Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Why is Tonight Like No Other Night?

Last Friday, my girlfriend put together a lovely Passover Seder, using a downloaded Hagada that did the deed with concision, skipping through plagues and bitter herbs faster than it takes matzo to rise. 

Despite the peppery pace, my Monsieur fidgeted through most of the meal.  By the time my girlfriend served her homemade chocolate macaroons (the best I've ever had) he was reaching for his coat and out the door.  I made red-faced excuses, grabbed another macaroon (they were really good) and chased Monsieur downstairs, where I found him already in the car, engine idling.

This scene, as you can imagine, could have easily degenerated into one serious mo-fo of an argument.  "How could you be so rude..." "They're my friends..." "It's Passover..." etc.  But it didn't.  I figured he was tired; I knew he hadn't slept the night before, apparently fretting over a 'work thing'.  So I let it slide.  I also let slide the left turn he took instead of the right that would have gotten us home.  Maybe he needed to drop by the office? Who knew.  I kept my mouth shut and enjoyed the lights of Paris by night.  Nearly 2 years of living here hasn't yet dulled their dazzle in my eyes.

On the other hand, the evening's kosher wine must have dulled my brain, because I barely registered pulling up to The Crillon just before midnight.  Walking past the doorman and being ushered up the candlelit marble stairs didn't strike me at all as odd.  When Monsieur said 'The candles are for you.' I shrugged him off with a 'Yeah, yeah.' and imagined the grand event that must be taking place in a reception room above.

But the reception room - The Marie Antoinette Suite - was empty except for us; the curtains drawn back, inviting us on to the balcony that overlooks Place de la Concorde:

We got to the rail just as the Eiffel Tower started its hourly twinkle, a sight that never ceases to delight.  When I turned to share this magical moment with Monsieur - he was gone!  At least, he wasn't where I was expecting him to be.  Instead of towering above me (he's 6'4'') I found him kneeling next to me, carefully reciting the following words:

"Will you spend the rest of your life with me?"

Oh. My. G...

The words were followed by a little box, bearing the brand Buccellati.  

OH. MY. G...

Precious moments are unfortunately just that: moments.  Our time in The Marie Antoinette Suite went far too quickly, and these blurred images, captured by blackberry, can never do those precious moments justice. (Not that I'm about to lose my head over it.)

Style File Followers Take Note:
1. A Hagada is a special book that recounts the story of Passover with prayer and song.  Most Hagadas take several hours to complete.  It took us just an hour and a half to zip through my girlfriend's internet find. Mazel tov.
2. My girlfriend's chocolate macaroons were amazing.  I'll ask her to post the recipe.
3. Never, ever leave the house without your nails done.
4. Bucce-what?  Buccellati. Goes great with gefilte fish.
5. I said yes.


  1. stoppit, you're going to make me cry

  2. The photos say it all!

  3. It all makes sense now; his concern over his overcoat and the heavy object inside its pocket, his glances from the balcony toward the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the politely hasty departure...I honestly don't know how he remained so calm and sociable all evening, with such a plan up his sleeve. Aaah, the romance of it all! My family, macaroons and I are thrilled to be a teeny-tiny part of your legend. MAZEL TOV PEPITA AND MONSIEUR!


    Ingredients for about 12-15 pieces:
    1 cup cane sugar
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    3 egg whites
    Pinch salt
    2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    1) Stir sugar and cocoa together until smooth
    2) In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with salt until stiff peaks appear
    3) Beat the sugar mixture in VERY gradually, 1 tsp at a time, on low speed.
    4) Fold in coconut and vanilla
    5) 2 options, depending on how thick your mixture is (which depends on how patient you have been with the step 3):
    a) Thicker mixture - with (clean) wet hands, roll a teaspoon of the mixture into a ball, and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    b) Not-quite-as-thick mixture - drop teaspoons of the mixture onto the baking tray, leaving 3cm between each one
    6) Bake at 165°c for 15-17 minutes or until the outside is dry and the inside still soft
    7) Transfer with a spatula to wire racks to cool

    Bon app├ętit! xxx

  4. CONGRATULATIONS! He has great taste in women and rings, lol! xoxoxoxo

  5. Paola Fullerton23 April 2012 at 13:08

    Pepita, congratulations! Love the advice about never leaving home without your nails done. Too true. Alan threw me a surprise Birthday party Friday night at Opus (Toronto) and my hands we a disaster! Whoops :)
    Beautiful ring...clearly your future husband has extraordinary taste. I look forward to meeting him one day.

  6. Beautiful! Congratulations to you both with lots of love XX