A VERY JOYEUX NOËL
You can ask anyone who knows me well: I’m deeply involved in an ongoing love affair with France. For years I’ve talked about living there one day (wine, cheese, chocolate, croissants, chocolate croissants—what’s not to love?), but I’ve finally started getting a little more serious about it, studying French at Le Centre culturel de francophone in Vancouver and visiting the country as often as I can. My niece recently expressed to my sister that she knew someone who “basically lived in Paris, since Aunticka,” (as she calls me) “goes there all the time.” (To be fair, I’ve been twice in the past couple of years, so I’m not exactly laying claim to a
pied-à-terre yet.) So when our food editor, Julia Dilworth, suggested we chat with local favourite Beaucoup Bakery about how they’d bring a little Paris to the holidays, of course she knew her audience. I’m not sure how many times in a row I shouted yes back at her. (And of course, that should have been oui.)
As a result, for this issue, Beaucoup owner and chef Betty Hung shares her recipes for glittering gingerbread éclairs, strawberry pink peppercorn sablés, chocolate hazelnut raspberry jam financiers—all the kind of showpieces for a cookie platter that you’re meant to enjoy as much for the baking process as for how gorgeous they are. I’d like to think they bring a little of the Paris lifestyle to the making, too: sip a café crême, bring a few friends over and take your time.
Whatever traditions you bring to your own holiday table this year, I wish you and yours the very best of the season. May it be filled with both the busyness that’s inevitable this time of year and those quieter times with friends that make it all worthwhile. Joyeux Noël,
bonne année, merry Christmas!