Something happened the other day that made me think back to an old post from February 2011, that also appeared in the April 2012 Deux Sevres Monthly magazine. In it I claimed that although I love France and I love Food, being a true French Foodie would never be attainable to me for the following reasons:
|My Sunday morning treat|
1) Breakfast - a typical French breakfast is quite small; a bowl of coffee served with a buttered baguette and jam or a croissant. Now I LOVE croissants, but I prefer my breakfast to be a little bit more substantial. I am not talking about the English fry-up, which does nothing for me, but a steamy bowl of porridge when it’s cold or shredded wheat with fresh fruit when it’s not is just perfect - I’m a fibre girl!
2) Chocolate Cereal - it can be difficult to buy cereal without added chocolate - again, I LOVE chocolate, but not for breakfast.
3) Coffee Bowl Bread - I will never, be able to dunk a baguette into a ‘bowl’ of coffee - a breakfast ritual for the French. Coffee, in my opinion, is best served small and black and the only thing I dunk in it is a square of 70% dark chocolate.
|The French love their daily bread|
4) The Daily Bread - much as I love the freshly baked white baguettes, I just can’t eat them with every meal. I’m a fibre girl and therefore am also the proud owner of a bread machine that is used regularly to produce delicious wholemeal loaves.
5) The Cooked Lunch - French families regularly return home at lunchtime for a full 2 or 3 course cooked meal - how they are organised enough to have a cooked meal ready for 12.00 is beyond me. Cooked lunch here is a soup.
6) Tripe and Andouillette – both considered a delicacy here. I like the idea of not wasting anything from an animal killed for food, however I find it impossible to eat either of these.
7) Late Night Eating - following the large lunchtime meal the French will eat again quite late in the evening. No matter how large the lunch I’ve managed to rustle up I need to eat before 8 o’clock a) as I’m hungry and b) because after then it’s just too late to eat.
8) The Starter - most French main meals will be 2 or 3 small courses. Whilst I think this is a great idea I find it really difficult to coordinate a meal with a starter; there is either an enormous gap between starter and main or the main has ruined while we eat the starter.
9) Marmite - you either love it or hate it, or, if you’re French you just don’t get it - I LOVE it!
10) I’m English - the very fact that I’m not French means that even if I manage to prepare, cook and serve it like they would and at the correct time of day, it would never truly be considered French.
Now, while I stand by most of these points, this week with no real planning or thought I managed to serve up a cooked lunch, with a starter and a dessert. The reason for this momentary blip of Frenchness was the need to fuel ourselves properly for an afternoon bike ride. A simple starter of sliced tomatoes with vinaigrette was followed by wholemeal pasta and courgettes (zucchini) cooked in garlic butter, all tossed together with a tin of mackerel in mustard sauce - quick and easy all the way. A slice of homemade apple tart finished the meal off nicely.
Maybe in time I am becoming more of a French foodie, but I’m certainly not ready to start dunking my bread or croissants in my coffee just yet.