Grace slept through the day of her departure – with the flight that night – still fighting that bug.
Karli and I went over to Maison Kayser on rue de Commerce to pick up a Tarte Monge for four – a mixed red fruit tarte with a cream and almond filling – with a Joyeuse Anniversaire Grace plaque done in almond paste; a Baguette Monge – a big, rustic, chewy baguette – the original Maison Kayser's on rue Monge in the 5th by the way; two chocolate éclairs – the longest éclairs I've ever seen – and let's just leave it at that – but I do wonder if there's any correlation; and a pain au fromage – with wide crispy leaves of fallen, melted, golden cheese still attached.
When I got home I opened the box for the tarte – and half of the fruit and gelee had slid to the side.
And before you even think it – of course I was careful – I've transported a whole croquembouche home intact from Cordon Bleu. I tried to fix it but no way – and I knew Grace would take pictures – I couldn't let a Frankenstein-ed pastry be her lasting memory of her beloved Tarte Monge.
A quick call to the shop – they'll replace it – so back Karli and I went. They were pretty cool about it – which was very cool.
When Grace finally woke up to get ready for her flight, I lit the candle on the tarte, sang bonne anniversaire, and we could finally attack the tarte. Only half survived by the time the driver arrived.
Karli and I both went out to the airport too. Again what I love about this country sometimes – dog walking around off-leash in a major international airport? Pas de probleme!
We did a preflight caffeine and nicotine and sugar break – a gauffre – basically a Belgian waffle – but sadly no Nutella was available.
Bon voyage – bonne courage – mon amie Grace.
At least I still had half the tarte.