Owning my heritage – sauté, fried and boiled

Things my mother taught me:

You may not be leaving the house – still dress as if you would. It’s a matter of self love. And if you absolutely HAVE to do the housework – better to like the sight of your ass sticking out ridiculously like a duck’s derrière in a pond while you vacuum under your bed.

Good perfume is not an indulgence. Don’t EVER feel guilty about pulverizing some dough on your neck. It’s like practicing your signature for it to better reflect your temperament. It’s called sillage – a matter of extending your personality. And you can still cut down your food budget.

Always keep butter, onions, and garlic in your house to combat the perfume-caused empty fridge syndrom. As necessity is the mother of invention, concocting something tasty out of (almost) nothing is an oportunity to train your cerebral, creative and adaptive capacities. And it’s a matter of survival. Obviously.

Picture by april-mo on flickr

Living far away from my mother’s home country, I have taken great care to follow her advice and live up to my French heritage:

I am objectively well dressed even when ill, lying in bed knocked out and feverish.
I wear drops of a scented liquid behind my ears that cost me €100 for a mere 30ml and YES, I enjoy every minute of the day smelling the „extension of my temperament“ evaporate into thin air.
I always keep enough onions in my house to feed a starving battalion with original.Parisian.onion.soup.

Except that – I never learned the recipe.

Or, most probably, my mother showed me at some point and I did my usual thing of regarding a recipe as a rule that had to be broken.

The truth is: I did well so far trusting my instincts regarding taste combinations, roasting behaviours and cooking times. I love the food I cook and most of the times other people like it too. What saved me was my semi-spiritual approach to cooking: I wanted the love in my heart to end up in the bellies of my loved ones. Awww…

Big is beautiful. 3 packages of butter. Chocolate. Sugar. Love. Picture from naj.jendro.sk

But at this point there’s a kind of troglodyte instinct taking over me. The sophisticated, perfumed, well-dressed cave woman in me feels a primordial need to stuff ducks, drown lobsters in boiling water, and smear her face with chocolate gâteau „fondant opéra“.

I absolutely have to LEARN COOKING. I am determined to start from the beginning.

I’ve already plotted the theft of my ancestor’s French cookbooks from my father’s house,
written out the eloquent speech that will cajole my mother into handing me out her handwritten collection of family favourites,
and scheduled a phone call with my grand mother in which I plan to learn exactly what she does to the vegetables in her celebrated ratatouille.

I’ll build a shrine for the souls of all animals who met their death to end up in my pans, pots and oven,
I’ll make more friends to feed and gorge,
and cut down my perfume budget to buy myself the kind of cast iron roasting tin that gives a chef wet dreams.

Pot-lifting and dish-washing will be included into my Sun Salutes,
inhaling delicious cooking fumes become my pranayama –


Yum. Yum. Yum.

(P.S.: I won’t be starting to blog in French though. Non, non, c’est promis!)


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