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Food, Churches, and Food in Churches!

semi-overcast 18 °C

After last week, this week was a huge letdown! No visits with world leaders or voyages outside of the city. But don’t get me wrong, that still left me with plenty of awesome/delicious/weird things to do! I will warn you up front that the majority of this post is going to concern food.

Last week, Nicolle (the New York friend) and I saw a flyer for a student social event featuring super cheap crêpes. So obviously, we were all over that. The address proved to be a little difficult to find, and when we arrived, we discovered that it was actually being held in a church’s social hall. So that was a little awkward. But it seemed like it really was just a community support event, and the vast majority of the students were just there for the food. But of course Nicolle and I found ourselves in line (it was a VERY long line – we waited at least half an hour) behind some very friendly young men who belonged to the church and who apparently thought that it would be really cool if their congregation gained some temporary Americans. We finally got to the front of the line and ordered (watching crepes being made is a mesmerizing experience), only to have them join us five minutes later and start asking us questions about our religious beliefs. Needless to say, it was an awkward evening. But it was made even more awkward by the fact that Nicolle still had an unredeemed crêpe ticket, so she got to go back and wait in the epic line. Lucky. Meanwhile, my new friend Clément shared with me his testimony of how he found God two summers ago, and how much better his life has become as a result. Honestly, I am happy for him and the clarity that he has found in his life. But I do get a bit wary when people try to talk to me about God. But really, it was no big deal, because the crêpes were totally worth the awkward conversation. I ordered a forestière (mushrooms, ham, gruyere, and béchamel sauce) and an Alsacienne (a scrambled egg, onion, bacon, and an unidentified white cheese).


One thing that had been nagging at the back of my mind for a while was that fact that I hadn’t eaten pizza since I left Omaha. That is kind of a big deal, for anyone who is not intimately familiar with the Kammerer family’s dining habits. I’ve gotten pretty spoiled on downright delicious Dad-made pizzas. Fortunately, it turned out that my friends were in the same boat (we actually tried to make a date for a pizza night last week, but our schedules ended up not working out.) So a few days ago, Gabrielle, Claudia, Nicolle and I hit up a pizza place near campus that we pass every day on the bus. We ordered a veggie (it was pretty standard - I think it was mushrooms, peppers, onions, and (whole!) black olives – but quite good). The winner was the four-cheese pizza that was an ingenious combination of bleu, emmental, camembert, and chèvre. I am ruined. I will never be able to look at a cheese pizza the same way again. I actually may have found a testimony that I can share with Clément if I ever run into him again…


About a week ago, I came to the realization that I must really be letting everyone stateside down, because I have not been taking full advantage of my proximity to countless absolutely incredible-looking pâtisseries, and for that I am truly sorry. So to make it up to you all, I mounted an ongoing crusade, beginning last Thursday, to fully experience the rich (pun intended) culture of French desserts. Now that I have started, I don’t really know if I can stop…

After our last class on Thursday, Nicolle and I walked to a little pâtisserie/boulangerie (also on the bus route) called Le Moulin des Pains (the Bread Mill). Nicolle ordered a gorgeous little light fruity and cakey thing, but I had to follow my coffee obsession and order the “moka”. Nicolle’s dessert ended up having fresh crème inside under the berries, and the cake was the lightest angel food cake with the most perfect crusty outside. My moka was kind of like a dense cinnamon roll where the cinnamon has been replaced with a really thick, almost ganache-esque espresso-flavored mousse.


Then yesterday, Claudia and I went downtown to check out a music festival that had been advertised a here a lot lately. It was pouring, but we went anyways. It turned out that the performance had been moved inside to a little venue that was not big enough for all the attendants. So when Claudia turned to me and asked if I wanted to go find a café, I was all for it. The only problem is that most of the town shuts down on Sundays. So we spent a good twenty minutes walking in the rain through the empty downtown streets. But finally we found one that was open. We ordered espressos (and pastries, obviously) and killed some time (there was a movie that I wanted to see at the independent theatre down the street, but it didn’t start for two hours…). I ordered a figue (there is really no figginess involved, it’s just decorated to look like one – puff pastry with pastry crème filling, covered in fondant) and Claudia ordered a Paris brest (some kind of wonderful puff pastry with a lightly chocolatey/coffee flavored crème sandwiched in the middle).


I also discovered that Saturday afternoons are the time to go out church-seeing. I had been disappointed that all of the doors I had tried on earlier occasions had been locked, but I passed a church last Saturday whose doors were propped open. So I popped in, only to find it absolutely deserted. Only a few of the lights were on, and all of the chairs were pushed to the center of the nave. But it was absolutely gorgeous, in a slightly creepy, almost abandoned kind of way. So I spent about an hour - it was that big - walking around and peeking in all of the corners.


I’ll let that suffice for now, but be sure to check back in about a week for a recap of Paris! There are sure to be more pictures of food and churches, so I hope you enjoyed this warm-up!

Posted by NKammerer 14:31 Archived in France Tagged churches food pizza coffee crêpes pastries

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All of the pastries look wonderful; I'm sure they tasted as good as they looked!

The church pictures are great! Parts of this church remind me of a church that Opa and I went through in Boston; it was designed by Tiffany - the glass guy. It is one of the oldest churches in America, and parts of it were really beautiful.


by Judy Trout

I am loving every word you write. Regardless of the pastries. You seem to be having a wonderful time. Your pictures are beautiful. I can't wait to be able to go abroad and experience with my Mikey. Keep it coming. As I am living vicariously right now.

Love ya, Bill

by Bill Collins-Wolaver

So, how many of those pastries and creeps will you be able to fit in your luggage? We're kinda hungry back here in Nebraska! Glad you are having such a wonderful time!

by Doug

Mr. Keel - I will see what I can do about the pastries, but I'd rather not bring the creeps with me too :)(I know what you meant...) In the meantime, you'll have to talk to Eva; I've been translating traditional pâtisserie recipes and sending them to her so she can practice. Mostly so I don't go into withdrawal when I come home!

by NKammerer

Hi Nat,

When Eva opens her restaurant I know who will be her pastry chef, all 350 pounds of her.

by OPA

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