MrsK's Seasoned Reader Picks

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson
ISBN: 9780804185592
Publisher's Synopsis:
When Mimi Thorisson and her family moved from Paris to a small town in out-of-the-way Médoc, she did not quite know what was in store for them. She found wonderful ingredients—from local farmers and the neighboring woods—and, most important, time to cook. Her cookbook chronicles the family’s seasonal meals and life in an old farmhouse, all photographed by her husband, Oddur. Mimi’s convivial recipes—such as Roast Chicken with Herbs and Crème Fraîche, Cèpe and Parsley Tartlets, Winter Vegetable Cocotte, Apple Tart with Orange Flower Water, and Salted Butter Crème Caramel—will bring the warmth of rural France into your home. 

MrsK's Review:
Wonderfully formatted, enticing culinary discoveries, with delightful personal stories. This cook book not only provides do-able French recipes, it offers a friendship with a mother who has a "huge kitchen where I can make all my culinary fantasies come true."  Mimi shares easy to follow directions combined with seasonal favorites. Her passion for ingredients will take you to the markets, (just like her grandmother did with her), where you can "fuss over the freshest vegetables." Her husband's photographs brings the culinary delights to life with such intensity your senses begin to sniff and taste each offering as if you were standing next to him as he was creating the shoot.
"Never have I been so aware of the changing of the seasons,
the different pleasures that each of them has to offer."

Mimi's seasonal awareness has blessed me with the same "eye-opening" passion for each of our seasonal goodness. Such an unexpected experience from a cook book!

"Seasonal cooking is one of life's greatest joys: it may present a challenge, but the rewards are ample.
Most of the year, nature fills my pantry with an abundance of ingredients,
empowering me in the kitchen, making me feel invincible at the stove.
But spring is a tricky period. From a culinary perspective, nature hasn't started giving.
Fruits are still little flowers and the strawberries of May seem an eternity away.
The big hearty stews of winter that felt so comforting at Christmas are now clashing with
my impatient heart..."

For my family, the following are the meals that tempted our taste buds:
  1. Roast Asparagus with Chervil: Asparagus, prosciutto, a drizzling of olive oil and parmesan shavings (pg. 36)
  2. Chou Farci: a braised cabbage stuffed pot-pie of goodness (pg. 39)
  3. Roast Chicken with Creme Fraiche and Herbs: the taste of France, tendered to perfection (pg. 46)
  4. Mimi's Couscous: lamb meatballs, chicken wings, simmered in a stew of tomatoes, parsnips, zucchini, and chickpeas (pg. 126)
  5. Chilled White Peaches in White Wine Syrup: refreshing sweetness on a hot summer day (pg. 148)
  6. Pumpkin Soup: warm fall flavor served with a dollop of cream for comfort on a fall evening (pg. 157)
  7. Harvest Soup: beef, cabbage, veggies bubbling on the stove and served with a crisp baguette and red wine (pg. 158)
  8. Butternut Gratin: squash, bread crumbs, cream, cream cheese and chives (pg. 195)
  9. Winter Vegetable Cocotte: pumpkin, bacon, veggies, roasted chestnuts and artichokes as a full meal favorite (pg. 241)
Whether it's the "endless offerings" of Autumn... or the "pure bliss" of  "eating outside under the shade of a tree, with everybody who matters around me (you)..." 
This cook book will become a favored "go to" during every season,
Excellent Recipes, Beautifully Photographed, French recipes that most of us could cook!
About Mimi:
 Mimi&apples MIMI THORISSON is the author of Manger, a blog devoted to French cooking that was named Saveur’s Best Regional Food Blog in April 2013. After a career in television and having lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, London, Reykjavik, and Paris, she settled with her photographer husband, their five young children, her two older stepchildren, and the family’s fourteen dogs in a farmhouse in Médoc. She is the star of the cooking shows La Table de Mimi and the upcoming Les Desserts de Mimi, both on Canal+ in France. 

"Ever since I was a little girl I have been deeply passionate about food. My childhood was largely spent scurrying between the restaurants of Hong Kong, where I grew up, and the bistros of Paris and the south of France where we spent our holidays at my French grandmother’s. Food was constantly on my mind, I’m the girl who was always happiest at the table. After a life full of adventure and travel, a career in fashion, media and television, I settled down in Paris with Oddur, my Icelandic photographer husband, and we have been busy making babies ever since. We were already off to a good start, we each had children from before, I one and he two and now we have three together and one on the way. A big family needs a lot of space, not least when you have 4 terriers in Paris of all places. So we went looking for a bigger place to live, and found one … in Médoc. Moving to the country was not planned at all, but we took the leap and it’s been some sort of fairytale ever since – you should try it! I’ve been doing a lot of cooking in these last four years, to glowing reviews (my family are very kind) and around 2 years ago I felt the need to share my culinary experiences with some friends and perhaps a few others. So Manger was born and while the rest may not be history it’s my story and my family’s. We are as happy as ever, up to no good, living with 14 amazing dogs, Fox Terriers, Jack Russell’s and one chocolate-colored German pointer called Gertrud. She thinks she’s a terrier by the way."

 "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."
Blogging For Books

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