Spoiler alert: “Making choices that are meaningful to you is the essence of the French woman’s secret.”
My youngest daughter loaned this book to me and I kept it for a year. I didn’t read it. I mean, I read the beginning, a little bit of the middle, and the end. Then I gave it back.
The End. <<< Not really.
Why do I sometimes do this? NOT read a book, I mean? Because it has made me uncomfortable and that doesn’t feel good. (A hint might be in the word itself: uncomfortable. You’re welcome. Now see, I’m getting snarky, which is what happens when someone comes between me and my food. Just sayin’.)
I saw French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Giliano in a thrift store and decided to pick it up. Then I decided to actually read it. And guess what? IT’S WONDERFUL! My daughter knows a thing or two!
Look, here’s the thing … had I even glanced at the subtitle, I might have given the book a fair shot in the beginning: THE SECRET TO EATING FOR PLEASURE.
What’s this? Eating. Pleasure. Together? That’s what I do every day, isn’t it? Actually, no. No, it isn’t.
And I’m certainly not eating for sustenance. Unless a Vanilla Chai Frap from McDonald’s is sustenance. Is it? No?
This book is jam-packed with recipes and stories… and really, it’s a … luscious book. Yep, that’s right. I called a book about eating right luscious. Because “right” in this case means something entirely different than when … oh, I don’t know… I was gonna say Jack LaLanne… where the heck did his name come from? Although, he was French. Maybe that’s it? Any-who. Where was I? Oh, yes, “right” in this case is not the same thing as “eating right” (i.e. grapefruit, Melba toast and one hard-boiled egg, although I suppose it could be. Nevermind.) No, it’s more about … an attitude… of gratitude? Yes! And also creating an atmosphere of pleasure that surrounds food. And not eating junk. And walking, drinking water and … yes, good chocolate! In short, balance. In all things.
If this were a picture book, it would be photos of pink roses, bubbly champagne, sudsy baths, candles and dark chocolate. With recipes of things like (say it ain’t so!) Chocolate Rice Pudding. (OMG!)
I can’t believe I didn’t devour this book the first time around. (See what I did there? Devour? I kill me!)
Simplicity is a big deal, too… and I LOVE THAT. And see, to me, simplicity at parties has often meant chips and dip. Open a bag, pour ’em out. Lift the lid off the dip, scoop it out into a bowl. Voilà! <<< And that, my friends, is the only French I actually know!
“….value simplicity in all things, never serve any aperitif but Champagne. Hard liquor requires a bar, special paraphernalia, and a variety of glasses, as well as messy shaking or stirring. More important, it numbs more than it tickles the taste buds. When you’ve spent time and money preparing delicious food for your guests, the last thing you want is to render them unable to taste it. That will eliminate one of the most important topics of conversation!” ―
Friends, readers and fair countrywomen and men: This book is for you, if you want something encouraging, beautiful and supportive to your health and well-being. I could share dozens of quotes that struck a chord with me…
“You must understand there is nothing noble in failing to discover and cultivate your pleasures. (It will make you not only fat, but grouchy.)” –
Final note: Because the book is used, the cover is a little… wrinkled and stained. I’ll probably toss it. The cover, not the book.
Final note2: Sub/Sub Title of this blog post is: I raised my daughter right and she knows a thing or two about good books. Thank you, Rebecca!