Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Culinary success in France

I like to cook. And like every cook, I like to get compliments on my creations.
But this doesn't happen much in France. I always have to pry compliments out of my French husband since they don't come very easily. But I have noticed there are certains things the French do to show they appreciate what you've made:

  1. they ask for the recipe. This is a sure sign they like your food. They will, of course never make it when you give them the recipe, but it's a real sign of success. I speak from experience. I have given out my cheesecake recipe and various Thanksgiving recipes. None of them have been made.
  2. they try to emulate your dish. This has happened once. A friend tried to copy my cheesecake recipe. I know this because he called and asked if it was normal for the filling to being gushing out of the pan when put in the oven.
  3. they devour the food without actually saying anything. This has happened on two occassions. Two years ago, my mother and I prepared the best Thanksgiving ever for my French family. We spent the day in my tiny kitchen cooking, beating and licking spoons. At the end of the meal, there were only some cranberries left. Jerome's step-mother, usually very food conscious and controlled, was sucking on the turkey bones. And the second time was on Sunday. I made a huge double layer chocolate cake for Suzanne's birthday. I noticed said tep-mother picking crumbs off the plate and licking frosting off her fingers. In these cases, actions definitely speak louder than words.
  4. I've also learned that if someone says your food is "tasty", it doesn't mean it's good. It just means that your thai green curry is way too spicy and that your mother in law is too nice to tell you that you have burnt the roof of her mouth off and that you have burned a hole in her intestines.


Reb said...

if anyone reads this post, can you please explain to me why I used burnt and burned successively but in the same structure? I fear my English is being "Europeanized" to a severe extent.

Deb said...

LOL - I didn't even pick up on the "burnt and burned" until I read your comment! =o)

Riana said...

I just had a french lady ask me to make something for her birthday party, i think that is the highest form of praise. but you are so right about the recipe asking.

Just today, I had a fromager guy say, "ha! an american who cooks french food?" then he asked for my business card when i told him that i give cookery classes and do catering.

I always burn my in laws mouths with mexican and thai food-- its funny to watch!

Hope your trip to Ireland was good.

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