Mousse au Chocolat

First period class with Mrs French was our favorite. She was one of the coolest teachers. She somehow managed to pull off a pixie cut despite being old (read: middle-aged – ya’ll kids are jerks). Coincidentally, she was the French teacher and ran French club. The irony was not lost on us freshmen.

She walked in Friday morning wearing a cute little black beret, carrying a tray full of little glasses filled with chocolate-y goodness. Around me, there were little pockets of whispers and chuckles from my classmates. I bit my lip and clicked my pen open and closed and open again in quick succession.

“We’re totally going to get wasted,” I heard the girl behind me whisper out of earshot of Mrs French.

I shifted my weight as the teacher dropped the tiny glass onto my desk, teetering on a seesaw of should Ishouldn’t I? 

 

Last night, the first ever meeting of French Club was so cool. We went to the popular girl’s home and spoke broken French to each other while Mrs French (geez, that’s a lot of French in two lines) collected the ingredients to make our very own mousse au chocolat, the fancy way to say chocolate mousse.

We piled into the kitchen and started following the recipe. Mrs French carried over a bottle of amaretto and poured a tiny teaspoon into the mousse.

“A little won’t hurt,” she told us. “‘Sides, the french give their children wine to drink as early as six.”

We chuckled and whispered among ourselves as I stirred the chocolate mixture constantly.

It didn’t take long before something pulled Mrs French’s attention away and the bottle of amaretto came out. It was two inches from my nose, upturned and filling the top of the pan in a fine layer.

“Stir faster, Mel!” I heard. And I did, feeling a little naughty and a little ashamed at us.

Mrs French trotted back in, “That’s smelling so good.”

She asked us to work as a group to translate what she had said into french and walked away.

The amaretto came out again and trickled into the pan. Girls were snickering, and the few boys were elbowing each other in the ribs.

When the cook was over, Mrs French told us how great we had done and announced that the mousse had to set. It would take a few hours, so she would bring it in for class in the morning.

The small group of fourteen-year-olds groaned but accepted begrudgingly.

 

I eyed the dessert with a caution generally afforded to vegetables I’d never tried. I took my spoon, dipped the tip into the mousse, and put my tongue to the edge. It was sweet, but I thought it would taste funny. Dad’s Crown Royal smelled like it would taste cringe-worthy. I drove my spoon into the mousse again and tried it properly. This was creamy and rich and so yum, but there was no hint of alcohol. I breathed a sigh of relief and polished off the small glass in a few spoonfuls.

A few of my fellow students showed looks of disappointment.

At the front of the class, though, Mrs French sat at her desk with an all-knowing smile on her face. Needless to say, none of us got drunk off the mousse that day.

8 thoughts on “Mousse au Chocolat

  1. Haha, this is so funny. I like Mrs. French 🙂 I think you could probably end with the “all knowing smile on her face.” I like the way you chose to frame your story: the setup, the flashback, and then the realization.

    I did trip a little on the first sentence of the flashback, though. I thought for just a second that you were jumping forward to something that had happened the night before you wrote this; which reminds me that in French there’s a word for “the night before” (la veille) when it isn’t actually last night (hier soir). If you had said “the first meeting of the French Club had been so cool”, that would clear it up.

    Thanks for making me laugh! I loved the tentativeness with which you test the mousse. “Caution generally afforded to vegetables I’d never tried” 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Katie! I must admit that I wrote and published this in the same morning and I normally like to not to do that. I just knew that if I wrote it, I might not get back to it and I really wanted to write something for YeahWrite’s birthday! Definitely appreciate the feedback, though! And glad I could make you laugh, I think we all need a little laughter right now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mel, this humor is just what I needed and it brought back fond memories of my own French teacher. (Maybe all French teachers are cool?)
    I smiled at your asides – “y’all kids are jerks” and your inner battle over tasting the mousse. The transitions back and forth in time took me out of it just a little, but I think the easiest fix for that would be to say, “Thursday night” since we know class was Friday morning.
    Thanks for cheering me up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Margaret! I’m so glad I could cheer up your day a bit. I regret not waiting to publish this until I’d mulled over it a bit. I just worried that if I didn’t hit publish, I wouldn’t end up ever getting back to it, because writing is hard right now. Still, thanks for the feedback and for reading and for being the awesomeness that is you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mrs. French sounds like a fun teacher. I got a kick out of the kids adding extra amaretto, and thinking they’d get wasted, only to learn the alcohol had cooked off. The order of events threw me off a bit, like at first when they talked about getting wasted I thought maybe the little cups were shots (I hadn’t yet seen that alcohol was an ingredient in the mousse). But by the end it made total sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Jen! Sorry that I didn’t polish this more before posting, but I’m glad I could add some levity in this not so happy time. Thanks for dropping in, though! It’s super appreciated. xox

      Like

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