French Ways to Eat for Pleasure and Good Health: Knowing Cooking Basics
An old Chinese proverb says, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life.” This proverb is a perfect complement for the next French way to eat for pleasure and good health: awareness of cooking skills. Continuous learning and practicing how to cook is an ability and investment that will pay off time and time again. You don’t have to cook like a French chef to enjoy your delicious home-cooked meals. Furthermore, teaching your children and grandchildren how to cook and raising them in an environment of a busy kitchen is not to be underestimated.
Cooking can be therapeutic, cost efficient, satisfying and healthier than eating convenient prepackaged foods, picking up take out or eating out at restaurants. Julia Child once said, “Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.”
EVEN JULIA CHILD PICKED UP HER PASSION TO COOK MUCH LATER THAN YOU THINK
Julia Child didn’t really learn to cook until she was in her 30’s. Her real passion for food discovery started after her move to France and discovery of French cuisine. There is a fantastic autobiography of her life in Paris and France called “My Life in France.” The book describes her increasing passion (bordering on obsession) for learning and preparing French food of which her cooking classes at the famous French cooking school Le Cordon Bleu helped form a base for her cooking skills. In fact, she opened her own cooking school with two friends called “L’Ecole de Trois Gourmands” and also collaborated with them on a cookbook called Mastering The Art of French Cooking. A major culinary work of art and something to have in the library if you are interested in French cooking or basic food preparation techniques.
But certainly we don’t all have to be like Julia Child who also said, “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate”, but why not make an effort? Reading about cooking, enrolling in cooking classes, watching others, starting a cooking club, enjoying television shows based on food. You never know, you also maybe saying the same thing as Mrs. Child and why not at the age of 50 or 60?
KIDS LOVE TO COOK; START THEM OFF YOUNG
Instead of discovering our love of cooking late in life, why not start off young? Kids love to cook and what better way is there to enjoy some quality time with them by cooking together in the kitchen? Whatever age they are there is a way to introduce and incorporate your children to menu planning, shopping and meal preparation. It doesn’t have to be complicated cooking, just do it. Especially now more than ever, in the age of fast speed and our convenience food world we need to slow down and educate our kids on food and cooking. France is a very agricultural country with a deep root in food traditions. From an early age, similar to how French children are educated on development of goût (or taste), so is their education on food and food preparation. It is a full package, whether you want to learn about it or not. Like the A,B,Cs and 1,2,3s, so is the education on FOOD, FOOD and more FOOD. Discover or rediscover with your children the “Joys of Cooking!” Will finish with another last quote from Julia Child ” The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite-toujours bon appetit!”
Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 is a must have for any foodie. Click on the link it is if you would like to order a copy. I am also reading at the moment Julia Child’s book My Life in France. Another great book to read if you are passionate about food. Mais, Toujours…!!! Bon Appetit! Merci Julia Child.