Keep It Simple

I’ve enjoyed some incredible meals on this vacation. There was the traditional bouillabaisse at Nounou, the beautiful dorado at Bistrot du Port, and the cod ravioli with ricotta and leeks at Le Comptoire de la Tourraque in Nice. But I have to say that the meals I enjoy the most are the ones we make at home.

Since I’ve been here, we’ve shopped for food twice. Most recently, we went to the famous market in Cannes to buy fruit, vegetables, cheese, and charcuterie.

Everyday French cuisine is a master class in leftovers. Simple dishes such as omelettequiche, and salade allow you to incorporate everything you have in the kitchen into one meal.

I think there’s a misconception that French food is all butter all the time. This just isn’t true. You’ll find butter in the pâte brisée, the pastry dough used to make quiche, for example, but really it serves to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients. The other day we snacked on radishes with butter and sea salt; the butter cut the intense bite of les radis. Estelle used butter to make our omelette aux courgettes (zucchini omelette) last night; it added richness and depth to the dish.

The French don’t have to compromise quality because they understand the practice of moderation. The truth is, if you’re working with amazing ingredients, there’s no reason to over-indulge because you are completely satisfied.

Believe it or not, we eat the same thing for breakfast every morning, and it’s not what you might expect; there are no croissants or pains au chocolat. We have yogurt, fruit, and Special K cereal. You should know that the Special K in France tastes nothing like Special K in the states, which, as we know, tastes like nothing. The French Special K is full of flavor and has a hearty texture. I love it. If only I could find its equivalent back home, I would consider replacing my standard eggs and toast.

Lunch is always a salad. We use whatever we have in the fridge; nothing is ever wasted. Dinner is simple: vegetables accompanied by charcuterie—ham, prosciutto, or paté, for example. After dinner there’s a cheese course, and then maybe a piece of fruit for dessert.

What I love about everyday French cuisine is how simple it really is. You can identify all of the ingredients and where they came from. There is very little, if any, processed food on the French table.

Fresh bread, fresh herbs, fresh produce, local specialties, and little wine go a long way. A feast doesn’t have to be a fancy meal; just the other day we ate a tomato, basil, and avocado salad with paté and bread. Tout simple. There’s so much to learn from the French table, but the biggest reminder for me has been to keep it simple. This philosophy applies to so many aspects of life. As always, the table is the perfect classroom to practice living that philosophy—to practice living our yoga.

Chrissy
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