didn’t see last year’s Valentine’s post, then take a look at this recipe for rose panna cotta with a cherry and cardamom coulis. After something more red velvet? Then check out this recipe for chocolate and beetroot fondants.
Happy Valentine’s, my friends and extra hugs to your loved ones.