lunette & pourboire


A scene à croquer from French life...

In books: "The Food of France: A Journey for Food Lovers"

croquer (kro-kay) verb
  to crunch; to sketch; to devour or eat in a rush

Croquez des pommes, pas des pesticides.
Crunch apples, not pesticides.

  --France Nature Environnement (current campaign slogan)

A Day in a French Life...
Just when lunch options are boiling down to canned sardines in lemon juice and a bland ball of mozzarella, Max comes back from the village with two baguettes sliced in half.

"I asked the boulanger* to cut them for me so they would fit in my backpack," my son explains, returning from his jaunt with the fresh baked surprise.

"Sandwiches!" I think, reopening the frigo* and seeing the cheese in another light. That's when I spot the grappe* tomatoes in the tiroir* below. "Perfect!" Out comes the frying pan, in goes a swirl of olive oil and the baguettes, their insides now filled with Italian fromage,* sliced red "fruit," and fresh basil, clipped thin as grass.

I search for something pesant* and find a cast-iron saucepan to weigh down the stuffed bread. I add another pan, and another, and top off the leaning tower of casseroles with an eight-liter cocotte,* flattening the sandwiches into crisp and savory paninis.

At the table, I pass out Sopalins* after handing the kids their plates. Next, I search my children's faces for a verdict. Are the sandwiches any good?
"Ils sont bons tes croque-monsieurs!"* Jackie says, at once frenchifying and formalizing the impromptu meal-in-a-loaf.

References: le boulanger (la boulangère) = baker; le frigo (m) = fridge; la grappe (f) = vine (tomatoes); le tiroir (m) drawer; le fromage (m) = cheese; pesant(e) = heavy; la cocotte (f) = pot; le Sopalin (from "Société du Papier-Linge") = paper towel (such as the term "Kleenex" is used for tissue); Ils sont bons tes croque-monsieurs! = Your croque-monsieurs are good! (a croque-monsieur is, normally, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich)

Listen: hear my son, Max, pronounce the verb croquer: Download croquer.wav

Terms & Expressions:
croquant(e) = crisp, crunchy
croquignolet(te) = cute
joli(e) à croquer = pretty as a picture
un croquis = a sketch
un croqueur (une croqueuse) = an eater, devourer
une croqueese de diamants = "a diamond cruncher" = a gold digger
le croquant (la croquante) = country bumpkin
le croque-madame = toasted ham and cheese sandwich with fried egg on top
croquembouche = pyramid of cream-filled pastry balls
le croque-mitaine = bogeyman (or boogeyman, boogieman)
le croque-monsieur  = toasted ham and cheese sandwich
le croquenote (or le croque-note) = a bad musician ("the crunch note")
le croque-mort = undertaker
à croquer = adorable
à la croque au sel = with a sprinkling of salt (something seasoned with salt only i.e. celery)

Verb conjugation: je croque, tu croques, il/elle croque, nous croquons, vous croquez, ils/elles croquent  => past participle = croqué

In books:
Whether you're learning French for fun, school, or work, 2,000+ Essential French Verbs makes everything simple-conjugations, tenses, irregulars, and even conversation.

Also: 2001 French and English Idioms

A Message from KristiOngoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal each week. If you find joy or value in these stories and would like to keep this site going, donating today will help so much. Thank you for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.

Ways to contribute:
1.Zelle®, The best way to donate and there are no transaction fees. Zelle to [email protected]

2.Paypal or credit card
Or purchase my book for a friend and so help them discover this free weekly journal.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety