Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Monday, October 13


Friday we had one of those moments when you wish you’d had your camera. We had just finished the medical exam for our “carte de séjour” (what all foreigners have to have in addition to a visa in order to stay in France for more than a year) and stopped at the Mériadeck Centre Commerciale (a popular large shopping center in the heart of Bordeaux) to make photocopies of our medical certificates. While we were standing by the copy machine, a lady walked by pushing a stroller with a baby in it. What was so cute and funny was that this infant, about six months old, was lying on his back with the tiny fingers of both hands wrapped around a baguette of French bread longer than the baby. He was clutching it lovingly around the paper that was wrapped carefully around its middle with his face right up next to it, eyes closed, nose touching the crust as if enjoying the smell. We could almost detect a faint smile and read his thoughts… “Mine all mine!” How the French love their daily bread.
Not our picture, but darling nonetheless.

We have a bakery that is a 2 minute walk from our apartment. When Susan and Laura came to visit they enjoyed going over to the bakery often to get the really good fresh baguettes. They enjoyed them so much it was even picture worthy. Susan got her first baguette on the plane and said she had a new favorite food.
You can buy baguettes in the grocery store, but there is usually a bakery on every other corner. Most people walk to the bakery each morning and buy their baguettes for the day. Early in the morning, you will often see the men walking home carrying several baguettes tucked under their arms. The women usually go out with a roll around shopping bag to do the regular grocery shopping, but it seems like it is the man's job to bring home the baguettes. Most grocery stores are not open on Sundays here, but the bakeries are always open, at least in the morning. The French could not get by a day without their baguettes. They are usually displayed like this, out in the open. They do not wrap them or put them in a bag when they give them to you to take home. Baguettes are the very best fresh. They don’t last long. One day at the most is the optimum, and they do not store well. Putting them in plastic bags makes them lose their crusty crusts. That is where the saying "Necessity is the mother of invention" plays a large part here in France. Because of the short life of the baguette the French have invented croutons, slices of day-old bread in French onion soup, and French toast (they call it lost bread). Officially, a baguette is a variety of bread distinguishable by its much greater length than width, and noted for its very crispy crust. The standard girth size of a baguette is approximately 5 or 6 cm (2 inches), but can be up to a meter (a yard) in length. It typically weighs 250 grams (8.8 oz), though it can be larger where not regulated by law.
When we were staying with the DiFranchis, they told us that when their girls were little the mother would bring out a baguette to cut for dinner and find that it was hollow inside. The little girls with their little hands had tunneled down the baguette, scooping out the soft insides, leaving the hard crust intact.

Baguette sandwiches are the fast food of France. They sell them everywhere and you can see people walking around eating a baguette sandwich wherever you go.

Elder Green caught enjoying an early baguette lunch at Zone Conference. This is standard fare at the Zone Conferences for the missionaries. We asked the Mission President's wife if she gets tired of them, as they typically have 5 Zone Conferences in a row when they have them. She said, "You can never get too many baguette sandwiches!" We tend to agree. As many as we have had here, we still love them.

These are the Merrell's children showing off a very large "baguette" sandwich.


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