Treat yourself to something sweet and delicious. Make it a ritual once a week, something to anticipate and dream over, something to share with someone else. For the wife and I it has become Dessert Friday; the consequence of a deliciously delightful discovery on the way home from work a few weeks ago.
Last month my firm relocated to new offices in the Willis Tower-formerly the Sears Tower, in Chicago’s Loop. I take the train into work each morning, and then home again in the evening. One Friday evening I had a bit of time to kill and decided to explore the terminal a bit.Down stairs I happened upon a little mall, previously unknown to me, especially as I claim to hold a better than average knowledge of this city. There, just across the mall was a French Market and inside was an amazing little artesian bakery called Vanille Patisserie.
Never been a huge dessert fan, and I might have paused only to appreciate the Artistry of their sweet little creations. I might have, but the wife had earlier complained of a terribly discouraging day at work. At that moment, I could imagine no better way to make her smile than with one of those stunning little delicacies. And so, a tradition began.
It’s easy to let the long hours of the day and drudgingly long weeks take their toll on a relationship. It’s easier to drag one’s self home, slam down some food, pour a couple of glasses of, shall I say, edge reducing libation and succumb to sleep from sheer boredom and exhaustion, but that’s not life. That’s a walking coma.
The wife was ecstatic over that first pastry from the Patisserie. We sat on the couch by candlelight together and shared it from a single plate. they are not that large in size, but more than enough in flavor. At around 6 bucks each, the cost helps create that aura of specialness. I wouldn’t do this every day, but once a week sort of makes it feel like a crowning jewel, an enjoyable affirmation of conquering(or surviving) another work week.
We now look forward to Dessert Friday, and I’m not talking a weekly run to the local donut shop, or a wedge of slap together cake from a box. No Twinkies or store-bought cookies. I’m talking about true, fine quality pastry, something someone put some passion and creativity into. I’m talking about biting into a fork full of heaven. Something that will leave you breathless and talking about well into the coming week.
This Last Friday there was a beautiful red little creation in the Patisserie case marked simply: cheesecake. Oh, but how deliciously deceiving looks can be! Cherry-red candy-glazed and drizzled with fudge, it promised a pillowy soft cheesecake around a center of cherries and creamy cool chocolate mousse. With rain patting the patio and distant rumbles of thunder, we cuddled on the couch, savoring every rich and luscious bite, already anticipating next week’s discovery.
Lest this seem like a commercial for Vanille Patisserie, well, okay, I guess it is, only because it has become our new favorite find. But it isn’t about this one place. It is about discovering your own little bit of luxury on a fork. It is about finding that special someone to share that moment with. It is about indulgence rather than gluttony and for taking a moment, one very special private moment and truly enjoying something while the rest of the world rushes past.