Here is the box.
It arrived this morning via FedEx. As the FedEx delivery man pulled off, I pondered what I could have ordered that needed a signature.
As I opened it the scent of bread hit me.
OH MY GOD, IT'S BREAD. BREAD FROM POILANE!
What is Poilane you ask?
Only "France's premier baking dynasty."
Four loaves of it. Five if you count the two in one package.
I ran to find my phone. I had to call my mother-in-law. I sent the address to Poilane for her to pass along to her stepson and his girlfriend before Christmas. They were going to be in Paris, and I'd just read an article about Poilane in The New Yorker.
"They have to go," I kept telling my mother-in-law. "They have to eat some for me."
I couldn't believe that they would send me bread all the way from Paris.
Turns out they didn't.
It was my mother-in-law.
I had gone on and on about it so that she went online, e-mailed the company and found out that they ship to America a few days each week.
As she told me all this I was overwhelmed with the feeling of being known and understood.
What a gift!
Jack and I began eating the gargantuan whole wheat loaf right away. I've eaten bread directly from the oven that wasn't this fresh. And this was shipped overnight from Paris, mind you.
As we sat and ate we pretended we were in Paris, at 8 Rue du Cherche-Midi. I told him stories of how when his father, grandmother (my mother-in-law) and I were in Paris almost nine years ago, I couldn't get enough bread to eat. Every morning for breakfast I would eat all of mine plus his dad's and that of anyone else that was with us that hadn't finished theirs.
I told him of how I would buy loaves from bakeries or street vendors all over France, and I would walk around eating my hard, french bread all day long.
We never ate the bread at Poilane when we were there because we didn't know the place existed.
I long to visit Poilane myself as well as traveling to that small French town where I ate the best quiche of my life. I went back for seconds, then thirds.
Thank you Lauren Collins and The New Yorker for the profile piece on Poilane.
Thank you Poilane for the best bread in existence and for shipping overnight to an American girl.
Thank you to an attentive and giving mother-in-law for sending the children and I, on this day, a taste of Paris.