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Falling in love with better food

Eating better. It’s something we all strive for. Yet sometimes I think in today’s world we get mixed messages about what it really means to eat better.  We hear so many messages about what we should and shouldn’t eat that sometimes I think we forget to stop. Slow down and get back to basics.

This summer, In France, I had the opportunity to do a lot of baking and cooking from scratch (even more so than I usually do) working at La Cuisine Paris. Then I had the good fortune to spend 3 days in Gascony with Kate Hill, Tim Clinch and Monica Shaw where we did nothing BUT slow down, really appreciate good food and cook from scratch. Shopping very locally, often, in small quantities and cooking and baking as from-scratch as I could manage – that’s what eating better meant for me this summer in France.

One of the best souvenirs that I have brought back from my summer in France this year is actually confidence. Confidence to push myself in the kitchen. But also a determination to try to preserve a little part of that life that I so appreciated when I lived in Paris and do every summer when I spend an extended period of time there.  To shop locally. To prepare simple, good food from-scratch. And to truly slow down and appreciate it more.

Of course, having this blog has helped me eat better. I mean, who would have thought just over 3 years ago when I started this online endeavour that I would spend a year working my way through a charcuterie book? Making bacon and pancetta from scratch? Certainly not me…

And even a year ago, I was still cursing the bread gods. But even they seem to be more on my side than they used to be… This white loaf was entirely made by me. Not photoshopped to look more real. And oh so very delicious. More so because *I* made it.

Yes, that satisfaction of making food you never thought you could manage on your own.  And you know, it always tastes better…  It’s something I try to instill in the boys in my boys’ cooking club.  Who I learn from too.  Because there’s no better way to learn to become more fearless in the kitchen than to spend a little time cooking with kids. Not being afraid of all those “scary to make” foods has definitely made for better eating in our house and hopefully had helped the boys realise that real food, better food does not have to be complicated.

Falling in love with eating better food, it’s a journey, not a race. I certainly cannot change the way I shop, eat, cook and bake overnight. Nor can I change little boys’ eating habits overnight. But I can be aware. And create awareness. Which is why I am thrilled to announce that I will be contributing to the Sobeys’ Better Food Blog this fall.  You can check out my first post and my Better Food Lover’s profile today!

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24 Responses to Falling in love with better food

  1. Sally - My Custard Pie September 11, 2012 at 07:44 #

    Love this post – it echoes so many things I feel about food and life.

  2. The Mistress of Spices September 11, 2012 at 10:16 #

    You are an inspiration, Mardi! I totally agree with everything you wrote 100%, and I need to strive to push myself more in the kitchen. It’s true that France can bring out the best in our cooking in many ways, and I do miss it.

  3. Cher September 11, 2012 at 11:20 #

    Lovely post, Mardi.

  4. Jill @ MadAboutMacarons September 11, 2012 at 16:49 #

    Agree with you about France and eating well. Ever since I moved here 19 years ago, I’ve changed and what’s on our plates. Wow – making charcuterie from scratch is such an achievement, as in everything else you have been doing here, Mardi.

  5. Geoff September 11, 2012 at 21:17 #

    Spot on, Mardi… more so because busyness seems to be an integral part of 21st century life.

  6. Colette @ JFF September 12, 2012 at 01:15 #

    Love those UFO peaches. Who said you shouldn’t play w your food? :0)

  7. Denise September 12, 2012 at 13:55 #

    GORGEOUS!!!! I am so happy that you were able to attend this brilliant workshop with Kate and Tim.

  8. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking September 12, 2012 at 21:26 #

    a lovely post Mardi. I’ve always loved french cuisine, mainly of its simplicity and scrumptious pastries.
    Cooking/baking everything from scratch in, in my opinion, eating better. seeing how a dish comes to life makes me fell in love with food over and over again

  9. Paula September 12, 2012 at 21:35 #

    Congratulations on being a contributing blogger for Sobey’s Better Food Blog. What a wonderful lead in to your first post there.

  10. Andi September 14, 2012 at 12:24 #

    I am a HUGE, huge believer in this concept. I absolutely believe it leads to a healthier, happier life, one that is more natural as well, with less medications and artificial crap!

  11. Mary Hirsch September 15, 2012 at 00:02 #

    Congratulations. And, I couldn’t agree with you more. Your best sentence – “BUT slow down, really appreciate good food and cook from scratch.” – and you are so right. Shopping locally is so important and eventually, because of the high price of transporting foods, we are going to be forced to do just that. I just re-read Andrea’s week-long series on baking with fruits and she brought home the same message as you. She actually presented quite an educational tutorial. You’re just so, so, right about this, Mardi.

  12. Kate@Diethood September 16, 2012 at 15:41 #

    I love this post! I am also very big on making things from scratch. It’s why I have the big garden, the fruit trees, and my 20 pound bag of flour…we love homemade bread. :)

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