One of the best things I've learnt to accept here in France is the separation of wants and needs. Without too much media influence, watching commercials, reading local papers or magazines, hearing the latest reviews on stuff (My french is not good enough), I have come to realize that one can live on much less than constantly following and wanting the latest. Since that is a broad statement, let me reduce it to food. Though I should tell you that I got away with wearing the same two pairs of shorts for most of the summer......
Food for me when living in North America was mostly intake. Hardly was it celebrated, I saw it as convenient to find a cheap Curry or Kebab. Especially living in Las Vegas. A nice $9.99 All You Can Eat lunch buffet? I am there.
But even in Calgary, you found me more often at Lina's, Earls or any other good lunch place than at home preparing a snack or meal. There always was a place I wanted to try that I heard about or read a review in City Palate. Not a bad thing at all, just a habit. A habit of wanting. And yes, I enjoyed that habit.
When Victoria's food issues aside of gluten became more varied, we already started to see the light of home cooking as a family back in Calgary, but when I was on the road by myself it was still very different. I think there is no Pizza place in Calgary that I did not try.
Life in rural France has changed all that to the better. Or the best. Celiacs is still more a nuisance than a serious disease to most local restaurateurs and so we started to cook more and more at home. Lunch and dinner. Now we are at a point that when we want to dine out, it's an event. Not a habit.
Yes, we have more time than back in North America, but even if you have a full time job, where there is a will there is a way. There isn't a garage sale weekend without finding a hardly used Crock pot or juicer these days. And we all have freezers to store pre cooked meals in.
One does not have to be the food Unabomber and forage urban parks for wild mushrooms, nor should you try to be as perfect as a TV chef (they all have lots of help on set). But let me tell you, home cooking is not only easy on your household budget, nothing is more rewarding than a frequent (daily for us) family meal with mostly self made dishes. Isabella may just understand what we did here when she is grown up. We don't preach any of it, we just make it look normal. let's hope it sticks.
Canning, preserving, roasting, deep frying, sandwiches, salad dressings, mayo, soups, all of it we started to make ourselves since we are here in France. For her baking, Victoria even made her own Vanilla, not to mention her own gluten free flour mix (but that's obvious because of GFP).
While Victoria has a much better aesthetic approach to meals with nicely prepared plates and all, I am more for the quick fix. Sausages (bought) with some roasted potatos, a really good sandwich, giant plate of french fries (definitely home made, including the beef fat for deep frying). The list goes on. We want it, we cook it.
I am not certain what would happen if we were to move back to the States, but hopefully some of this home cooking would be transferred even in a country where convenience is a right.
Throw any "Yes, but..." objection at me if you want, I will argue them all. Time? Not valid. Two 30 minute sitcoms missed and you have a few pre cooked meals ready for the week.
Don't know how to cook those mussels? I learnt it on You Tube as well.
Worried that your Mayonaise won't work out? At a cost of less than two bucks a try, who cares. Keep at it until it works. You'll never eat Hellman's again.
Gluten free baking? Please. More recipe Blogs than days in a year. Here is a good one:
Did I forget anything? Pictures today are random.
If you want to dine with us, don't forget the two contests you can enter:
RENDERING BEEF FAT
HOME MADE GF BRIOCHE
FOIE GRAS GOES REALLY GOOD WITH THE BRIOCHE
HOME MADE MAYO
LINGONBERRIES MADE BY OMA
GLUTEN FREE HAMBURGER BUNS
HOME MADE BUTTER MILK ICE CREAM
HOME MADE BEEF STOCK
HOME MADE KETCHUP FOR MY FRIES
CHRISTMAS, NOT MUCH LONGER NOW
GROW SOME BASIC HERBS. CILANTRO