Eating- Comme les Français
One of the biggest and most important aspects of French culture is food. The French revere food. They love it, savor it and treat it with the respect it rightfully deserves. I love food too. I like cooking it and eating it. But lately I have found that I don't have as much respect for it, comme les Francais. Allow me to explain.
While living in France, I quickly learned that with each meal came a ritual- a sacred right. The table would be set, napkins out (cloth, bien sûr), wine or still water poured and either music or conversation (or both) were the only background distractions. The scene would be set and food would be the star. I relished in these meals. The food was simple, yet glorious and it made even the most insignificant of meals (a quick breakfast before heading off to class) feel glamorous.
Cut to a few years later back in America, chez moi. Breakfast might be eaten in front of the computer while checking email or reading blogs. Lunch is consumed in a quick trip home after taking out my dog, often times standing up or watching television. Dinner would find me and my husband (who is very hard to get to sit still for long periods of time, btw) eating quickly with Fox Football Phone In in the background, each one of us almost in a race to finish, place the dishes in the dishwasher and be done with it all. Oh how sad indeed.
I have noticed that I have let things go in the eating department and I can't think for the life of me why. I spend a lot of time preparing meals (tonight I made roast chicken, potato gratin and sweet corn) you'd think that I would want to honor the food I've prepared by actually paying attention to it! So, I have decided to devote this entire week to savoring my meals. Eating each one sitting down- focusing fully on the taste of the food, allowing eating to become a sensual experience. Yes I am talking breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm very excited to report back to you on how it all goes and what- if anything- I gain from the experience.
Won't you stay tuned?
Liz Skelly watercolor image courtesy of: http://www.cexii.com/liz_skelly.htm