What goes on inside a French Family?

February 4, 2013

Creating moments of Joy admist a crazy life

“French kids will eat everything”, I heard people stating around me.” My kids are picky, they just won’t eat that stuff…, they have texture issues, he just won’t eat vegetables.” I am a mother of three children, French American.

he sits at the table but is he ready to eat?

he sits at the table but is he ready to eat?

I think its important to state it as I feel that it has given me a great birds eye view of what the various methods of raising kids around food. Growing up in a French family, I was expected to eat what was served. And moreover, find delight and gratitude toward the food that was served. Frankly, I didn’t know that rejecting food was an option.

I remember my father coming home from work and setting up his array of culinary tools and his work as the sous-chef would commence.   was the chef and he took delight in preparing weekly menus, then after It seemed that this ritual relaxed him, he viewed it as a time to unwind. Much like those that come home to say TV, or a book.  To my dad it was putting his cutting board and Henkel knives to use. His glass of white wine in proximity. Watching someone enjoying an activity is contagious. I wanted in, so I would help chop, dice, julien, whatever might be needed. Meanwhile my father observed lightly and called out hints to using the knife. Pretty soon I made my way up to his assistant and would have much of the dinner prepped by the time my parents got home. And shortly thereafter, several times a week I would have meals made or heating for the return from work.

My father being a good Marseillais (located in the south of France) was fully armed in the art of relaxation. You could say he had the market corned here. Even as CEO of a large corporation, he held clear priorities that would not be trespassed upon. Food, vacation, and drawing lines at work were all instinctively clear to my father.

That is how it all started, how my joy for food was born, how looking forward to cooking and the lingering at meals started. It didn’t matter where we lived, my father had exported his priorities and culture here to America, and on they would be carried by me. I am not sure if it is credited to being French, I believe that all heritages do a pretty good job of preserving important simplicities. I can tell you however, that I am grateful for this mindset, this culture that I have inherited.  It has become the soul of our family today, with my three children. When life is crazy, stressed, complicated, these are the moments I look forward to, the sitting at the table the togetherness in the kitchen. The contribution we all bring to the table and sharing of each other.

I believe everyone has access to it – to creating this very simple joy within their homes. It is much easier than living our perceived convenience; what we call shortcuts in our life.

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