25 Jun 2014
Truth be told, Darren and I ate our way around France. Sure, The Lonely Planet was consulted for "must sees" and many an iconic tourist attractions were chalked up. But for the most part, we ate. Quite frankly, it's almost impossible not to! Such is the nature of a nation of food lovers. And while I will always be happily tethered to my homeland in body and spirit, a culture that holds food in such high esteem certainly has my heart.
I have memories of watching elderly men debate the merits of one goats cheese versus another. My school girl French stumbled through the gushing but their body language alone conveyed this conversation was filled with much passion and knowledge. Spurred on by this lust for food we in turn morphed into connoisseurs of all things culinary on our driving holiday around the country. No meal was rushed and even the odd takeaway "sandwich de jambon et fromage" was mindfully produced with exceptional ingredients and the quintessential French flair.
But what with school schedules, a tired toddler and a befuddled brain, weary from much homemaking I have let my taste buds down in favour of convenience. Although my little people have rather adventurous palates weekday lunches have become a little lack lustre; healthy, but on the boring side. So, in honour of my "everyday creative" mantra and in homage to the many magnificent lunches I had in France I have decided to pass on the crust less egg sandwiches, veggie sticks, fruit salad and yoghurt gracing Remy's lunch menu and cook up simple, albeit delicious treats for myself.
With my little man asleep for an hour or two, these are some of the the quick, nourishing and taste bud enlivening meals I have been salivating over:
- Bruschetta. Even though the wind outside is declaring Winter's arrival my sourdough toast rubbed with garlic and topped with chopped tomato, sea salt, basil and olive oil is a Tuscan Summer still life.
- Sauteed kale, garlic, a whisker of chilli and a dash of tamari and a fried egg. Hearty and warming and delicious to boot.
- Pan fried Swiss brown mushrooms with hot buttery rye sourdough and chunks of feta or goats cheese and a fine sprinkle of lemon thyme. This Meridith Valley one is heaven in a jar.
- Soba noodles with something green thrown in at the last minutes and finished off with a good spoonful of natural peanut butter, tamari and honey, loosened with a glug of the noodle cooking water. Black sesame seeds add a little crunch and a certain air of restaurant sophistication.
All delicious and simple lunches made with a minimum of preparation and fuss that have reignited my love of food. Do you have a lovely lunch you like to treat yourself with? Do you make it often?