Le Week-end Petit Plaisir: No. 6

Feb 08, 2014

edouardpomaine~Enjoy perusing while nibbling on a simple recipe from TSLL recipe archives – click here for Raspberry Crumble Bars~

At the end of the day, I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. However, I consciously am aware that I need to eat well in order to provide my body with the necessary energy to be at my best the next day. With that said, I’m still exhausted – which makes it still far easier than I would like to admit to grab a simple, low nutrient meal and satiate my hunger pangs.  You know what kind of meals I’m talking about – quick pasta dishes, frozen bags of something or other, or better yet – take out. Now, I realize that there are healthy options available in each of the instances I listed, but more often than not, I want the hamburger, the heavy sauce or the one with no vegetables. After eating such meals, I feel miserable. Moreso from the guilt of knowing what I just fed my body.

What I just described above is my naughty self. The self that has no discipline and if I let her, would ruin my health. Thankfully, there are endless recipes available that are satisfying and nutritious, as well as easy to make (many which are shared here on the blog).  So long as the cook or baker in the kitchen has basic kitchen savvy, amazingly delicious and appetite fulfilling recipes are a mere minutes away.

And so when I received an email from a reader who introduced me to her great great uncle Edouard de Pomiane who as she described him was the French version of Julia Child, I was immediately intrigued. Author of French Cooking in Ten Minutes, which was originally published in 1930 in French, and Cooking with Pomiane, published in 1962, I knew I was in for a treat when I began reading the first chapter titled “Some Indispensable Concepts for Understanding this Beautiful Book”. Without mincing words, he gives the first directive to successful ten minute French cooking:

“The first thing you must do when you get home, before you take off your coat, is go to the kitchen and light the stove [remember, this was written in 1930].  Next, fill a pot large enough to hold a quart of water. Put it on the fire, cover and bring it to a boil. What is the water for? I don’t know, but it’s bound to be good for something, whether in preparing your meal or just making coffee . . . Now that everything’s started, you can take off your coat and start cooking.”

The book continues with descriptions of basic cooking methods, the necessary utensils you will need to become the savvy cook I mentioned above, and strategies for indeed making a French meal in 1o minutes. It can be done, as I tried one of he side dishes with an entrée of salmon which took . . . you guessed it . . . 10 minutes to complete.

With the assumption that we have engrained into our dining routine bread and wine, so long as we use quality ingredients and are well organized in the kitchen, a simple and delicious meal can come together. Pomiane demonstrates repeatedly with each recipe, and with prior direction on how to organize a meal, so the cook can coordinate and reduce cooking time that, that dinner won’t be something to stress about, but rather something to savor.

pomainemeal

Even more interesting and telling of his timeless appeal is his description of who he is writing his book for:

“I am writing this book for students, dressmakers, secretaries, artists, lazy people, poets, men of action, dreamers, scientists, and everyone else who has only an hour for lunch or dinner but still wants thirty minutes of peace to enjoy a cup of coffee.”

Far less intimidating than Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, these simple, yet very helpful books will help you become the chef you want to be in the short amount of time you have during a day.

~Petit Plaisirs from the Archives:

~No. 1 . . . a book for living well regardless of your age

~No. 2 . . . a simple, yet impressive breakfast

~No. 5 . . . a scone recipe to melt in your mouth

 



9 thoughts on “Le Week-end Petit Plaisir: No. 6

  1. It does sound like a delightful cookbook. Ordered today…looking forward to receiving it. Thank you for the post, Shannon!

  2. How nice to know there are others who collect old French cookbooks. French Cooking in Ten Minutes is one of my favorites. Here’s another wonderful passage, describing the end to a lovely meal: “Now everything’s done. . . . Fill your cup with the hot coffee. Lean back in your armchair and put your feet up. Light a cigarette. . . . Enjoy the coffee’s aroma, take a long sip. Close your eyes. Think about that second puff, that second sip–you’re rich! In the background, the radio’s playing a tango or some jazz.” He gets the moment exactly right. What he’s talking about is the good life, whether the year is 1930 or (sans cigarette) 2014. Thank you for this post, Shannon.

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