I have been thinking that two of my favorite things, when it comes to cooking, are old-fashioned “grandmother’s cooking” and, of course, seasonal cooking. The former is often categorised (sometimes in a deprecating manner) as “comfort food”, meaning not serious food, something warm, tasty, satisfying but ultimately not exciting, modern or inventive. Then we have my other favorite, the much-loved, very fashionable, seasonal cooking or even better, local, seasonal cooking. Seasonal cooking can be of any variety, it can range from just cooking old family recipes with the vegetables from the garden behind the house to the avant-garde lab cooking of hyped up restaurants. But taking a closer look, “granny cooking” was always seasonal and usually local too. The vegetables in the stew never came from South Africa or New Zealand (unless that’s where the granny lived), they came from the garden or the market. I suppose the moral of the story is that when we look to the future we should always keep one eye on the past, when it comes to most matters granny knew best.
Inspired by these two muses of mine I have been cooking a lot of seasonal, old-fashioned food lately. And at the moment nothing is more in season than the most beautiful of greens, the endive (or the chicory as it is known to many). In France everybody’s grandmother used to make “endives au jambon” since anyone can remember, it’s a dish so unoriginal that few restaurants would dare serve it, which makes it rare, hard to find and thus priceless. Of course you can make a real mess of “endives au jambon“, you need good quality, crunchy, endive (chicory). And you need really, really good ham. Which brings me to a recent discovery. In our village there is a hairdresser and a shop that is also a bar. In the morning you can find camouflage wearing hunters drinking beer or stronger at the bar and in the evenings you can find the same camouflage wearing hunters drinking beer but usually stronger at the bar. The little store has a bit of everything, mostly canned products and such but they have wonderful eggs and the most amazing cooked ham that I’m in love with. The ham comes from a local producer by the way. When you bring home a box filled with endives and ham it just seems so obvious to wrap one around the other and cover them with a blanket of béchamel and grated cheese. I’ve been making it a lot this month and I will continue for a while until my appetite tells me to take a pause and have some more … next year.
Channeling a grandmother, serving up old-fashioned food on a daily basis, is never more appropriate than when you have a full house of hungry men, working hard in all conditions, trying their best to meet our deadlines, fighting alongside us in this wrestle with a house. We have Bruno, the electrician, who works quietly and thoroughly with his two apprentices who are also his children. Then there is Monsieur Bianco, the ever smiling plumber of Italian heritage who also has a son of an apprentice and a Rolodex of 1.100 clients according to his own account (which makes us clients no 1.101). I believe his bragging because his phone never stops ringing and I have observed that his work involves just as much networking on the mobile as it does fixing pipes. Yet somehow he gets things done beautifully which is all that matters. Last but not least we have Sasha and Alexei, our Russian masters of “pierre” who are as solid as the stones they carve. Recently we had a quick, working lunch with the Russians and our third guest was Monsieur Teyssier who despite appearances seems to own half the village and properties in St Yzans. He has recently sold one of his houses to our friends Matt and Yolanda so now he owns just under half the village. Gaia, my 3-year-old, was sick that day so she joined us and completing the guest list was Audrey who is never far from my side. Monsieur Teyssier is an encyclopaedia of all St Yzans but I always manage to offend him (though not seriously) by asking him about events that occurred long before he was born “But how old do you think I am Madam?” he always says with a wry smile.
At the end of the meal Monsieur Teyssier told me he had been touched by my choice of dishes, a familiar vegetable soup, a semolina cake and most of all the endives au jambon.
“How did you know this was the food I liked” he asked?
I though about it for a while and then said:
“I guess I’m old-fashioned”.
Soupe du potager/ Farmer’s soup
A perfect country soup, rich in flavors and texture.
450 g/1 pound potatoes, diced into small cubes
2 carrots, finely diced
1 leek, sliced finely
1 celery, sliced finely
1 onion, sliced finely
3 cloves garlic, sliced finely
300 ml/1 1 1/4 cup milk
80 ml/1/3 cup cream (crème entière liquide)
300 ml/ 1 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons olive oil
A few sprigs of parsley, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large pot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add all the vegetables, cook for a few minutes then pour the chicken stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Scoop out half of the vegetables, and, using a vegetable masher, mash the vegetables in the soup. Return the reserved vegetables, add the milk and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Serve with a drizzle of cream, scatter the parsley and a dash of piment d’Espelette. Serve with grilled country bread.
Endives au jambon/ Chicory ham rolls
I can’t get enough of this dish, it’s perhaps one of the most cooked meals in my house these days. It’s healthy, tasty and so comforting. The mustard gives an extra punch to the endives and ham. Make sure to drain the endives properly as they retain a lot of water. And don’t forget to season lightly – the mustard is already doing a good job.
6 slices of ham, approximately 360 g/ 12-13 ounces
2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
100 g/ 1 cup Gruyère cheese (or Emmenthal), grated
Salt & pepper
Steam the endives for 15 minutes. Drain the endives head down – they retain a lot of water so it is important to drain as much as possible. (I use paper towels and gently squeeze excess water just to be sure). Spread a light layer of mustard on the endives, then roll them with the ham. Repeat with each endives. Season lightly with salt & pepper.
Place the prepared endives in a baking dish. Pour the bechamel sauce, sprinkle the grated gruyère cheese on top.
Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for about 30 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.
For the bechamel sauce
40 g/ 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
40 g/1/3 cup plain flour
500 ml/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Pour the milk and whisk continuously until smooth. When the mixture starts to boil, lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until thick and creamy. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Gâteau de semoule aux raisins/ Semolina & raisin cake
This cake sends me right back to cozy afternoons chatting with my grandmother – she would tell me stories of our family, we would play my favorite card game called ‘le jeu des 7 familles’. This gâteau de semoule is rich, chewy, with a hint of rum flavor, it’s simply delightful, especially drowned in a home-made crème Anglaise (custard cream).
120 g/ 2/3 cup semoule de blé extra-fine (semolina fine or extra-fine)
90 g/ 8 tablespoons sugar
2 tbsp rum
600ml/ 2 & 1/2 cups milk
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
2 tablespoons dried dark raisins
Butter, for the cake mould
Preheat the oven to 160°C/ 320°F
In a large saucepan, heat the milk with the vanilla beans and sugar on a medium heat. When the milk starts to simmer, pour the semolina slowly and stir. Add the rum and the raisins. Take off the heat.
Butter a pan ( I chose a bundt pan), pour the semolina mixture and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the cake on a serving plate.
For the crème Anglaise
300 ml/ 1 & 1/4 cup milk
50 g/ 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
3 egg yolks
In a saucepan, heat the milk, vanilla beans and sugar until it reaches a soft boil.
In the meantime, whisk 3 egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the milk in the egg yolk bowl, whisking continuously to avoid curdling. Pour the mixture back in the saucepan, set the heat to low and whisk until the sauce thickens to a custard cream.
190 thoughts on “The Granny Lunch”
It’s nice to be old fashioned I think. 😀 Gosh, Audrey is growing quickly, isn’t she? I was juts thinking today about some lovely foods my Czech grandmother used to make, like fruit dumplings, and thinking that, with the first cherries this spring, I’m going to make some for my family. Hope your days are happy in the new house and things are settling into place nicely. I’m loving your cookbook and looking forward to the next one. Big hugs.
Bonjour Veronica – I hope all is well with you. We are working extra hard to make it happen – every room in the house is coming to life! So happy to hear you are enjoying the cookbook, I am very touched. Big hugs to you! Mimi x
I was just going through your cookbook looking for some inspiration to cook a comforting old fashion meal for this very cold day in Chicago, and Voila, a new post from you! Im heading out to the market to get endive and I have some lovely red from Medoc in my wine cooler. As always, thanks for a wonderful post and thanks to Oddur for the beautiful pictures. Do you ever get to the Midwest, Chicago? Merci! Patrick
It’s a pleasure to share Patrick! So glad my recipe came just in time – hopefully you had a lovely meal along with your red wine. Would love to visit Chicago someday, bientôt j’espère! Mimi x
So, you have a hairdresser that is also a shop and a bar! What a combination!!! Sounds fantastic!
Bonjour James – yes, all very practical, right? 🙂 Mimi x
As always I loved the words, pictures and of course the recipes! Thank you for sharing your wonderful life and a big Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!
Bonjour Kimberly – hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day! I received a beautiful bouquet of roses – we had a lot of guests at home so it was a blast. Mimi x
Oh, what pretty pictures again. 🙂 I’m in love with them. However, I’m even more in love with you chocolate tarte from the book. I made it about 6 times now. It’s just soooo delicious. 🙂
And who doesn’t love old fashioned food? I usually refrain from making it because I feel like it takes a lot of effort preparing it. But if someone makes it I’m in. 🙂 I’ve never heard of this way of preparing endive really. However, it sounds delicious. 🙂
Have a lovely weekend.
Bonjour Tina – so happy you like the chocolate tart – as a matter of fact all my kids are longing for one, haven’t made it in a little while! Enjoy the endives recipe – this is a real childhood favorite for many here in France! Bon dimanche, Mimi x
Dear Mimi, thank you for your post.
I am in the same mood today, planning to do endives au jambon tonight with beautiful crunchy endives I got at the farmer’s market.
And ile flottante for dessert at lunch, one of my sons is always asking for crème anglaise.
Thank you for this new soup recipe, my eldest daughter wanted to change from orange soups…
And you welcoming and feeding all your workers… Tu es incroyable et généreuse!
And congratulations to Oddur for his photos which give life to your dreamy food!
Bonnes vacances avec les enfants, les premiers signes du printemps et le soleil qui commence vraiment à réchauffer… on y est presque!
Bien amicalement, <3
C’est vrai – on y est presque! Vive le printemps, vive le printemps! How was your endives? I just can’t get enough these days – always hungry for healthy and nutritious meals after a long busy day. Bon dimanche, Mimi x
Talk about my childhood rushing back to me!! Thank you, Mimi, for a lovely post about these delicious “granny” dishes. I’m stopping at the grocery after work to pick up Belgian endives, ham, some leeks and celery. Perfect for supper on this bitingly cold day.
Bonjour Catherine! Lovely to hear you will be preparing these recipes soon! Merci! Mimi x
PS: I think the béchamel recipe is missing. I would love to have your version… 🙂
Sorry Mimi I read it too quickly! mes excuses
🙂 No probs – hope you enjoyed it! xx
Mimi! You made my Valentine’s Day perfect! I so enjoy each and everyone of your posts! Your writing is so thoughtfully done! I can tell you put your heart and soul in it! Happy ❤️ Day Sweet Mimi!
Thank you sweet Stephanie! Hope you had a lovely valentine’s day! Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi, I have to say that the endives with ham (jambon) with bechamel sauce and Gryuere cheese is one of my favourite French meals and something that I make so easily here in Canada. It is so delicious and that and the soup is so comfortable and it is the simplest old fashion things that bring people together. That and cake too. Your Audrey is so gorgeous and hope Gaia is feeling better plus once again the pictures are gorgeous! xo
Meant to be comforting and not comfortable. mx
Merci dear Mel – we are all in need of old-fashioned comfort food these days – I just can’t get enough! Bon dimanche, Mimi x
What is with the workshops?? Why don’ t you answer mails???
With so many children to look after, building work and everything else maybe she’s a little busy sometimes?
Are you her spoke person??
Bonjour Petra – thank you for your message. Oh dear, I have been getting a lot of messages, and I haven’t had a chance to respond in time. Will do very soon – thanks for your patience 🙂 Mimi x
Thanks for the answer. Waiting..
I wonder if I should use Cream of Wheat or farina for the cake. They don’t sell “semoule” in the U.S., I have to find something close enough 😉
You can order semolina online – Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur have it… If you are near Whole Foods, they will have it too…
Thanks for the tips! Mimi x
Mimi it’s whole wheat semolina or cork semolina?
sorry me, not cork, i meant to say “whole wheat semolina or corn semolina?”
Thanks! I actually found Bob’s Red Mill semolina but it was of a more flour-like texture, and I used to make this cake in France with semoule and thought it had to be thicker than that. In any case, I tried with half semolina flour, half cream of wheat, and it was really close to the original ! Hopefully this helps other people too.
Mimi, Everything looks so good. I know what you mean about feeding hungry men/work folks as we have been doing construction on our home for almost a year now. It’s so much more physical that you would imagine. The Farmer’s Soup sounds almost medicinal and there is nothing better than melted gruyere over ham.
I did a blog post on your lamb dish! It is one of my favorite dishes from your cookbook ..which btw;) I use all the time.
Thank you so much Leslie – it always makes me happy to hear good recipe reviews! 🙂 I completely agree with you, all this renovation and building works is so physical, so demanding – every now and then I cook huge steaks, we all need the extra energy! Wishing you a lovely sunday, Mimix
Vos filles et vous..mais tellement belles..!
Et je suis tellement contente d’avoir votre livre dans ma cuisine.♥
Merci chère Monique – vous êtes adorable, Mimi x
Dear Mimi, as always, such a treat to read about your aventures médocaines! To have a vegetable garden and a chicken coop, how wonderful!
Thanks for the chicory recipe. Cooked chicory isn’t a very well-known thing in Germany, we usually eat it raw, e.g. in salads. But I do make a similar recipe as yours with leeks, a favorite of mine, so I am tempted now to try your version. And, just recently, I enjoyed cooked chicory in a lovely pasta dish with caramelized radicchio and sweet chestnuts, cooked by my mum – oh, so good! By the way, I received your book for Christmas! Big love!
Best wishes from Berlin,
So happy to hear Christine! Thank you! I am a big fan of chicory, uncooked with walnuts and roquefort, cooked like in this post or simply melted in butter, which I serve with fish or scallops. Enjoy the recipe, Mimix
I love your post today. I would have no palette at all if not for my grandmother. And when men-(oops; sorry for my reverse chauvinism today on Valentine’s Day) or perhaps I should say instead the young-learn how to do something that grandmothers have been doing all along, it is often a big discovery…;)
Thank you so much Megan! Good old-fashioned dishes are my favorite! Mimix
Pauline, “semoule” is simply semolina flour and is readily available in “gourmet” super markets such as Whole Foods, or in health food stores. You may also order it from Bob’s Red Mill online.
Thanks Katya – love it when we all get so many great tips! Mimix
A lovely post! Lovely seeing Audrey, too. Not only are you working very hard on the house (one really can see the progress from your last post), but you always put so much work into every single post. The recipes here sound delicious, warming and, yes, comforting. Thank you for the pleasure you give all our senses! I’m enjoying your cookbook immensely as well.
ps I think in your Bechamel recipe you meant to say 3 tablespoons of flour instead of 3 cups! N’est pas?
I misread the recipe. I see it is 1/3 cup flour. I will read more carefully next time.
Thanks Mimi for making this below zero day in Minnesota feel a little cozier with your delicious “granny” recipes.
Your beautiful blog always brightens my day!
So happy to hear Keri, thank you! Stay warm and enjoy the cozy dishes! Mimi x
You are without a doubt an international rock star and yet you have found a way to celebrate Valentines Day with the world. Thanks for making an old mans day special.
Hope you had a great day John! Mimi x
Oh, this brings back lovely memories of a wonderful meal of endives and ham, prepared this same way, that we had in a beautiful old pub full of character in Bruges last spring. The taste has stayed with me and I’ve made it a few times since, just to feel like I was back there again. Your descriptions of your life in Medoc are a wonderful way for a snowbound Canadian to do some romantic armchair travelling. Thank you!
Merci dear Margaret! Food is all about good memories, brought back to life at the table. It’s magical! Mimix
Feels like the perfect family lunch 🙂 Love the photos too
It is always heartwarming to share the table with friends, family and these days with our hard-working team of builders! 🙂 Mimi x
dear Mimi- I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite movies Under the Tuscan Sun and the lovable characters that she hired to help renovate her villa. gorgeous photos as usual!
Bonjour kim, I know exactly what you mean – I often think about that movie – everyday is a challenge – we have ‘problems’ but also ‘solutions’ with the house – thankfully it is in a rather good state! Mimix
Your post comes at the most exacting time, you have set up a most perfect weekend menu, that what will satisfy my family’ fresh
old-fashion taste buds.
You really have done a lovely transformation on your new home- well done.
You and the children are going to enjoy the chickens, and the delight of making a simple old fashion omelet with the freshest of eggs.
My daughter’s response to your newest addition, “oooh mama he’s sooo adorable.”
Thank you again for the dollops of inspiration!
Thank you dear Gee Gee – we are thrilled to be advancing so well in the renovations works around the house. This vegetable garden and chicken coop will be my little slice of heaven – I can’t wait to start planting the seeds. Wishing you all the best, Mimi x
Loving the soup MiMi and have to try endives au jambon, I love old fashioned comfort food & the sweet gentle memories of those days, so speical to me also….OH!..the raison cake looks divine …….xo
Oh yes, mmmmm…. it’s all delicious and very comforting! Bon appétit! Mimi x
Mimi, these are my sentiments exactly- we must look backwards if we are going to look forward- firstly for the planet- buying and growing seasonal, organic fresh foods and eating meats that have grazed naturally or swum in oceans is better for the environment and ultimately our health! Our grand and great grandparents really knew something! Well lets say they didn’t now to use chemicals and poor farming practices. And our health will ultimately benefit from eating this way too. Nothing tastes better than when its in season- and simple food is often the best. This is how we eat in my family here in Australia and we even grow a lot ourselves, have chicken and fruit and vegetables and we are only living on a 1/4 acre. Thanks Mimi and thanks grandmere xx
Oh I agree – it’s my ultimate goal to have grow my own veggies ad have my chicken coop – it’s going to be lovely. Thanks Corrina! Mimi x
… and i want to keep it simple and only adjust: “me too!”
All the best to you & your lovleliest! Aileen
All the best Aileen, Mimi x
Oh for a French Grandmother! I had to purchase a Larousse!
Oh for any grandmother – they usually have amazing recipes! Mimix
I just received my first post from you and I am in love…thank you so much!
Thank you Elizabeth – I am so very touched! Enjoy – Mimi x
Ce qui est bien avec la mode c’est qu’elle revienne toujours. Heureusement pour nous parce que je ne me laisse pas des bonnes vieilles soupes. J’aimerais goûter aussi ton gâteau au semoule. J’espère que la petite Gaïa va mieux!
Des photos toujours si belles…
Merco Eva – des bonnes recettes d’antan… c’est ce que je préfère. J’adore le gâteau de semoule – le côté moelleux parfumé au rum me rappelle un cannelé sans croûte… La petite Gaïa va beaucoup mieux, merci! Bon dimanche à toute la famille, Mimix
Is there a way to add a link to print your recipes? I’m “old fashion” too. I like recipes on paper 🙂
Love your blog
For the moment, I can only advise you to copy and paste? I am actually re-designing my site right now, so there will be many user-friendly feature. Thank you, Mimix
Un bonito regalo en un dia que se celebra el amor y la amistad. Me gusta la comida antigua, la de nuestras madres y abuelas, la comida hecha a fuego lento ,la que siempre te reconforta .Mientras leia tu historia he recordado la pelicula ” Bajo el sol de la Toscana”,y he pensado que tu vida tambien podria ser el guión de una película romántica, tus historias son tan fascinantes y divertidas… Tengo una duda, la sémola es de trigo o de maiz?. Tambien me gustaria saber si el libro será traducido al español, he leido en alguna entrevista que seria traducido a cinco idiomas, seria tan hermoso tenerlo en mi idioma. El restaurante estará en funcionamiento en verano,y nos encantaria ir, hay posibilidad de reserva?? Os deseo un muy feliz dia de San Valentin,muchas felicidades Mimi.Rosa
Hola Rosa! Yo uso la sémola de trigo extra fina – esta receta es muy típico de nuestras abuelas. En el libro, estamos esperando las fechas traducciones que varían por 18 meses. Y para el restaurante, voy a anunciar que la reserva será posible! Normalmente, vamos a abrir en junio hasta finales de agosto … Buen domingo! Y bon appétit! Mimi x
I always enjoy your posts and trying your recipes. Particularly love seeing the photos and trying to picture your part of the world. I loved seeing the latest photos of baby Audrey; she is gorgeous.
My daughter gave me your beautiful book for my recent birthday…we both love following your blog. Best wishes. Maureen, Quernsland, Australia
Thank you so much Maureen – I am thrilled to hear you received my book! Baby Audrey is growing so fast – am cherishing every little moment… Enjoy the book! I hope you will cook splendid meals. Best, Mimix
Mimi, you’ve no idea how easy your blog and book have made finding ideas and recipes. Seasonal and southern hemisphere? Easy – just look back six, 18 months, there’s such a comprehensive range. The recipes link pictures makes for instant recognition. I’m not sure I’ll be quite able to see this rash thought to fruition, but I am contemplating a serious cull of the cookbooks. Merci beaucoup.
Thanks Jude – so very touched. I am delighted to contribute to your daily meals! Mimix
Oh Goodness ! I can hardly stand the wait until May to come work in the kitchen with you ! I immediately pinned Oddur’s breathtaking photo of Endives au Jambon for my Pinterest board, but they might have to X-rate it ! Your book is not just a thing of beauty, it’s being put to plenty of use at my house. Last weekend I had to bribe my husband to sit through a musical film with me – I promised to make Mimi’s Duck Confit Parmentier for his payoff. It was memorable, Mimi ! We washed it down with a nice bordeaux, and reheated for a second dinner it was still a great reward. I was so happy to read that you’re working on another cookbook, that’s wonderful. As much as I’ve read and appreciated books from restaurant chefs, for me there’s nothing like the dishes of a really exceptional home cook. My husband, Matt & I never got to see the Bordeaux or Basque regions so he’s been researching places of interest for us- we’ll have time to explore before your workshop starts. Audrey is beautiful – love those photos of your sweet baby girl ! How do you do it all, Mimi ? My father used to say that it all just works when you’re “in the flow”. Happy Valentine’s Day to you & Oddur, Mimi !
Thank you dear Linny! May is approaching real soon – I can’t wait to meet you! Thrilled to hear you can bribe Matt with my dishes 🙂 There’s so much to do and see in this region – yes, the Basque country (St Jean de Luz is so pretty), Bordeaux, Cap Ferret, Biarritz you will love! And by the way, your dad is completely right, when you are in the flow, you just somehow manage. 🙂 A bientôt, Mimi x
I absolutely love your blogs!!!
Merci beaucoup! Mimi x
Would beef broth work in the soup in place of chicken stock?
Yes, of course – any broth really. Enjoy! Mimi x
How marvelous to see your castle being cultivated! A chicken coop? A vegetable garden? It is all such an exquisite dream!!! We all understand that dreams take work and we are all rooting for you! We will also be here to support you 🙂 (a new book? workshops? YAY IM IN HEAVEN :D)Your Endives au jambon looks positively divine. I love old fashioned dishes. Comfort food to me is love flavored and fashioned through feasting. The memory of taste will be with us throughout our lives and will outlast us through the mouths of our children. When they eat a certain dish made just right like Maman used to make it, they will think of us and that love will live on. I see old fashioned as classic. Classic never fades and it is always elegant. It hardly ages but remains in the same state of beauty and passion as it was created. Long live the Granny Dish!!!! Hooray for Le Chateau de Mimi!
Merci dearest Tiffany – we are advancing in every way, getting ready for this month’s countdown to the first workshops in March! Spring is definitely in the air, and along with it comes hope and promise. Enjoy the recipes – Mimi x
Happy Valentines Day Mimi! Could you tell me what piment d’espiment is in your Farmers soup is?
Hope you had a lovely Valentine’s day! Piment d’Espelette is basically chilli powder from the Basque Country (there is a village called Espelette). If you can’t find it, just sprinkle a bit of chilli or cayenne pepper. Mimi x
Your lovely stories and recettes and your husband’s stunning photographs are a wonderful respite from a world that often seems to be descending into chaos. What a pleasure it is to find a new blog entry in my inbox – the perfect antidote to the world’s dark headlines. It harkens me back to the early 1980s when I worked as a stagiaire in a Paris cooking school. One weekend we drove south to Saint-Chéron to pick up our very first (of many to follow) terrier à poil lisse, “Spot”. Good food, la vie en France and a Smooth Foxie puppy! And now I can re-live these days vicariously via Manger.
Avec tous mes remerciements,
What a lovely story to share! Thank you! I am delighted to contribute to a bit of sunshine! Enjoy the recipes 🙂 Mimix
Really loved this post with its fond memories – and sharing of – of your grandmother’s delicious food. So heartening to see respect and love for a grandparent conveyed in such a tangible way. I’ve been using your cookbook lots and the results have been treasured.
Thank you. Georgia
I am so touched Georgia – thank you! I hope my kids and grandchildren will feel the same way one day! Mimi x
We wish you and your family every success in the Medoc. We love your blog, and cook from it – Yummy. FANTASTIC photos thanks to your husband. The best of luck with your veggie garden. Re the jardin – I didn’t expect to see earth compressing heavy machinery. I expected to see more horse and plow action. That’s probably my fantasy vis a vis your blog. Haha.
David & Louise
Thank you David & Louise. We are so thrilled to start this vegetable garden – believe me – I will try and get the horse & plow action – 🙂 All best, Mimi x
Dear Mimi, you’re starting next week on German television. I love your blog and I’m so excited to see you. Greetings Anja
Bonjour, Anja – Thanks for the news! I didn’t know that, but lately I heard that my show ‘La table de Mimi’ is broadcasted in quite a few territories 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy it! Mimix
How I loved all of this, Mimi – of course including Oddur’s always evocative photography. And yes, it is funny the snobbism against “la cuisine de grand mère”…my Honey was raised by his Great-Grandmother (from la Bourrrrrgogne!) and so grew up in the kitchen and yet he will never make her dishes not matter that they are incredibly tasty! I think that even with jambon and endive he has only cooked it once in the 13 plus years that I have lived here…and the rest of the time I have had to make it myself!
Bon Weekend et merci encoure…
Ha ha so funny Heather – your honey must have has a very strict arrière-grand-mère then! 🙂 Bon dimanche and wishing you an amazing spring! Mimix
I love your blog and I’m reading it now for quite some time. The recipes and the pictures are a great inspiration for me.
I recently made your tarte au chocolat with the caramel sauce. My flatmates were really angry with me because they couldn’t stop wanting more….
You plan on having chickens and a vegetable garden? What a wonderful idea, when I read this, I just thought: yeah kind of obvious….
Thank you very much for sharing your wonderful ideas, recipes and life style with us. Me too I love France (for that I’m studying French) and cooking, so your blog is like the incarnation of my dreams 😉
Thank you Sophie – I am thrilled to hear good review on la tarte au chocolat – several other readers have talked about it too 🙂 Now you are making me want to make one for dessert tonight! 🙂 It’s a pleasure to share – enjoy! All best, Mimi x
I am new to your post, introduced to it by the Contessa from California, my dear friend. I am thrilled to be transported to France every time I read the descriptions of your new home projects, food and life.
I am hooked!
I love Contessa – Elizabeth is a darling! Enjoy the blog! Mimi x
Merci pour ce post. J’avais oublié le gâteau de semoule de mon enfance et pour la première fois j’ai envie de manger des endives au jambon (souvenir de cantine). Ce soir le menu est trouvé et ce sera comme le gout d’un doux retour vers l’enfance.Merci.
J’adore! J’ai reçu beaucoup de commentaires si chaleureux, évoquant tant de souvenir d’enfances Je suis si touchée. Il n’y a rien de meilleur que de bons repas de famille! Bon appétit! Mimix
Audrey looks amazingly adorable, she reminds me in the photos of my princess Nour she had long dark hair. I can imagine the men working in your house are happy and enjoying your delcious food, delcious menu and gorgeous photos.
PS so in love with your book Mimi, I can’t wait to see you to sign it for me. Any plans for a signing event in London?
Best wishes xx
Bonjour dear Rowaida! Baby Audrey has changed so much – such a cutie with her hair going in every direction! Yes, I will be coming to London soon – in the spring – will send you and email! Hugs, Mimi x
Miammmm!!! Tout à fait le style de menu que je fais en ce moment avec une variante pour les endives: des miettes de roquefort entre endive et jambon. Mais je vais tester la moutarde! Merci pour ces magnifiques “post”!
Merci chère Nathalie – vive les recettes de grand-mères! Miam, j’aime l’idée du Roquefort – ça doit être bien bon! 🙂 Mimix
These photos are absolutely beautiful… the one of the fruits and vegetables is perfect!!
Thank you Charlotte – every week-end we indulge in an abundance of fruits and vegetables. So much inspiration! Mimi x
As a Mother to five children also in France, I absolutely love all of your photos and recipes. You mix a glimpse into your life whilst teasing our tastebuds to perfection. I will be making both the soupe de Potager and the Endives au Jambon this week – they both look delicious. Thank you
Bonjour fellow Maman! Where do you live? Thank you for your sweet words – it is a pleasure to share our passions through food, family and photography. Enjoy the recipes 🙂 Mimi x
hola Mimi como siempre me encantan sus recetas mañana comprare endivias y las hare.me puede decir si su libro esta a la venta en Españay traducido al español me encantaria tenerlo gracias
I come across this great post with such beautiful pictures just when I’m determined to start seasonal cooking ! I really love your blog ❤️
Thank you Lili, I am so pleased to hear you will start seasonal cooking. Hopefully you can get some inspiration through my blog – I have to update my recipe thumbnails (sorry!), so feel free to scroll down to old posts for more ideas for recipes. Best, Mimi x
Grandma cooking is my favourite, too! One of my favourite cook books as a newlywed, many years ago, was Cuisine Grandmere by Marie-Pierre Moine. I learned how to make simple, comforting dishes like soup a l’oignon, coq au vin, daube de boeuf, ratatouille, tarte tatin, mousse au chocolate, which my family still love. My hubby’s grandma (after much pestering) kindly gave me her recipes for baudroie a l’Armoricaine, and chipirons a l’encre, a bourgeois version of grandma cooking, but still not too intimidating for a beginner. I guess the old fashioned is always fashionable at my table too!
Ooh, Zelda, you are talking about all my favorite dishes here! La cuisine de Grand-Mère, slow-cooked dishes to perfection… are the best! Mimi x
Comfort food sounds wonderful on this chilly weather. I’ve come to realize that while I love cookbooks, the one I always refer back to is my great grandmother’s, a wonderful cook.
I look forward to making this entire meal this week! Thank you!
Sounds wonderful Jennifer – it’s the most wonderful thing to be able to cook family dishes, recipes given from the past, filled with history, love and warmth. Enjoy the endives! Mimi x
DICK……..a new baby?How many do you have now?Those were the workmen around your kitchen table NON?How divine………..I would be doing the same.You and I are on the same page on many things…………I will being adding the endive and ham recipe to my Mimi repotorie…………made the sole the other night!PERFECT!XOXOXO
Isn’t Dick cute? He is Humfri’s son, and let’s say Oddur is in love with him! 🙂 Sacha (holding baby Audrey in the photos) is one of our workmen – he is such a good person and doing an amazing job! Enjoy the endives recipes – make sure to have lots of delicious golden baguette to dip in the sauce ) Hugs, Mimi x
Hi Mimi, Beautiful post, as always. Please tell me… where did you get the sink that is in your kitchen? It’s just what I’m looking for.
Hi Stacey, Thank you for your message. We found the sink at Anne’s, who has a lovely little antique store/brocantes in the next village called St Christoly. It’s an old school sink, which we converted with a vintage table. It was actually quite an easy creation! Good glue, a bit of paint and a few tools. Best, Mimi x
That tenderness post, I love seeing the pictures of people who are fixing your house having lunch with your family. That lovely photo of Gaia and Dick “cubs” walking together.
For years I did not prepare endive with ham, this recipe I had given a friend of the period of study and always liked, has brought me good memories. It is a very rich and very soft menu that will this week. The henhouse and the garden will provide many hopes and joys, my parents have and are very happy with them. A very large and with much love for you all embrace.
Lovely to hear from you! Dick is such a lovely puppy, he’s the son of Humfri, one of our fox terriers. Gaïa and Dick certainly play well together. 🙂 Hope you had a chance to cook the endive recipe – isn’t it nice to cook a long-lost dish? Mimi x
Finally, I’m following you. I should have done earlier but sometimes, “duties” make me forget the most important things. And how “appropriate” …a granny lunch piece to welcome me. I’m not a trendy cook. My cooking is nostalgic, vintage and yes, granny. Your piece has just appease my kitchen choices. Love your writing…so inspiring in what I currently do. Thank you for such generosity.
Thank you dear Louise – so touched by your kind words. Always a pleasure to share! Best, Mimi x
Dreary day in Louisiana, which is usually the case the day before Mardi Gras. The farmer’s soup was a wonderful reprise from the chicken and sausage gumbo. Thanks for the recipe. P.S. # 28 enjoys wild flowers. If you would, leave a few on the doorstep and whisper, “Ce sont chez le croupier.” She’ll know who there from.
Lovely! Thank you – your chicken and sausage gumbo sounds delicious – could you share the recipe? 🙂 Thanks, mimi x
It all sounds delicious but I’m surelly making the endives au jambom. My mother-in-law always sends me endives and since Marco was born and raised in Bourges, I’m quite sure he’ll be surprised with this food from his childhood 🙂
Hello Maria! It’s incredible how many people has shared their fondness from this long-lost childhood dish – I guess that is why it is so comforting. Hope Marco enjoyed it! Mimi x
Absolutely love your blog! Thank you for sharing such wonderful insights into your life in France.
You are welcome Marissa. I hope it will inspire you to try some of my recipes! Best, Mimi x
Just received your cookbook from Amazon..Can’t wait to get started. I also posted the picutre on FB so others could drool and purchase..Fablous recipes, good stories..amazing Photos’..Yea…
Thank you so much Elizabeth – I am so touched. It is such a thrill to see readers post pictures of the book or recipes they made…. it makes my day, always! Merci Mimi xxx
Bonjour Mimi! This all looks so delicious! The images make me miss eating meat! haha 🙂 I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day with your family! See you soon! 🙂 xoxo, dana
Bonjour Dana! We were just talking about you this morning – I was chatting to Corinne from La Hourqueyre, and she mentioned your name. I can’t wait to meet you – let the countdown begin 🙂 Mimi x
I’m new to your blog and I’m loving it! My mom loves French cooking and I plan to make this meal for her for her upcoming 80th! It’ll be a real treat for her.
Bonjour Martha, and welcome to our little culinary adventure here in Médoc! How sweet of you to cook her this meal – my aunt turned 80 yesterday, and I told her that 80 these days is the new 50 🙂 Have a great party and a très joyeux anniversaire to your maman! Mimi x
I don’t envy your time table of March to have everything completed. Feb has flown by. That is an immense amount of firewood in your pile, do you only heat with fire? I am so curious about the running of a chateau. Good luck, you don’t have to respond to me, I know you are busy!
In some parts of the house we do heat with firewood, and in other rooms we are getting by with electric heaters, hoping to install a more efficient system by next winter! There’s a lot of maintenance going on, but we are quite lucky that this house is in good shape. Mimi x
Votre site est un pur délice, à mille lieues des sites “trendy” qui se ressemblent tous. J’adore son design léché, ses recettes authentiques et le récit de votre vie familiale.
Marie de Montréal
Merci beaucoup Marie – je suis très touchée de votre gentil message. J’espère que mes recettes vont vous vous plaire! Mimi x
I love the comfort food. Your book has become my favorite gift. Will you be open for lunch next summer? Please!!
Bonjour Carl – thank you for such a generous comment – I am thrilled to hear you like my book (you’re making my day on this grey Monday!). Merci! And yes, we will be open this summer for lunch, I will let you know when I can start reservations! Mimi x
Buona forchetta, хорошо аппетите, bon appetite! I suppose a happy tummy makes for a happy renovations. Happy Nesting.
Merci ma chère! Bon appétit à toi aussi! Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi !
J’adore ce que vous faites..une question qui n’a rien a voir..d’ou viennent vos jolies robes ? j’adore les coupes…DVF ?
Un grand merci !
Bonjour Isa, mes robes? J’aime beaucoup les robes passe-partout de chez DVF, mais aussi celles de chez APC, elles sont très basiques avec une petite touche féminine, parfaites pour mes journées de maman/cuisinière. Et je craque pour les robes de chez Giada Forte. 🙂 Mimi x
I was just at the market pondering how to cook some endive and actually passed it up! As a child growing up in the Netherlands, my mother would often prepare endive and I found it bitter tasting. Thank you for a perfect sounding recipe!! Cannot wait to try it.
I now live in a part of the US where most folks haven’t a clue what to do with endive:)
Enjoy your blog very much!
Happy to hear Carla – this recipe is a family favorite! Mimi x
Dear Mimi, I am so thrilled to read your article and have to tell you that I was making the endive with ham & cheese back in the 60s, 70s and am now going to do it again as it is just divine with the best swiss cheese and ham.Also the potage which I make and which our two daughters through many triips to France with us when they were still able to come and not having to study for serious exams, just adore. You have given me heart to go back to the wonderful old french and, dare I say italian recipes,(I am half Italian!) and we all just love these photos. Thank you so much.Bertina Melbourne, Australia.
Thank you for sharing dear Bertina – thrilled to hear you will revive lovely food memories. I’m loving all the nostalgia! Best, Mimi x
Dear Mimi, Thank you for sharing this recipe. I recently lost a great grandmother who was best friends with my grandmother. As I was remembering them I realised how unique their cooking was while always being filled with love. Its inspiring a responsibility in me to retain their dishes and spirit in my home. These recipes will fit nicely in the recipe box along with theirs. Merci!
Oh, so sorry to hear of your loss. My grandmother is always on my mind, it’s incredible how much she inspired me. I can’t eat artichoke without thinking of her – she was the one who prepared my first artichokes with vinaigrette. Enjoy the recipes. Mimi x
Hello Mimi and thank you for these beautiful posts and even more beautiful recipes.
I live in Iceland and I don’t think I’ve ever seen this type of salad here, the endives. Can you perhaps recommend any substitutes?
I was just talking to Oddur about it, and we both agree that it’s kind of impossible to get endives in Iceland, unless someone imports it? Perhaps you could ask Fru Lauga, the grocery store downtown? The owner is the uncle of my stepdaughter. 🙂 Otherwise, I would recommend asparagus or even leeks. Mimi x
We love old fashioned too, Mimi… especially wehn we are in Provence.
Delicious inspiration… xv
Thank you dear Vicki! Let’s cross our fingers for an early spring. 🙂 Mimi x
Absolutely stunning! You draw my wandering mind in with the descriptions of place and food. Thank you for sharing!
Merci beaucoup Brittany! Mimi x
Ah, endives…always a winter favourite chez nous too!
Enjoy the recipe – wishing you a happy monday – it’s terribly gloomy over here so I baked a chocolate tart 🙂 Mimi x
I found your blog through the conde nast article in November and have looking through it ever since. I love the pictures of the dogs, they look like a bunch of characters. I made the carrot and ginger soup and it was great help during the cold weather we are having back in new York. The ginger really warmed us up. Your husbands pictures are magical especially when taken in the woods. It looks like something out of a dream. Thank you for sharing
Oh thank you dear Chris! So happy you read that Condé Nast article – Oddur and I are very happy about it, especially sharing travelling tips to our dear region. As for the soup, ginger is my secret weapon for everything – I even have it in the mornings, everyday since forever, with hot water and honey. Now let’s hope for an early spring! Mimi x
Please i didn’t understand, it’s semolina of whole wheat or corn?
if anyone could help me on this one, i appreciate.
Hi Patricia, it’s semolina of wheat (semoule de blé), quite fine. Mimi x
I just received my Vogue magazine with the Kids supplement and saw your interview. Can’t wait to try your Cherry Clafoutis. Looks less complicated than I thought, thanks for sharing.
Bonjour! So happy you got the Vogue France – very happy about it, I always loved that supplement. Oh, cherry clafoutis is one of my favorite cakes (I am told I say ‘my favorite’ far too often!), and very easy to make. I also love making it with apricots. Enjoy, Mimi x
Hum, tous ces petits plats d’hiver qui me rappelent mon enfance ont l’air si bons!
Mimi, tu ne penses pas traduire en français un jour ton blog?
Bonjour Christine, merci! je suis une grand fan de la cuisine de mon enfance, surtout celle de ma tante et de ma grand-mère. Et pour la traduction, hélas, mon emploi du temps est si serré, mais un jour je vais le faire. Merci pour l’encouragement 🙂 Mimi x
Dear Mimi, wow thank you. The endives au jambon were delicious and so wonderful to make. Thank you!
So happy to hear! Merci! Mimi x
Endives au Jambon tonight! Fab post!
Hurray – comfort all the way! Mimi x
The Gâteau de semoule aux raisins looks delicious. I have to try it!
Gosh, this is a beautiful blog! I have just come across it and can’t get enough of your beautiful recipes, family and photographs. It reminds me of Peter Mayle’s ‘A Year in Provence’, but without the tundra winds and crumbling house! Thank you for sharing this with us. L x
I found your book on Amazon (I have an obsession with beautiful cookbooks and beautiful food, though I’m not very good at cooking).
I was instantly smitten! I love your recipes and your story! So when I saw that you had a blog, I knew I had to find it.
I’m in the process of updating my family’s ultra-American eating habits into something a little more refined; thank you for having so many options that will make this transition easier. It really doesn’t hurt that I could spend hours looking at the gorgeous pictures either!
I made both the soup and the endive dish on two separate evenings. The Endives I anxiously waited all week to make and was was not disappointed. Both dishes were delicious as are all of your recipes that I’ve made.
Thank you for such wonderful food.
Hi Kerry, As I’ve said before, strip away all that other stuff but if people are cooking the recipes from my blog and liking them, then I’m a happy girl 🙂 Mimi x
I love the Granny Lunch Post, especially the semolina raisin cake. Look forward to future postings. Keep up the great work.
I have made this amazing semolina cake recipe as a first dessert since I moved to the countryside, and the truth is that I couldn’t have chosen a more perfect recipe.
As I was eating it, listening to a turtledove in the morning, watching my children, I felt something that I can’t even describe… but I’m pretty sure it’s called happiness.
Thank you for sharing such wonderfull things.
Thank you! Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi !
Je suis une jeune cuisinière de 21 ans fan de ton blog et de tout votre univers qui me rappelle la cuisine de ma grand-mère dans le Périgord (pas très loin du Médoc!) :).
J’ai fait les endives au jambon et également ta recette de pancakes, succès garanti à chaque fois merci :).
quite a long read but worthwhile. thanks for sharing the wonderful recipe. can’t wait to try this at home.
I admit I was a little skeptical, but the orange blossom water and fresh fig tart turned out beautifully, and very easy to make! It was a huge hit with my family. Thank you Mimi for the fairy-tale blog and no nonsense recipe.
I too grew up in Hong Kong and now live elsewhere, so I can understand when you say food is a big part of your life growing up- it is practically all consuming!
Hi Mimi, I have a dumb question but might be worth clarifying… Do you use russet potatoes for the soup? In France my primeur sold me bintje, which look like russets. Also, do you peel them before dicing? I’m assuming yes. Thanks! Lynn
p.s. I’ve made the endives au jambon several times now – I love them!