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Sunday, March 06, 2005

french cuisine for thought

My confession: I am a born again French woman.

I've spent many of my waking hours in the last two days indulging in Mireille Guiliano's French Women Don't Get Fat. Not because I want to go down a pant size, but because I want to remind myself of the pleasure of eating. Because I want to re-immerse myself in my favorite culture. Remember the sweet delicacies life has to offer; strive for quality not quantity.

When my eating patterns are off so am I. When I find myself eating mechanically, not tasting my food, and over indulging in something I'm not even enjoying...I forget who I am. I forget food should be tasted.

Guiliano's book talks about using only the freshest ingredients, and whatever is in season. About tradition and three course meals. About going to the market rather than the supermarket. Knowing your food, enjoying your food, and taking time for your food.

I feel as if I'm walking into a French patisserie and inhaling freshly baked bread. Taking a bite of a walnut tart, where the taste of walnut is more prominent than its subtle sweetness. Breaking the top layer of a creme brulee and tasting it's warm insides. Rubbing my steak around in peppercorn sauce and chewing it slowly.

The French let me forgive myself for not using my gym pass, being obsessed with clothing, and being an absolute lush when it comes to good food.

It is worth devoting time to the planning and preparation of food. How did this ever become unimportant in our busy lives? It brings us together, bonds us together, and tastes amazing.

I think of a certain Mme in France who sits outside her front steps every night on a pull out chair and slowly eats her ice cream. This woman has not aged or gained half a pound in the lifetime that I've known her. She is a traditional femme Francaise who chooses to bike down to her garden every day rather than give into old age.

This book takes me back to this wonderful way of life. A life of knowing your limits while tasting every fruit life has to offer.

C'est la vie. I may not be a French woman, but how delicious to live like one.


Blogger Just Another Dick said...

Cooking is one of the greatest past times that I seldom get the cahnce to participate in nowdays. Nothing is finer than actiouly taking the time to prepare a meal by hand. Getting vegetables that aren't found in a plastic bag with a logo, but something that you have to cut up yourself. The way the smell can hang arround the kitchen for hours before the meal is ready, while your guests wait in anticipation. And just the fact that you have the oppertunity to slow life down for a little while, to relax.

But I guess I can only really say this having never had to cook for a family of six.

Thanks for making me hungry, and forcing me to settle on a box of old Life Oat Bran cereal under my bed.


11:47 PM  
Blogger dbry said...

This post made me crave a pain au chocolat. Of course, where I now live a swiss cake roll would probably have to suffice. There is nothing comparable to eating outside a cafe in Paris (or Brugge, or anywhere in Europe for that matter) and eating as they do...

10:13 AM  

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