I suppose I should start with the smell and warmth of a freshly baked croissant.
Growing up in Buenos Aires has a lot of perks, one being you can find a panadería (bread/baking storefront) every few blocks. When I was a kid my dad would drive me and my sister to school every morning. We grew up in a 2 bedroom apartment and since our building didn’t have a parking lot, my dad would park his car at a garage a few blocks down.
During the winter, which now that I have experienced Michigan's lovely weather, I would think of as a mild winter, we would brave out the cold and the three of us would walk down to the garage to get the car and go to school.
Well, one morning, it was bitter cold and windy, that wind gust that wakes you right up in the most sharp and unforgiving way. As we approached the garage my dad suggested, why don’t we get a treat to enjoy on our way to school? We happened to have a few extra minutes that morning which made for what would be a tradition.
See, right next door to the garage was a bakery, a small tiny bakery that would have freshly baked medialunas. We walked in, and oh my god, the smell of butter rested heavily on the warm air.
We actually had to wait a few minutes for them to be ready, since they where still in the oven! We had to be the first customers in. We each got one croissant that was quickly burning our hands through the paper, but the feeling was welcomed after those few blocks of freezing cold weather and our hands thanked us.
Now this was THE hardest thing to do. We had to WAIT for the scalding melted butter to settle on the flaky layers of dough for a few minutes, which felt like hours, to give it a try. Once we tried it, well let’s just say that other than the delightful sounds you will hear people do when trying something utterly amazing, like a freshly baked croissant, there were no remarks made in the car that morning.
That was the first of many mornings, not every morning, that we got to enjoy this beautiful pastry. If me and my sister would have had our way it would have been every day, however my dad knew better. Since then, a croissant is something I hold close to my heart. I have made many recipes for them, but nothing beats that memory, the scent of butter in the air, the warm hands on a bitter cold winter day, and enjoying them together with my dad and sister.
It’s so interesting how the most spontaneous, little “ideas” we have, become this huge memory and sometimes even traditions. I believe baking or baked goods is one that holds a special place in everyone’s heart. I can only hope that I get to build those memories with my family and I can’t wait to see which ones stand the test of time.