Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thanksgiving in July!

In the name of diversification, a non art-related post.
I totally, like, dig Thanksgiving, the holiday that made me love America. First of all it is the only holiday no one was ever able to give me the signification of, except everyone is gorging on food. I subsequently forever nicknamed it The Day When America Cooks(conveniently forgetting Marie Callender. No one is perfect).

Then, not being from here I don't have to endure any family-related tensions and obligations. Note to my potential future husband, you who are lurking on this blog: yes, we will spend all Thanksgivings of our future married life with YOUR family. X-mas with mine (dear future husband: you should have black, brown or gray hair, be not too tall, have a good conversation to compete with my incessant output and I appreciate a wicked sense of humor. Must like orange color).

Also, the day I first saw a Thanksgiving turkey I finally understood America. Why stoves are so big. Why fridges are so humongous. Why Costco and Smart and Final were created. You could feed an entire French village (such as Saint Aubert sur Orne and its 126 inhabitants, for instance) on one of these!
Anyway, I like it so much I decided I was going to have monthly "Thanksgiving in [insert month here]" posts and praise whoever I think is deserving.

A tout seigneur tout honneur, in the name of Food I'd like to post my first thanks today and honor La Maison Du Pain.
It is located on Pico, one block East of Hauser. Of course I have a vested interest in this French-Filippino bakery to remain open and busy.
I think their bread is so-so. Charles, the former baker (hopefully he will get a new visa soon and will come back) told me it's because the flours are very different here, with a different gluten ration. They are great for pastries but for bread, nix. Which probably explain why I never found bread I liked in America, with the notable exception of NYC bagels.
But the pastries at LMDP are fabulous, most particularly their fruit tarts. Plus they make mini-pastries, more like petits fours really that you can buy individually and savor with your espresso without feeling [too] guilty.
Their croissant is the best I had outside of France and does compete with many I had back home. Their pistachio financiers are genius and I advise everybody to try the tarte au sucre, and if they have it their viennoise.

Last year I ordered my B-Day cake there, a Royal made especially by Charles himself. It has this crunchy base made with praline over a chocolate cake, and topped with chocolate mousse. I had told them it would be for 25 people, but ooopsy in fact 60 were expected. As I was about to buy a large fruit tart to make sure my guests would have desserts, Josephine said: "it's your birthday. This tart was made this morning, [it was about 2 PM] so we will make a new one from scratch". And so they did, on the spot, and shelled some fresh pistacchios to sprinkle on top.

Aside from their niceness and great pastries, I am also thankful for Carmen and Josephine because they dared realizing their dream, late in life, and ditch their former life to start a brand new business. It takes guts, and the result is truly worth all the energy they put in. So thank you La Maison du Pain, not only for your great pastries but for a great lesson in optimism.