Finished, a couple of days ago, in fact! This month's book club book: On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town by Susan Loomis. (Who was also featured in this month's Cooking Light magazine, by the way.
Susan Loomis started out in France 20 years ago, as an apprentice at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine. She fell in love with France then, and that love culminated in her moving to France permanently in 1994. She and her husband bought an old house, on Rue Tatin (hence the name of the book), and refurbished it. She tells the story of the move, of the decision to buy, of the remodeling, of putting her son in French schools, and lots of other stuff. At the end of each chapter, there are recipes for dishes mentioned within the chapter.
Since the end of the book, Rue Tatin has apparently morphed into a cooking school.
I enjoyed the book, as a look into a life in another culture. But I learned a couple of interesting things about myself. While I like to VISIT lots of places and see things and taste things, etc, etc, etc, I am AT HEART the biggest of homebodies. The idea of picking up and moving to another country is as foreign to me as going into space. I know other people long to do it, and others yet who have actually DONE it. And perhaps, if I were forced to do it, I would enjoy the change. But I cannot imagine myself leaving my tiny extended family and going far away. I suspect that had I been a Puritan, I would still be clinging to the docks in England, wailing "Oh, come on, if we just talk about it a little longer, I'm sure we can work something out!" Good thing I didn't marry a military man. Probably I'd have gotten used to it--maybe even began to enjoy it. But I can't see it now.
Second, I'm no foodie. While I loved reading Loomis' thoughts about the people she met, the way things worked in France, and all that, I was untouched by the description of foods. Now, don't get me wrong, I'd probably love to eat it all! But the love affair with the different tastes, textures, etc? Nope, not me. I'm a good, plain cook. But I'm not into it as a hobby or an avocation. And I'm not nearly adventurous enough. Does that make sense? I just can't get rapturous about stuffed sardines. It really pointed out how differently people think about food and its procurement and preparation. Erik would identify with the food part of the book. I felt like an outsider.