Day 11 started badly. I got up too late, got in the shower too late, dried my hair too late , and was generally running around the house in a bit of a flap. Thankfully the wonderful Mr TwentyNine came to the rescue with a mug of coffee.
I can’t claim that it was the caffeine that helped me, as I gave that up and switched to decaff beverages over 2 months ago (FYI – best decision I ever made!) but it hit the spot and calmed me down. My husband is a saint.
So today my parents returned from France after a deliciously long 5 and a half weeks. Don’t even get me started on how jealous I was of that!
As they live only a quarter of a mile from where I work I decided to pop up and see them at lunchtime… until I remembered I was wearing my 4.5 inch wedges and that my vest top would do little to protect me from the chilly wind. Cue a phone call: “Dad, can you come and get me from work? I’m wearing stupid shoes with no jacket and if I walk to you I’ll break my ankles or freeze – or both.”
To be honest, he knows me too well to be surprised by a) the phone call or b) the inappropriate attire.
A few minutes later I was safely inside my parents’ living room – surrounded my more flippin’ birthday presents! Totally unexpected considering they’d given me a present for my un-birthday in France a few weeks before, my beautiful Alyssa Smith Lucky Silver Clover necklace.
And now to my surprise I also had a gorgeous silver Roxy purse, a lovely scarf with cream/navy blue Breton stripes , a little stuffed crab made from the same stripes as the scarf (I’d been cooing over these in windows all summer while we were over there) and a bottle of Mateus Rose – a firm favourite tipple of mine. Alongside this, they gave me and Mr TwentyNine a bottle of Bordeaux, and the best bit – a pack of 4 mini Kouign Amann.
Now, if you’ve never tried Kouign Amann – and if you like your desserts sticky, buttery and salty – then you must buy one or make one NOW! The Wiki description says:
Kouign-amann (pronounced [,kwiɲaˈmɑ̃nː] (kween a-mon), Breton pl. kouignoù-amann) is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs up the dough (resulting in the layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelizes. The name derives from the Breton words for cake (“kouign”) and butter (“amann”). Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town Douarnenez in Finistère, in the west of France, where it originated in around 1860.
I’ve found a recipe here which I’ve never tried, so I can’t vouch for, but he does say “It is strictly forbidden to think about diets while you’re making a Kouign Amann” so he certainly knows what he’s on about. It’s not for the faint-hearted. Or those with existing cholesterol problems, for that matter.
Anyway – try the recipe or get yourself over to Brittany now and buy one! We found a little shop that did miniature Kouign Amann in different flavours while we were in Pont Aven, so it might be worth experimenting with that too if you’re brave. I was particularly fond of the Grand Marnier!
Food For Thought
This is all.