As long as I an in the US, visiting family and having a wee holiday, I thought I would entertain you by reprinting:
The Saga of the Titre de Sejour, French Paperwork in 4-parts
Part IV April 10, 2006
Back to the Carte de Sejour:
We now have the coveted visa so we confidently submit our file, once again in February, 2005.
Since it now contains the visa, they actually open it, 10 months from the original submission.
Then they send us a list of additional documents that they need – actually papers to clarify the originally requested documents.
Did the thought cross our mind that we could have been gathering these papers at the same time as we waited for the visas? Yes.
Did we voice that thought? No,
it would have been met with a blank look.
Why would they look at an incomplete file?
We gathered the additional papers. One, a letter from the U.S. took 4 weeks. Then it all had to be translated….officially, by an Official Translator.
In June, one full year after the original submission, we send off all of the additional papers.
Great, accept now, I repeat, it's June, which is almost July, which is the month leading up to August when everything closes, so nothing will be done until September.
Mid-September, giving everyone a chance to get over the summer holidays, we call to check the status.
We are told it is ‘en cours’ – in process.
We wait some more.
At the end of September, we are asked to come in.
We present ourselves, giddy with excitement… at last, they are here, we think!
No, we are given a ‘Récépissé’ (receipt) for our file – proof that it is, indeed ‘en cours’.
This is good for 3 months. It has our photos in it, all very official. We assume that, because it is good for 3 months we will have the actual 'Titre' within that time.
Once again, we assumed incorrectly.
In mid-October, just before I leave for a week to visit my mother in the U.S., we receive the notice for the medical exam…scheduled for the week I am gone, of course.
We call the number given to use for re-scheduling. No problem we are told.
At the end of December, 20 months into the process and 3 days before the ‘Récépissé’, expires we are given our medicals.
We pass (tough one – how is your health? Good. Good, stamp!)
Another call from the secrétaire.
Once again, our hopes are up.
Once again they are dashed.
Another ‘Récépissé” good for another 3 months (our first one’s expired).
In the beginning of February we get another call…
Hope goes up…dashed again. They need more photos – they have used up the ones originally submitted on the two ‘Récépissé’.
Off we go to get more photos.
Finally, 22 months after we started this 2-month process we are the proud holders of…. expired Carte de Sejour.
One week after receving the expired 'Titre" I submitted the renewal….. I am already 3 months behind.
Stay-tuned for Part V
(What, you thought this 4 part Sage was ending? So did we….)
We love stuffing vegetables in the fall…. and Acorn Squash are just perfect for it!
1 medium acorn squash
1/3 cup Basmati rice
2/3 cup (5oz, 150gr) beef stock
6oz (180gr mince) ground beef
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp minced fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp powdered
1 rib celery
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup beef stock
3 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Either place face down on tray and microwave for 10 – 12 minutes or put into a baking dish, cover with foil and bake in 400F (200C) oven for 40 minutes.
While squash cooks: Cook the rice in the beef stock 15 – 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and it's done. (Check your package directions for correct quantity of stock and cooking times.)
Chop the onion and celery; mince the garlic, ginger if using fresh. Heat the oils in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery 5 minutes then add the garlic and ginger if using fresh. Sauté 5 more minutes or until onion and celery are tender and starting to brown. Add beef and sauté, breaking it up as it browns. Add soy sauce, vinegar, powdered ginger and beef stock and stir well to combine. Dissolve cornstarch in water. When beef mixture is simmering stir cornstarch in, a little at a time. (You may not need it all). You want it quite thick but not paste. When done add rice, sesame seeds and stir to combine.
To assemble: When squash are ready (they should be almost done) remove from wherever they cooked and fill with the rice/beef mixture. Bake uncovered for 10 – 15 minutes, until stuffing starts to brown and squash is done.
Note: If the stuffing doesn't all fit (depending on size of squash – mine fit) keep it warm and serve on the side.
To toast sesame seeds: Put them into a dry, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Toss or stir them about in the pan until lightly golden, about 5 minutes.