Another goal for Becoming Madame, specifically when it comes to our recipe and cooking videos, is to reinforce the idea that cooking a homemade, healthy, family meal is not as time-consuming or daunting a task as it may at first appear.

One of the cornerstones of the French lifestyle is the enjoyment of food around the table ‘en famille’ as they say. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate three-course meal everyday. But something with fresh produce, fresh ingredients, no preservatives or chemicals is so very much better for a family than a microwavable meal you throw in for 5 minutes and eat while standing at the counter. It’s psychological and teaches you to appreciate food, eat slower and be social.

There is a reason why American culture produces the most obese children in history. It doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve just forgotten some of our old-fashion traditions, I think. I’m trying to help us remember by using the French as an example.

I received a message today regarding one of the cooking videos. The viewer thought that I was now too removed to recall what life is like in America, that I’m in an envious position sitting pretty over here in Paris, as a writer with my time in my own hands, and that it isn’t nearly as easy to raise a family in the US as it must be in France for all those moms to have the time to cook everyday.

Here’s my reply to this viewer.

It’s true that the French have a great deal of social help from the government when it comes to families, in terms of vacations, health care, child allowances. True. But I know the difference.  Intimately. I lived in the United States and Canada for 27 years before moving to France. I grew up in a single-parent home while my mom was working several jobs to make ends meet. I know all too well the trials of feeding a family on a budget and trying to throw something together when we are exhausted from working a full day. I do understand. I was the kid who made her own 5 min microwave meals at age 8. And that is precisely why I am making these cooking videos. These are recipes that do not cost a great deal, or at least you can buy alternatives that make them extremely affordable, and they take under 20 minutes to prepare.

I am not pretending that French life is the same as American life. There are a great deal of things we can learn from the French, however, and that is my point. I’ve learned so much while living here about the importance of sitting down (at least) once a day among family, talking about our day, discussing, enjoying together. I’ve learned so much from my very traditional family-in-law, in particular, and if any bit of it helps to improve your life, than I’ve succeed.

As always, thanks for watching, for commenting!

Good evening from Paris.