“The French love of food is rooted in sharing good times and enjoying life, which is what makes it most inspiring. It’s not the ultra-fancy food offered in posh restaurants but carefully combined ingredients proudly presented and slowly savored among friends.” ~ Janet Tamburro
Good morning, everyone. In a previous post, ‘Late Summer Recipes,’ I mentioned there may be something new happening on the blog. Today, I am excited to share, what I hope will become an inspiring new series ~ “At Table.” So, I invite you to join me this morning as I give a little introduction and my vision of ‘At Table.’
“La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.” ~ “Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.” ~ Auguste Escoffier
For inexplicable reasons, as many of you know, I am drawn to all things, French. Including food. One reason for my attraction may well be I have great respect for the French people and their culture. And, to me, their culinary culture is unsurpassed.
During my many years of working outside our home, I can tell you I was not interested in time-consuming recipes and shunned away from anything I thought might be. But, there was much I needed to learn. Once I retired, there was time in my day to shop for ingredients, try different recipes, and learn new things. Certainly, it wasn’t a surprise to find myself gravitating to French recipes. WOW, I felt like I had been living under a rock. Now understand, I am not talking about the food served in Michelin star-rated restaurants. I am referring to the food prepared and served in French homes. And while many of these recipes are a little time-consuming, many are not. My general thoughts about French cooking were totally flawed. Thus began my in-depth reading and research, which has led to many years of practice and wonderful cooking. And now to ‘At Table,’ which I sincerely hope you will enjoy.
“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” ~ Thomas Keller
Certainly, there are many outstanding culinary geniuses in America and in other parts of the world. And, I could hear my Mississippi grandmother and mother’s loud whispers (you would, too) if I didn’t include the marvelous food of the American South, especially the Deep South. Additionally, I must mention where I live in West Virginia is a very ethnic community. We have a large Italian population as well as Greek. So I will include recipes from both of these communities, recipes I have loved and prepared for years. Thus, ‘At Table’ will not only be about cooking French food. It will also be about food from America and other countries, and the customs and traditions which accompany the many wonderful recipes. And, of course, I will pass along a bit of history about great chefs who have worked diligently, mastering their craft and their recipes while learning the lessons of ~ ‘At Table.’
Now, I am sure you are wondering, “What can this West Virginia girl, who has never been to France, possibly know about the country, the people, the customs, or the food?” While I am fully aware there still remains much for me to learn, I plan to share what I have learned. By doing so, I hope to inspire you to prepare something beautiful and tastes exquisite. I want you to enjoy smiling faces as they taste your marvelous goodness and mostly, to enjoy the blessing of ‘At Table.’
“If an architect makes a mistake, he grows ivy to cover it. If a doctor makes a mistake, he covers it with soil. If a cook makes a mistake, he covers it with some sauce and says it is a new recipe.” ~ Paul Bocuse
Mastering a new skill is something I immensely enjoy, and I firmly believe you, my wonderful readers, do also. While many of you I know are well-traveled and have been to many parts of this beautiful world, and perhaps many times, I thought it may be fun to be ‘At Table’ together. To cook recipes which may or may not be familiar to you and share the results of your efforts. To hear your stories about certain recipes, perhaps from your travels or from a talented soul who prepared some lovely creation for you. To share with each other and to learn. I promise not to share a recipe I have not perfected and know you can, too.
French cooking and culinary customs are highly celebrated. The entire process, from planning the menu to shopping for only the best ingredients, has a happy and welcoming nature at the very core. One may wonder, “Why?” The answer ~ it is the French lesson of, ‘At Table.’ Good food lovingly prepared, proudly presented and slowly savored among friends and family.
“This is what a family is all about ~ one another, sitting around the table at night. And it’s very, very important, I think, for the kid to spend time not only around the table eating with their parents, but in the kitchen.” ~ Jacques Pepin
The table of Mimi Thorisson, author of several cookbooks and lives in Médoc, France.
Personally, I believe it is in the French DNA to gather their family, friends, and neighbors around the table for a meal. Certainly, one would never find them eating at their desk or in front of a television. You see, food is greatly respected in France. Perhaps, this stems from extremely hard times endured through two World Wars. But whatever the reason, the French respect not only the food but the person who grows and prepares the food. They have a reverence for both. Food is not just something to sustain their bodies. “For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” ~ Daniel Boulud
“If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony.” ~ Fernand Point
There, my friends, you have it ~ the details of my new series. For now, I plan to do a post on the third Wednesday of each month, beginning on Wednesday, September 18. I hope you will join me and follow along on this little adventure into another realm of beauty and its deliciousness ~ ‘At Table.’
Wishing you a beautiful day!
“In all professions without doubt, but certainly in cooking one is a student all his life.” ~ Fernand Point
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