If you’ve followed my posts for any time at all, then you probably already know that I’m a huge fan of dessert. To me, it’s the best part of any good meal, though I, of course, don’t have it every single day. Unless, I’m on vacation. When I travel, it’s impossible to turn down dessert at dinner, and it feels nearly criminal to pass it up. So, my dinners themselves get continually lighter as the trip goes on in order to compensate. Sometimes becoming nothing more than a sprig of salad. There’s just something about traveling that makes me feel like I deserve an extra treat. The entire experience of getting away from normal everyday life is always a bit of a treat, for sure, so dessert is simply the cherry on top as it were. Though I haven’t actually been traveling at all this entire month of a travel challenge, I’ve enjoyed imagining that I am. Or pretending like when I recently bought a coconut cream pie while ducking into the local bakery a couple of days ago while Philippe and I were on a walk with Phineas. It was sadly, not an entire pie, but one of those small single serving pies that I then had to split with Philippe, but it was a delicious taste of escape nonetheless.
Once when Philippe and I were visiting Amboise, France we had café gourmand and I was immediately smitten. Instead of choosing just one dessert, you simply order this and get three amazing tiny desserts along with a sweet little biscuit. I felt like I’d died and gone to dessert heaven. Making a choice of dessert can be stressful for me so I was thrilled to find a version where all of that had been properly sorted out in advance. We couldn’t find anything quite like this when we got back home in the States. Here, the sugar levels can be a bit off the charts, so we have to be careful which desserts we sample. I’m still confused by the notion Americans have adopted that sugar is an actual flavor. It’s not. It’s meant to be a only a sweetener and enhancement for other real flavors. Like salt, a little goes a very long way. There’s a restaurant we enjoy here and once the pastry chef left and the main chef took over. He turned all of the desserts a bit savory with far less sugar and we adored them! But we chatted with him and he admitted that several patrons had already returned them thinking they weren’t quite right.
This month spent thinking about travel has really made me want to take a trip. We’ll only be visiting my family in Texas over the holidays and then heading back to Paris in January. So, there are a few months to go before any sort of travel happens. But the act of dreaming about previous trips has been incredibly fun. In many ways, I feel like I’ve done a bit of traveling this month. And all of it is thanks to my little evening ritual of sketching and painting. Truly, this is travel at its finest. Whether I’m fantasizing about the future, or much more likely, traveling back in time, it’s the most amazing experience ever! And though I always sketch and paint just before dinner happens, it’s still like enjoying a treat each and every time. There are always so many things that need to be done in a single day. I have a full-time day job, for one, and lots of deadlines to meet. But then, there’s that moment after, when I get to sit down, relax, and enjoy one of the greatest treats of all. If you love to sketch and paint like I do, then I invite you to always do the same. No matter what happens in life, never skip dessert!
About the Doodlewash
M. Graham Watercolors: Yellow Ochre and Quinacridone Rose. Da Vinci Paint Co.: Indigo. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!