Nobody Likes Zombie Babies, Everyone Likes Chocolate Beignets.

Well, it looks like my aging body has shirked its responsibilities in maintaining my sprightly stamina to match my gloriously youthful face and boyishly ignorant delusions of how I actually look. Where each week in Spain and Italy met me with an overcrowded bus or train headed off in some direction toward a destination boasting “THE BEST” of some culinary offering or another, I’ve instead been taking it easy here in France.

Beignets au Chocolat - Paris, France

Many evenings after long culinary classes I’ve found myself alone and horizontal in my tiny Parisian apartment in prostration, the preceding months of endless go-time finally catching up to me. Not to mention the uneasy impending end of my travels and added unnecessary exhaustion of repeating two words I really should remove from my repertoire: what next?

I imagine this is what heroin addicts must feel to some degree. Is this what druggies have to go through? Wading in the euphoria of my China White travel high, but looking toward the approaching sobering up period with fearful eyes and sloppy, cracked lips. If this were Trainspotting, now would be the part where I see the dead baby crawling on the ceiling. I hate that part. I hate that part so much.

A big problem I’m trying to overcome is my tendency to focus my attention on what’s ahead of me rather than what’s already at my feet. I’m in one of the most highly acclaimed culinary spots and coveted vacation sites in the world and mentally I’m already back home in Tampa. You’re shaking your head at me. I understand, I’m shaking mine too.


Beignet au Chocolat - Paris, FranceBeignet au Chocolat - Paris, FranceBeignet au Chocolat - Paris, France

A few nights ago after a particularly stressful day, an ethereal figure came to me in my dreams. That figure was Beyonce. I know how this sounds, but just stick with me for a second. I don’t know why Beyonce was with me, I’m not even really a fan. I couldn’t name one album of hers if my KitchenAid’s life depended on it. But she forgave me my cardinal Beyonce sin and she looked at me in my eyes with a look of concern before saying, “boo, what do you think you’re doing worrying the way you are? Do you know where you is? ” and without responding, I thought about those words. I do know where I is. Why am I concerning myself with what’s waiting around the corner when there’s so much in my favor right now?

I laughed a little and went to respond but she stopped me in my tracks. “I actually don’t care what you have to say to me,” she bleated — because she was now a goat for absolutely no reason at all — before shooting me a smarmy wink and prancing off into the shadows, leaving behind nothing but the resounding click of her heels and some wise words to consider.


I’m a control freak of the worst variety and in trying to dictate how life will play out when I return I’m sabotaging my final days here in Europe.  It’s like eating an incredibly expensive 5 star meal prepared by a world class chef only to spend the entire dinner wondering what you’re going to eat for breakfast at Denny’s the next morning. Which would be moons over my hammy if I had to choose, because hey, I’m only human.

What I’m realizing is that by trying to mentally live two steps forward, I’m not really keeping ahead of the curve like I trick myself into thinking I am. I’m just continually yearning for something that’s not quite there yet and might not ever be.

So no more what nexts. No more Beyonce-induced dreams, I hope. I’m excited to get back home, to get back to a life I love and miss, but I’ll save that excitement for when that day comes. In this moment it’s just me, this widespread crimson sunset over the Paris cityscape and chocolate beignets. And for now that’s all I really need.

Parisian sunset as seen from my window



Beignet au Chocolat - Paris, France

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  • Kristin
    July 28, 2012 - 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I just made some beignets!!!! I was really sad that you were not here because everyone kept calling them “bengays” :<

  • Candace
    July 30, 2012 - 5:36 am | Permalink

    Queen B turns into a goat? Shakespearean! Take a walk around your favorite parts of Paris in the early morning as the sun is rising or as the sun sets. Surely that’s the best time to realize you’re in a heaven most never get to see. Sometimes you’ve just got to work through your stuff in your own time…..boo. Love your website and tweets – they’re inspiring in so many ways

    • July 30, 2012 - 6:38 pm | Permalink

      I have to admit that I laughed out loud when you called me boo. It’s so fitting! I woke up extra early this morning to meet the sunrise across the Seine, and it was perfect. Even though I’m pretty sure the homeless person walking next to me was touching himself inappropriately through his ratty trouser pockets, but sometimes I guess you just gotta let people be people, you know?

  • Sunaina M
    March 24, 2013 - 7:08 am | Permalink

    I just came upon your website – loved it. infact, i am making the marinara sauce right now from your website. I love the beignets recipe you’ve posted. i have a question. I have this hugeb1kg / 2.2 lbs milk chocolate bar that i got from my aunt. i was wondering if the beignets would taste the same / bad / better if i were to use the milk chocolate instead?

    • April 1, 2013 - 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Hi Sunaina! You could definitely use the milk chocolate with the beignets. I like using dark chocolate to cut through the sweetness, but milk chocolate would be just as awesome. I hope both recipes turn out great for you!

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