One day during my ESL Teacher training course in January, I bought a baguette sandwich from the bakery two doors down on Rue Dauphine (right in the heart of the Latin Quarter, such a cool area!) and walked a few blocks north to Pont Neuf and ate my lunch right there on the bridge, overlooking the Seine.
|Lunch on Pont Neuf: Poulet Crudité, jus de pomme et pain au chocolat.|
Pont Neuf, contrary to its name, is not a ‘new bridge’. It was actually built in 1578 and it has two parts that span the right and left banks of Ile-de-la-Cite. It’s a beautiful place and I was needing a few minutes of calm during a very busy and intensive course. I remember planting myself firmly in the moment, taking a deep, yogic breath, and deliberately acknowledging: “This is my lunch break. I’m eating on Pont Neuf. In Paris. Wow!”
Because life gets busy sometimes. And we often forget to just take a moment and acknowledge where we are and what we’re doing. Sometimes, the scenery of everyday, anywhere, can start to blend together and we can lose track of calm, lovely moments that make life interesting.
So I chose to make that moment count and to enjoy every single bite of my delicious sandwich, there on one of the oldest bridges in Paris.
The sandwich I bought from that bakery was a Poulet Crudité, a chicken sandwich with vegetables and a salad dressing sauce on a crusty baguette. It was tasty and filling and kept me going through the busy afternoons of teaching, observing and planning during my course. Recently, I had some lovely leftover roast chicken and I was inspired to gather the ingredients and make my own version of the Poulet Crudité, right at home. And now, you can too!
|Cheese and eggs|
You will need:
-Mayo or salad dressing sauce, like ranch
-roast chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces or thin slices
-some cheese of your choice; we used some nice Bleu des Neiges, a combination brie/blue type cheese
-hard boiled eggs, sliced (1 egg per sandwich)
|Chicken and Tomatoes|
1-Slice the baguette in half, lengthwise.
2-Drizzle the mayo/salad dressing on each half of the bread loaf.
4-Layer the bottom half of the bread with cheese, chicken, egg slices, tomato and lettuce.
5-Assemble the top half of the baguette, slice and serve. Makes two big, dinner-sized sandwiches!
|Poulet Crudité: Pret a Manger!|
This particular sandwich was eaten for dinner in the comfort of my own home, with the company of my husband. It may not be as exciting as a bridge in Paris, but it’s home and I enjoyed every bite of this sandwich just as much as I enjoyed the other one.
I want to mention that the first time I ate lunch on Pont Neuf, it was Friday, January 9 2015, the day there was a hostage situation underway in Porte de Vincennes. I didn’t know it was happening at the time and where I was in Paris, it was business as usual. The Paris attacks shocked me and my husband, as it shocked the rest of the world and we were quick to reassure our friends and family that we were safe.
Shocked though we were, we still went to the ballet at Palais Garnier that weekend, because life must continue. And the following week, I made a point to buy my lunch again (a different kind of sandwich from the same bakery) and eat it on Pont Neuf. Because I refuse to live in fear and I want to keep looking for the good in my life, in the people around me, and in my surroundings.
And I’m happy to report that the view was just as picturesque and my sandwich was just as tasty as it was before! Paris is a beautiful and a tough city, having withstood a lot in her history, and I will continue to look for the good in it and take the time to deliberately acknowledge that I’m lucky and happy to be here.
|One of my favorite lunch spots in a beautiful and tough city.|
I hope you find the time to be in the moment and appreciate where you are, what you're doing and to find the good in it.
Thanks for your support and Happy Sandwich Making!