I was getting my kitchen cleaned up after the mad Christmas flurry where friends came and went in droves, when I came across this waxy white paper bag from the Francois Payard Bakery in New York City. It was sadly empty, and neatly folded and stashed amidst lots of other little saved brown bags for the safe storage of precious leftovers like cookies and slices of unfinished cake.
In an instant, it reminded me of a couple of lovely things; the 23rd of December when I drove to NYC to pick up my friend (and her two parakeets!) and we went to the Francois Payard Bakery (check out a previous POST on this bakery) on the Upper West Side for a much-needed coffee and sandwich for the road. Whilst I was there I asked Bird (my friend) if she could recommend their best pastry. Without a doubt she said it was their almond croissant. Before we left I made sure to snag one.
The second memory is of Christmas Eve morning when I tip-toed downstairs so as not to wake my family and guests, and headed to the kitchen. It was time to start my marathon cooking session, but not before I indulged in my morning cup of coffee. I was happy to be alone with the smell of coffee in the air and the prospect of devouring the contents of the Francois Payard bag. The coffee was wonderful and the almond croissant pure bliss.
I love my bit of solitude in the early morning but none more than this past Christmas Eve. I will be dreaming of this croissant for many mornings to come.