Friday, May 29, 2009

Instant Gratification

When I walked by the Dalloyau vitrine/window, temptation called. I ordered the mini Torbion Caramel . Nothing was going to come between me and this hunk of glossy caramel (filled with whipped cream I didn't eat - I hate whipped cream.) The thought never entered my head to buy it and eat it later. Jamais! Can you resist temptation when it calls?
 Are you one of those people with self-restraint?
Do you think, "I'll come back later if I still want it and get it".
Ice cream is an instant gratification food. Ice cream won't wait for you to return. It's an "I want it now" food and thank gawd for that.
Ah, the smell of chocolate.
When chocolate beckens, who resists? Some can. Even I, Queen of Instant Gratification, can resist chocolate.

If I have a refrigerator full of it after a chocolate show. There's safety in numbers.
I can resist macarons if they're wrapped up tight in the freezer. Out of sight - out of mind.
Magnolia's cupcakes I waltze by with ease. I'm not big on cake or icing, so personal tastes effect issues of temptation.
There's an extensive article in the NEW YORKER on this.
If you enjoy Paris pastries you must read this.
When Pres. Obama admonished Wall Street
"to show some restraint,
and show some discipline,
and show some sense of responsibility.”
I thought he was talking to me. It was my new motto for a week or so. But could there be a Paris Breakfast if I had a modicum of self-restraint and discipline?
 Visual beauty plays a big part in my downfall.
 Would I trade a peach for a macaron?
What about you?
Can you show self-restraint when offered a packet of Pierre Herme macarons? Would you say,
'Let me think about it.I'll get back to you later'.
Would you? Be honest?
Do tell all s.v.p.
 Aren't week-ends for sinning?


  1. Michelle8:03 AM

    Gorgeous - I would never be able to eat 19 boxes of macarons though, I would be hyper for weeks and my dentist would be able to retire early from all the fillings he would have to carry out to patch up the damage. I like the idea very much though. French patisserie is a vertiable art form non?

  2. I don't really plan to eat those 19 boxes of macarons = they are for painting and photographing etc.
    Frankly I don't think macs have that long of a shelf life.
    They are more like ice cream-meant to be eaten VERY outside the door or perhaps within a day or two later.

  3. I am in heaven... And here i was trying to be healthy :) Great post

  4. I am in heaven... And here i was trying to be healthy :) Great post

  5. After seeing your photos and reading your comments, I can really smell the chocolate and other assorted foods!

  6. You have to STOP doing this kind of posts, I can't stand it, i have to go to a pasticceria NOW! Bad Bad Carol!

  7. Bonnie9:33 AM

    I don't think the question is "would you, could you trade a peach for them" but, rather, in the purely literary sense, it is "Do I dare to eat a peach?" (I suggest, with regards to TS Eliot).
    And I believe you would answer "yes" to that.

  8. The problem BONNIE is, there's way more pastry than peaches in Paris.
    A plethora of pastries :)

  9. Why not combine the two--find something with peaches AND pastry, so you can feel both naughty and angelic?

  10. Heather10:14 AM

    Is it just me or has your photography gotten better and better?
    And just to weigh in on the temptation issue (pun intended...), and I think this is because of the beauty of your blog, I am now one of those people that can honestly say, "If I still want it later, I'll come back and get it".
    I had a mental shift to appreciating the visual beauty of desserts and food in general. So much so that the visual almost totally does it for me and I don't have to eat the treat itself. I love to buy a cupcake to just look at it. I may take a small bite of it or just eat half, but end up throwing the rest away a few days later when it's stale. I don't really know how it happened, but it's been since seeing your blog every day.
    But the trade off is that now I must take pictures of desserts and bakery exteriors and cases wherever I go!
    Three cheers for you and PB!
    :) Heather

  11. Is it contagious Heather?
    I feel that way often too...that's why I never need to taste alot of the pastries I shoot. It almost doesn't even occur to me.
    Then again, show me an ice cream stand across the street and like a shot I'm there.

  12. Pat in Chicago10:18 AM

    Luv to read your mental musings....
    I also can't walk by a bakery or patisserie
    It doesn't matter what type of ethnic baked goods or how the exterior storefront looks, I have to venture in and buy something. All while asking lots of questions to satisfy the "cookie monster" in me. Remember Sesame Street - how do you say cookie monster in French?

    Oh well, somebody's got to have a passion for sweets.
    One day soon, I'm buying one of your watercolors - love those too!

    Pat in Chicago

  13. I knew you'd do a great post on this, Carol--wonderful! I'll eat the whipped cream on your desserts for you, Carol,-- have no fear. I LOVE whipped cream. The good stuff.

  14. Hi Carol - I just returned from Paris. Sipped Champagne and nibbled on macarons in Ladurée Le Bar. Thought of you and your paintings...
    Lori Lynn

  15. Hi carol-
    the answer is NO I don't show any self-restraint and now I know that it has to do with my brain. A recent study showed that there is a difference in the activated region of brain between people who show self-restraint and those who don't. C'est mon cerveau!

    Bon weekend!

  16. I can almost taste that bite of macaron - slightly crispy, chewy, sweet... mmmmmmmmmmm. I think I would be in trouble if there were patisseries close to where I live that look like your photos! I have travelled a lot and must say the French make the BEST desserts!

  17. Sometimes I can reign in the self-restraint when it comes to sweets, other times definitely not.

    Wandering along Parisien streets with you on your assignments of finding all these lovely treats, I would definitely struggle with the restraint issue, hehe. But when in Paris... right?

  18. Love it!
    You are making me HUNGRY!!
    for a treat...

  19. Pure torture!! I'm so hungry now :-)

  20. I do not like whipped cream, no I do not. But show me a macaron, and I'm there like a shot.

    "Peaches instead?" queried inside my head, "Never, never!"

    It's macarons forever!!!

  21. Anonymous1:52 PM

    As Oscar Wilde said, "I can resist everything except temptation." Bring it all on with the whipped cream!

  22. I was in Paris three weeks ago and am now having serious withdrawal issues over the sweets. What I wouldn't give for even the smallest box of maracons. The caramel and sea salt ones especially. I'm in serious pain here.

  23. After reading this post, I really need all of these gourmandises!!! !EVERYTHING!!!! and NOW! No restriction. But, in Paris it's now to late to buy these delicious patisseries.

  24. I've been here a week and not had a macaron yet! What am I crazy? I'm getting some tomorrow, you can take that to the bank. I'll have caramel and some chocolate ones and.........

  25. Restraint on Chocolate is rare for me. I do try not to go nuts. Looking at your post today I feel like I went to a beautiful dessert banquet.

  26. Yes! That's what weekends are for..especailly macarons!!!

  27. Love your site, but more croissants, coffee and water and cafe and people wearing chic sunglasses pictures, please.
    Meanwhile, it is a great treat every am to open up yr. site.

  28. Sophia8:58 PM

    We piggies ate an entire box of Laduree caramel au beurre sale macarons after dinner yesterday!

  29. Hi Carol,
    I stumbled across your blog recently and enjoy getting you're daily postings of spécialité parisienne. And seeing your drawings too ( which I would never dream of printing out, framing and mounting on my wall. Bad karma).

  30. great great photos....they are sinfully gorgeous.
    As far as temptation....honestly, a wedge of some yummy fromage and if that peach is ripe...well, there goes my last piece of self control...but, as they each her own!

  31. Love your site, but more croissants, coffee and water and cafe and people wearing chic sunglasses pictures, please.
    Meanwhile, it is a great treat every am to open up yr. site.

  32. I would have loved to leave a witty comment, add some ponderings to this posts of yours, but suddenly I feel the urge to get in my shoes and run down to the nearest patisserie! Wonder why ....

    I am not sure if my reaction corresponds to the message you were trying to send, my brain's glazed over with a caramel-like sticky spiderweb kinda thingy.

  33. Merisi! your response makes me laugh so much!
    Funnily enough this post had the same effect on many others...?
    Most forgot to report on their ability to wait for good things.
    I seem to inspire immediate gratification..hmmm
    Maybe a lab could put me to work somehow...

  34. Richard2:44 AM

    My wife, the charming Eve, is off to Paris on the 14 June, if you had just three days, bear in mind that she has visited maybe eight times, but last time two years ago, where would you suggest visit. I really enjoy my breakfast with you, I am so sad you must return to new york. but thank you for bringing me such wonderful images.

  35. Yvonne2:45 AM

    Dear Carol
    I love your paintings
    i have done watercolors all my life, but yours are better
    I am happy you hate whipped cream and don't like cake, me either
    I go to France from California at least once a year, but usually to the south
    i feel I have found a friend
    Chocolate rules
    Thanks for the deliciousness

  36. The time to sin is NOW !
    Oh please Lord, let me sin on something good, for instance anything shown on this post.

    Beautiful photos and divine subject matter, Paris Breakfast!


  37. I take it your fav's are French Macaroons.
    You have so much. You must have a delivery service, yes?

  38. Ciao Carol...

    Just dropping a line to let you know that, after years of drooling over your watercolors, I have finally tasted my first macaron! And a real French one at that! It was just as fantastic as I had been hoping.

    I will be traveling through France in the next month and I'm hoping to visit some of your favorite places in Paris. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  39. oho drool...I've just put on 5lbs looking at the pictures...and oh so deliciously colourful


  40. Not eat it? Not at all? Whatever did you do with it PB?? Did you cruelly toss it in the trash as we all in foreign countries or tropical islands sat by becomming completely dehydrated due to chronic droooooooooling??

    Oh the horror!! The absolute horrrrrrrror!!!!

  41. Oh my goodness!!
    Look at all the sweetness on your blog entry!


    Great photos too:)


  42. Anonymous8:54 PM

    WOW!!!! What fabulous pastries!!! When we do get to Paris, hopefully sooner than later, I'll have to bring along a list of all of the amazing places you've taken us to in your yummy blog!

  43. Oh what the wonderful shots! I really love the colors of all the sweets. Also, your captions make me feel like reading a poem, maybe a devil's poem luring me to eat sugar more :-P

    I definitely want those sweet macaron!

    ps. it's my second time visiting your blog and I already bookmarked it. Love your photos :-)

  44. OMG! I could just eat my laptop screen! How Wonderfully Delicious! (Not my laptop screen). I have to say, great photos, but shame on you for this torture…it’s not like we can run to our fridge right now and pull out one of 19 boxes for a quick “fix”….ugggghhh. My stomach growls for a macroon .
    Oh, wait…I’ll be in Paris 11 Jun, Thanks for the 20 lbs I know I will gain thanks to the “cravings” you have provided! Keep up your delicious PBs!

  45. You've gone and done it again - nothing in the fridge 'cos I have just returned from Paris and you show me all these goodies :(

  46. Anonymous9:00 AM

    You have got the most beautiful frezzer that I have ever seen. And I do go back and look at that caramel desert with the whipped cream center everday. Oh My!!

  47. This post is fantastic. I love the giant hive and the chocolate. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  48. Carol, I am ashamed to admit I have NEVER tried a proper Parisian Macaron! You have inspired me and I AM going to ASAP. Have a great week!

  49. i could not resist a single bite of any of those beautiful sweets! i am planning my first trip to paris and the only tours i want to take are those i plan from your wonderful patisserie discoveries!

  50. What kind of attitude is that? "I'll come back later if I still want it". HAH! I say, "Grab it now because I'll be:
    Choose one:
    too busy
    too tired
    too broke
    too lazy
    maybe I'll be hit by a bus

  51. I know of your love of macarons - they are SO pretty! and thought you'd enjoy knowing you can buy little goodies with macarons on them if you wish :) I even found a free needlework chart of macarons yesterday while surfing various blogs.


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