Saturday, August 24, 2013

Baguette = Pain

I was cleaning the kitchen counter top and it just dawned on me that in French, bread = Pain. It suits my feeling for the French bread : a pain in cleaning.

Hubby is a big fun of baguette (a long load of French bread), that you can buy easily in the bakery (except in Aug when some of them are having their annual leaves). He can swallow one in within half an hour, spread it with some butter, cheese, ham... I like it too, but not at his level. He has passed down the tradition to Aelig, these days she is not satisfied with plain butter, she wanted cheese too.

Back to my rant.

This evil scrumptious bread has crispy crust. It lasts for two days then it becomes stone hard.

Since we have baguette at home regularly, its crusts are on the counter-top, on the floor, on the dining table, 24/7. Ok I exaggerated, I should deduct the two minutes after cleaning, but it would just come back as soon as someone goes to the kitchen and take a bite of baguette.

Since it doesn't last long, we have to store it in the freezer. So, in the process of getting it out, you have bread crust in the freezer, on the floor, and worst, inside the toaster and on the counter-top that hosts the toaster (well, you need to thaw it before eating right?). And to not waste the ones that turned into stone before we could save them, I need to put them aside so we could feed them to ducks in the park nearby.

Since changing someone's habit is more difficult than climbing the stairs to the sky (a Chinese expression),I have been looking for a solution, and been observing how other families do it.

Ginger is spicier when it is old (another Chinese expression), after many years of experience, my FIL came out with a conclusion :  you need to cut and eat the baguette on the dining table, then take the table cloth to the garden and throw those crusts, the birds will clean them up later. True, his sparkling clean counter-top lasts longer than mine, but that's because they don't eat baguette as often as my family. And he cleans his counter-top 3 times per day.

Now, we don't have a garden as we live in an apartment. It is unethical to throw breadcrumb just outside the window I guess? Someone bought us this planche à pain (the one in photo), yes it does store the breadcrumb, but you still have some on the counter-top so now I have to clean the counter-top PLUS the planche à pain.

It seems that it is hard to find a solution, or one that suits me. I prefer American sandwich bread (pain mie) but hubby would probably throw me out of the window if I suggest this to him. So I have two options:
1. Clean as frequently as possible the counter-top just like my FIL
2. Close an eye on the breadcrumb and move on with my life.



  1. 3 - ask him to clean the counter-top after cutting his bread ^^

  2. Not sure if this could work as changing someone's habit is very difficult. :-)

  3. My in-laws does this with freshly baked bread. Every crust and leftover are put in a bowl. The bread, when eaten with butter and ham or sausages are expected to be in a plate, unless one is eating in the kitchen and being lazy.

    The leftover in bowl is given to the chicken to eat.

  4. I keep the rock-hard leftover bread in bowl to be used as breadcrumbs (chapelure) for cooking.

    It works really well with meat, fish and vegetables. You grate the rock-hard baguette, take your filet of fish (or meat) dip it in egg and then cover your fish with breadcrumbs. You can add herbs, garlic or cheese in the egg or breadcrumbs. The you fry your fish in a pan. No need to buy chapelure!