Baguettes and local groceries are related to steps. Each morning, I walk to get a baguette. Then I walk to the local groceries and do the grocery shopping for the day and later I may need to make an extra trip for something that I forgot. At the end of most days, I have accumulated more than 10,000 steps just doing errands.
When in Lansing, I have to drive to a grocery. I used to walk to the City Market but all of the produce vendors have closed their booths. I now go to the City Market only for cheese. There are no small grocery vendors in Lansing though there are three within the center of Vaison la Romaine. I had hoped that the people who are buying lofts and condos in downtown Lansing might have created a demand for a local grocery but it has not happened yet… Maybe the recently passed legislation, introduced by Lansing Representative Andy Schorr, to bring groceries to urban food deserts will provide the incentive to establish local groceries or maybe Andy Schorr becoming mayor will bring a renewal of downtown Lansing commerce. We will see.
Grocery stores located beyond walking distance are an inconvenience but I can still get in my car and drive to one of the big box stores in Lansing. Finding a bakery that sells baguettes, on the other hand, is impossible. (People may object to my statement that there are no baguettes in Lansing by pointing out that almost every grocery sells a loaf of bread they call “baguettes”. They are all correct. But, I am talking about real, crusty baguettes, not the soft as white bread versions that most stores offer.) It seems that real baguettes have a freshness timer in them. If you don’t eat all of your baguette in one day, it turns hard. All you can do is use a plastic bag to keep the baguette soft or break up the hard left-over piece and make bread crumbs. Our while-in-Lansing solution is to buy frozen baguettes and bake them at home. The frozen baguettes are an acceptable substitute but far from the crunchy joys of a freshly baked baguette!I guess that I have just become a proponent of “shop local, buy local”. I appreciate that I can walk that philosophy while I am in France – and am waiting for the day when it will be true in Lansing.