Cookbook Preface

Saying that my French family knew how to cook would be like saying that someone’s relatives worked in the coal mines of Newcastle. It does come with the territory. But in my case this was even more pronounced, for there have always been chefs in my lineage, including one, my brother Guy, who is not only a chef, but also a pastry chef, now retired in France. And so, over the years, as my five girls and our only son Jay were growing up, I did what my mother had done for me.

I taught all of them how to cook. Now they all run excellent kitchens. Even my son, “Dr. Jay,” makes a mean paella, claiming it’s even better than mine! Only a connoisseur would know for sure, and one from Spain, at that! As it turns out now, we have a third generation going into the restaurant business. My granddaughter Corey, aged twenty-two as of this writing, is already a Chef... Her brother, the aptly named Pierre, is a also in the managerial restaurant business in Florida. I suggested that when he opens up his own restaurant, he should call it “The French Connection,” for that would not be lying! And so now, as my children have married and moved about with families of their own, we are all still very much united in our love of good food. In fact, the reason I wanted to write this book was to showcase their talents and their recipes.

From the oldest to the youngest, which at this time happens to be my grandson Blake Carroll (who makes an interesting chicken with bacon that you’ll find included); All of my family shares in this love of fine cuisine. The one thing I insisted on as I asked for everyone’s recipes, is that nothing should be too complicated. Many a dish has failed for lack of patience or know-how, and I would like everyone who reads this book to be able to say, after trying one of our recipes, “Now, that was easy!” Also, to relieve the boredom while you are waiting for your dish to finish cooking, as was suggested to me, I have included some of my personal philosophy, including some bon mots from famous French people. One that I particularly liked, from Sacha Guitry, a famous French actor and wit, said, “If someone steals your wife, the best revenge is to let him keep her!” He should have known; he was married five times!

I also have included the work of some of my grandchildren, such as that of Laurel, who is only twenty-two as of this writing, but a budding poet and writer, as you will find out, as is Blake, age thirteen, an actor and would-be writer of much wit. See his “It was the night before the sky trip!” All in all, this is a work of love—love for my family, but love of good cooking, as well; For in France, where I came from, it is not only an art, but it helps to sustain that joie de vivre that makes living so much more enjoyable. Of course, a good bottle of wine helps it along, as well.

So, to all of you who are about to embark on this joyous culinary adventure, as Julia Child used to say at the end of her television show, “Bon appetit!”

Grandmere Pierrette