It might be time to talk about food. In a list I often mentally compile of things I love the most, food would be well up there. The children and I like to play Sophie’s Choice for food – one food for the rest of your life and nothing else??? I’m torn between ice cream and pizza.
Anyway, suffice to say – I LOVE food. On that list it comes somewhere below my children, narrowly above clothes shopping and hovering around the same place as watching Take Me Out while wearing a onsie. In fact, watching Take Me Out, in a Onsie, with my children AND a giant bowl of salty popcorn is my Saturday night Nirvana (shhhh don’t tell anyone!)
And being in France equals an amazing opportunity to cook. I am time rich while there. I have a lovely big kitchen with massive work spaces. I have amazing produce given to me by various neighbours and friends. I even have an electric slicer with about ten different attachments for julienning vs grating! And for some reason, while in France my children adhere more closely to those Jamie Oliver ‘kids food’ guidelines (you know how he always does those recipes for minestrone soup etc that he claims his kids LOVE? Well, I’ve never met a kid yet who eats soup – mine look at it like the woman in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom looks at the plate when when they serve her monkey brains) BUT while they may not tuck into my home made Gazpacho – while in France the children will try all sorts of things that they never would at home. Some of their faves include confit duck, pate, chorizo and rare steak. Cous cous is still a swear word in their vocab though.
In our second summer in Gensac we were inundated with courgettes. We had courgettes from Serge. Courgettes from Sarah Bird at la Maison Des Chameaux and courgettes from Pete and Ness the only other english people in our village who like us to bring them Daddies sauce when we visit. They in return give us home made jam and fresh veg. I think we get the best deal!
Cooking in France has become my thing I do to relax. As I find it too boring to sit down and do nothing – chopping, frying, steaming and mixing are to me what lying on a sunlounger reading Fifty Shades of Grey is to others. So when I arrive I make oodles of Gazpacho (Jamie Olivers recipe and a load of salad dressings in old Bonne Maman jars. I make quiche with crab and shrimp, apricot tart, onion tart…. the year of the courgette glut I even pickled courgettes.
I make pain perdu, cherry compote, and at Christmas we feast on goose. And I have loads of great cookbooks full of french recipes which I try and ammend to suit our purpose. And my lovely nutrionist Petronella turns a blind eye when I go to her to get weighed on my return (you see people, its things like this that I drop in every now and then just to remind you that in real life I edit a fashion magazine – I HAVE A NUTRIONIST! She’s lovely helped me shift a stone many months ago but these days we meet up more for a chat than for any nutrional expertise but should you ever need one she’s here
Some times my husband tells me how happy it makes him to see me fully relaxed and chopping up shallots. And that’s nice. Cos I know that often at home I am like a banshee shouting and screaming and crying about how stressed I am or how messy our house is. Or I’m lying prostrate on the sofa watching Corrie on catch up with a glass of wine in hand too tired to speak. Or worst of all, I’m throwing myself on my bed surrounded by clothes that DON’T FIT and blaming everyone but myself for my lack of time to exercise *runs off attacks another packet of KP salted nuts…..
But in France – none of this matters. Its all fresh ingredients, home cooking and enough exercise for it not to matter really. And the satisfaction of seeing all my lovely creations on the table mean it doesn’t matter that my denim cutoffs and getting a bit snug! You should come for dinner. x