This is my husband’s annual blogpost, enjoy!
On a typical night in our house, Mimi will leave the kitchen after dinner and not return. She will ask me when I’m coming to bed and though I have every intention of coming early I usually come late. My duties in this house start earlier, end later than everybody else’s in the family and while this sounds like I’m complaining, I’m not. These extra hours are spent on a special duty, in the service of dogs. It’s tempting to paint a picture of myself as the lord of the dogs, a master of small things. In reality it is, at best, an entertaining circus of which I have limited control. We have dogs that can never meet, dogs that can sometimes meet but not when the females are in season (and someone is always in season) or not too many at once. That’s not even mentioning the puppies who need extra care and the eccentric gourmands that like to socialize, but just not when they eat. It’s complicated.
There are rules to follow, like not having too many terriers, or at least not too many males. But I don’t follow any of them. When I’m finally in bed Mimi will sometimes ask me why I give myself such chores to do. If it wouldn’t be simpler to have slightly fewer dogs. And it would, of course.
But why, why indeed …
Sometimes the best lines come from otherwise forgettable films. Like the Weatherman with Nicolas Cage. Not a bad movie, but hardly up there with the classics. It has Michael Caine in it which automatically makes it worth watching and one of the things his character says to his adult son is this:
“To get anything of value you have to sacrifice. The harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing. Nothing that has meaning is easy. Easy doesn’t enter into grown-up life.”
I only saw that movie once but that stuck with me and I repeat it to my children all the time. Very young people tend to think that things should happen by themselves and often we don’t appreciate the value of what we’re doing until much later. When I was a young boy in Iceland I wanted to be a veterinarian and I thought the best way to achieve that would be to spend the summer on my uncle’s farm. Once there I quickly realized that my job had very little to do with nursing lambs and puppies and everything to do with boring chores. My days started with shoveling bullshit and ended with collecting rocks into piles in a place so vast that it would have taken me a hundred summers to finish the job. Still, I found a way to tolerate it, making the best possible piles of bullshit and rocks.
It wasn’t fun but it was the right thing to do.
The man who loved radishes
Our children are fortunate. They have a mother who is a fabulous cook and as a result they eat fabulous food every day. They may not realise how fortunate they are now but one day they will (actually I think they already do). I wasn’t that keen of vegetables as a kid, a few I loved, many I liked, others I loathed. One of my grandmothers let me skip all the vegetables if I wanted, the other one tried to force me to eat a suspicious blend from a can. I do remember that I loved the salad bar at Pizza Hut. Later, going to vegetarian restaurants only meant something ranging from totally fine to nothing special. Various stews in Indian disguise, all OK, none great.
When I moved to France vegetables to me were pleasant distractions, or preludes to the all important piece of protein that had to follow and dominate. In Paris we lived next door to a market and since fruits and vegetables look great on a table and I’ve always had a penchant for creating still lifes we bought more than we needed. Which also meant we ate more of them than I had planned. Slowly I fell in love with vegetables and while many chefs and many greens played a part I give credit mainly to two people. My wife (who you know intimately through this blog) and Alain Passard.
He is of course a 3-star chef and in my opinion, beyond his 3 stars, simply the finest chef in the world. The first dish I ever had at his restaurant Arpège, was a salad – with radishes. At the price they charged I was expecting a surprise and I got it. The salad was just a salad. But a glorious one. We went there every year for my birthday, Mimi even interviewed him once (the man is not short on confidence by the way) and I took his portrait. When she asked him why he didn’t have more restaurants than one he simply answered “I am one man, I can not be in several places at once”. Others could learn from that. Sacrifice.
The story of Alain Passard is something like this: He rose through the ranks at the restaurant of his mentor and finally bought it. When he had claimed 3 Michelin stars in his own right he announced that rather than resting on his laurels and churn out more of the same, he would now follow his heart and introduce a new menu dominated by vegetables. Critics were surprised, the competition laughed. He kept his three stars. With vegetables. Mind you, grands crus vegetables from his own orchards.
It can’t have been easy.
But it was the right thing to do.
Eat your vegetables
For the last two years my wife (and in a small way myself) has been hosting wonderful cooking workshops here in our home in Médoc. The first lunch is often vegetarian and always delicious. People don’t even notice that it’s vegetarian. When I bring up the fact they seem surprised. If someone told me tomorrow that I could never eat meat again that would be fine. 10 years ago I would have felt different. In reality I don’t think I’ll ever willingly give up meat but I find myself gravitating towards the greens. They’re just so damn good. Blanched asparagus with olive oil and lemon. Radishes and Champagne with butter (I didn’t say vegan). Mimi’s red salad. Endive tartlets. Mushroom carpaccio. Anything with fava beans. Anything with chard. Tomatoes, pumpkins, onions. Gazpacho, oh la la.
We have a puppy now who’s a special little bugger. He’s very energetic and very stubborn. And a little bit aggressive. He’s called John Ray after the Dunhill designer (long story). He’s on the cover of Mimi’s new book and he looks adorable there. I cook a lot for the dogs. Rice, liver, meat leftovers, carrots, green beans etc. I notice that out of all the pups he kept leaving out the vegetables and only eating the meat. So I stopped giving him meat and only coated the vegetables in broth. Now he loves vegetables.
It was the right thing to do.
The one who got away
In February we had a litter (or rather Dick and Jeanie had) of 5 very beautiful Smooth Fox Terrier puppies. 2 girls, 3 boys. I meant to keep a girl but in the end we kept a boy, just because he reminded me of his grandfather Humfri. One girl, Willow, went to Switzerland to the kindest family imaginable. They proved themselves worthy in every way you could possibly hope. The father, a Sicilian, shook my hand almost with tears in his eyes when they left and said he hadn’t stopped crying since he lost his other dog in November. Willow, you lucked out!
Irving is going to NY in late May, John Ray is staying here but Helmut, the sweetest of all is still without a family.
Which leaves us with Arden. She was perhaps the prettiest of the litter, split face, black and white and the most outgoing character, everybody’s favorite little girl. Mimi and I had gone to Paris in January and upon the recommendation of a friend had decided to spend some of our precious, Parisian hours of liberty at Verjus, a restaurant in the Palais Royal. We had known about Verjus for some time, but never been. We used to go to the same spot when it was another restaurant, Alfred, but had never been back. Our friend, Sarah from Colette, practically made us go. We had the greatest evening. Starting with a Champagne from a small producer (I can’t remember which – it was that good) and simply enjoying every bite of every course and every wine pairing (and much of Mimi’s wine too, she is pregnant after all) it was the perfect date night, and we don’t have many of those.
Soon after we were contacted by Braden and Laura, the proprietors of Verjus who had just lost their dog and wanted to try to fill the void left by his departure. So we arranged a trip down to Médoc and in a very improvised manner I suggested they might cook something to share on the blog. Braden brought his own nettle and carefully sourced Reblochon and before Mimi’s crème fraîche chicken, treated us to a delicious potato salad (see recipe). It was one of those charmed days, warm, sunny, windy. Magical. Meeting old friends for the first time if that makes sense. I though they’d pick a boy, I thought I could keep Arden a bit longer. They sent pictures for the train ride to Paris. They send regular photos from her adventures as resident restaurant dog of Verjus. Tonight, as I was writing this post Hudson brought in the mail (his parents are very good at ignoring the mail box) and in tonight’s batch was a letter from Arden. 5 photos and essay in her own words. And very funny too.
Giving up Arden was hard.
It was the right thing to do.
The boy who wore a blazer
My son Hudson really likes dressing up. He tricked me into buying him a suit on a recent trip to NY and every chance he gets he puts on formal wear. He buttons every shirt up to the top. I don’t believe in spoiling children and I try hard to make them understand the value of things. One thing I believe in is buying better, often more expensive things, respecting them, maintaining them and preserving them. I like to tell him that someone made his jacket with pride so he should wear it with pride and treat it with care. The tweed he’s wearing used to belong to his older brother Þórir, he took good care of it and hopefully Hudson will too. I have, after all, another son coming.
I give the kids all sorts of chores, many to do with dogs but also other more unpleasant things. Kids need duties and they need to sometimes fail their duties. And I need to be angry with them when they do, even if I’m not.
It’s the right thing to do.
He who is coming
My wife and I are expecting a son.I don’t know how she does it. At 8 months she still does everything like she always does. With style and thoughtfulness. My son is lucky to have her as his mother. Lucian, that’s his name.. He will not have the same father as my first son who turns 19 this month. I will be older, greyer, slower when he’s a teenager. But maybe I’ll be, in some ways, better. You have to try to learn, to improve. And when that fails to try harder still. Every night I say to myself, tomorrow I’ll be a better man. And usually I’m not.
But I have to try.
It’s the right thing to do.
Back to the dogs
So why do I like to have so many dogs. What’s the real reason?
It’s called indulging, allowing yourself to make your dreams come true, even if it makes no sense to other people. Of course it’s all a little bit selfish. But at least I’m honest about it.
It’s the right thing to do.
… and besides, I think it’s more fun than playing golf.
Nettle Pesto Potato Salad
As I said earlier, Braden was a good sport and made us this wonderful potato salad with nettle and Reblochon cheese when he and Laura visited in April. He sourced his own cheese and nettle which wasn’t really necessary as we are up to our ankles in nettle here in St Yzans. In iceland we call this “fetching the water over the stream”.
Here’s Braden’s recipe.
200 g/ 7 ounces wild nettles
2 garlic cloves
200 ml/ 7 ounces good olive oil
100 g/ 1 cup grated parmesan
50 ml/ 3 tbsp lemon juice
50 g/ 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts/walnuts/or omit
Soak nettles in ice water.
With two layers of plastic gloves, remove the leaves from the nettles.
Blanche nettles for 1 minute and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
Squeeze out all the water and moisture from the nettles.
Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor mix the above ingredients to a fine paste.
180 g/ 6-7 ounces raw cream or heavy cream
180 g/ 6-7 ounces reblochon cheese cut into small pieces
1 sheet of gelatine
2 nitrous charger
1 isi Siphon
Warm cream in a pot over low heat.
Add piece of reblochon and stir until cheese is melted.
Pass mixture through a strainer to remove any clumps.
Add gelatine sheet and stir until melted.
Pour mixture into a siphon and charge with 2 nitrous chargers.
Keep siphon at or near 38ºC.
New potato/Leek sauce
500 ml/ 2 cups water
100 g new potatoes (peeled)
100 g leeks (green parts removed)
25 ml/ 1 &1/2 tbsp lemon juice
50 g/3-4 tbsp butter
Cook potatoes in water at simmer until potatoes are soft and cooked through.
Add leeks and continue to cook for another minute until leeks soften.
Blend potatoes, leeks and cooking liquid.
Season with lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper.
Roasted new potatoes
1 kilo/ a bit more than 2 pounds new potatoes
Gently scrub new potatoes with a vegetable brush.
Toss potatoes with a neutral oil like sunflower, salt and pepper.
Roast at 200ºc for 25 minutes or until coloured and cooked through.
250 g/ 1 & 1/2 cup shelled peas (blanched and iced)
Warm potatoes in a pan to color edges.
Warm potato and leek mixture in a small sauce pan.
Spoon nettle pesto into the base of the serving bowl.
Spoon roasted potatoes onto the nettle pesto.
Warm peas in the potato/leak sauce, then spoon onto the potatoes in the serving bowl.
Holding the siphon upright, squeeze reblochon espuma over everything.
If I was making this at home, I would leave the gelatine out of the reblochon espuma and rather than aerating it, I would just spoon the fondue over the potatoes.
Green and white asparagus has been a dominating influence in our lives and Mimi’s cooking for the better part of two months. I think (without exaggerating) that we’ve had asparagus every single day for two months. A lot of the time we just blanche the green asparagus and drizzle it with olive oil and lemon. Other times Mimi goes more elaborate. This time I told her I would mention Alain Passard and she decided to make a version of a recipe of his, albeit with an Asian twist. Her parents were visiting in April (see photos) and brought us a load of goodies from their visit to an Asian supermarket in Bordeaux . We’ve had them several times since and will continue to have them as long as there is green asparagus.
25 round ravioli sheets (I used wonton wrappers)
A bunch of asparagus, tips reserved
A large handful of fresh peas
1 glass of Jura wine
250 g/ 1&1/2 cup morel/ morilles mushrooms
A bunch of chopped fresh sorrel leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted buttter
grated zest of 1 lemon
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnishing
Cut off asparagus tips, then halve each tip lengthwise and reserve.
Place a piece of asparagus, about an inch and a half/ 3cm in the center on each wonton sheet.
Brush pasta around mounds of filling lightly with water, then lift half of sheet and drape over mounds.
Press down firmly around each mound, forcing out air.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil.
Add the raviolis to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook for 2 minutes, keeping them al dente.
Lift raviolis with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a plate.
In a large pan, heat olive oil and butter until sizzling. Sauté the morel mushrooms and asparagus tips. Season with salt and pepper and add a dash of Jura wine. Add the fresh peas, the raviolis, lemon zest, and toss everything gently together.
Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and grated parmesan.
T’is the season for strawberries and basically Mimi wanted to please the kids. I have been bringing home organic strawberries for weeks now and while we have most of them straight out of the box sometimes it’s nice to go a little more fancy. This is a recipe from one of Mimi’s episodes of ‘La Table de Mimi’ on Canal+.
For the sponge cakes
125 g flour/ 1 cup, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
125 g/ 2/3 cup caster sugar
A pinch of salt
For the cream
125 ml/ 1/2 cup mascarpone
125 ml heavy cream/ 1/2 cup
1 vanilla pod, split lengthwise
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Add a pinch of salt in the egg whites.
In another bowl, beat the sugar with the egg yolks, until light and fluffy.
Sift the baking powder and the flour together. Add to the egg yolk mixture.
Whisk the egg white until stiff peaks. Gently fold in the egg whites with a spatula.
Fill muffin tin two-thirds full and bake for 15 mins, until golden, risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool for a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the cream
In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream with the mascarpone until smooth and thick. Add a few tablespoons of icing sugar and vanilla seeds (according to your taste, I prefer not too sweet) .
Slice the strawberries, halve the little sponge cakes and assemble.
Hi it’s Mimi again, signing off after my husband’s (long) post. Which I loved by the way 🙂
I just wanted to share the cover of my new book, I’m so proud of it, so happy with it. When we started talking about it, even before the first one came out I dreamt it would end up in a certain way, and it did.
I’m usually a summer girl but this year October can’t come early enough.
French Country Cooking – in stores October 25th but available for preorder now on:
153 thoughts on “The Right Thing To Do”
Such a nice post as always ! I hope Helmut finds the family he deserves. I secretly wants to adopt him of course …
As I said on Mimi’s instagram this afternoon, I don’t know where she finds the energy now that she’s 8 months through … I admire you Mimi !
Lucian ! How funny. I remember you giving away the boy’s name you had in mine had Audrey been a boy. It was Marcel. My grandfathers were called Marcel, and Lucien !
Good luck with the last weeks of pregnancy Mimi.
Bonjour Alice, So good to hear from you. Hope your baby is doing well! I am nearly reaching the end of the pregnancy, although always unsure of the date as I have a tendency to be overdue… Wishing you a lovely week, Mimi x
Thoroughly enjoyed all these stories within a story. I only have two dogs and totally get the “dog drama” with the various personalities. Mine aren’t even terriers, but spaniels (Tibetan), boys. And John Ray looks great on the cover of Mimi’s wonderful new book!
Great post as always 🙂 you’re such a beautiful family inside out.
The cover of your new book is absolutely beautiful, cannot wait to buy it.
Merci Graziella ! xx
Thanks Monica! I love Oddur’s posts, and so happy that John Ray made it on the cover! Mimi x
A wonderful post full of wonderful things – dogs, food, love of a splendid wife and French country life.
I just ordered the new book. I may have to order a second copy of the first one, too. I have loved it to death, and it is now looking very well loved, errr – more than a bit worn.
Thank you for the beauty and the bounty,
Hello Jerrine, Thank you for pre-ordering the new book! I am thrilled! As for the worn cookbook, that’s how I like them – they bring back so many food memories, and an extra buzz for me because it means you have been cooking from it! Merci! Mimi x
MARRY ME! : )
U-HUM, U-HUM, now now Kim! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Laura & Braden are lovely people, we know them from Verjus and back when they had Hidden Kitchen.
You gave the dog to the right people. They will all be so happy together!
They are wonderful people, and so happy Arden is now the mascot of Verjus! Can’t wait to visit them. Hope all is well with you! Hugs, Mimix
I believe you and your family are just a fairy tale. My grandfather’s name was Lucian. Love the life you live.
Thanks Linda – a modern fairy tale? I don’t know if fairy tale exists, but it feels good to live a life I wished for.:) Mimi x
Oh my goodness Oddur, every time I see the fox terriers my whole heart goes out to them. My grandmother had them in Prague and again when we moved to Canada. I love them. Thank you so much for the lovely stories all woven together. Mimi I’m so looking forward to your new book as well, and secretly want to adopt all the puppies, (even the difficult ones.) xoxo
Oddhur, what a great post! Lucian is a great name btw. Have a great evening. Oh also, you’re right about dogs being more interesting than golf!
You did the right thing by marrying Mimi and having beautiful children. I am #10 in a family of 12 and thankful for that. You are a great photograher and I love dogs too. Keep doing the right thing!
Thanks for sharing,.
dear Mimi and Oddur,
Thank you for this blogpost, story and beautiful pictures.
Thank you Oddur for giving life to Mimi’s recipes, you are a wonderful duo.
And as for the name you planned for your son, we would have given it to our 4th child if it had been a boy, Lucien… Such a coincidence.
Love the portrait of the “old” lady with Mimi. And Alain Passard whom I met when I was still a law student and the Arpège where we also go once a year for my or my husband’s birthday…
So many gustative memories.
ANd congratulations for the new book, will order it ASAP!
bises de Paris
Bonjour Cécile – un petit temps de pause… j’adore quand Oddur se met à écrire – son sens de l’humour m’épate toujours! J’étais très heureuse de revoir mes parents, ma maman a fait un petit ‘cameo appearance’ dans ce blog post! Merci pour tes jolis mots! Mimi x
What a lovely interesting well written post ! The dogs are so charming and loved and the pile of puppies shot is wonderful.
I can’t take my eyes off the strawberry shortcake and the sweet little daughter ready to dig in.
The message on the Right Thing is really excellent thanks for the reminder.
Thanks Sarah – I love it when Oddur writes, his sense of humor always makes me 🙂 !
Enjoy the recipes – the strawberry shortcake is extra light and delightful! Mimi x
what a great post, very nice to read, and great pics too. you are such a lovely couple, we feel so much love through your words and photos and of course recipes. Lucian: beautiful name for a baby boy to come <3 thank you for sharing your universe!
Thank you Christelle! So happy to have Oddur in this post, we are always thrilled to share and make people smile 🙂 Can’t wait for these next weeks, the last weeks of pregnancy are… long… A bientôt, Mimi x
Manger never disappoints, I like many, look forward to each new post. The ability to bring all the beauty of nature, wonderful recipes and your gorgeous family together to share with the rest of us is very much appreciated. Thank you for all your efforts and congratulations in living life to its fullest.
Thanks Sherrie for such encouraging words, Oddur and I are thrilled to share our world! Mimi x
Oddur ,Mimi ,I love you. Reading your texts is as a “berceuse “I ‘ve appreciated to see Louis and Geneviève .
Merci Andrée – c’était un plaisir de revoir mes parents! Ils vont bien, toujours énergétiques! J’espère que vous allez bien! A bientôt j’espère! Mimi x
I just love your family so much! We too have a larger-than-normal family (5 children) and all of your parenting tips are so true and wise! It is such an art to raise up kids to be resilient, humble yet with a healthy dose of self confidence gained by experience/trial and error, PLUS the love & goodness from the warmth of family, siblings, pets, and nourishing traditional foods. It’s healing for all involved…what a blessing and many, many more to you all and your newest member I’m sure excitedly awaiting to join you all in person!
Oh thank you Valerie! We try our best to raise a balanced and healthy family. Good education, discipline and lots of love are the best ingredients! We always encourage our kids to be independent. We can’t wait to introduce Lucian to the world, how I wish I could press fast forward for these next few weeks! These last weeks before the birth are too long! 🙂 à bientôt, Mimi x
J’attends toujours les posts de votre mari avec impatience et je les lis avec bonheur et patience. Ce sont de très belles valeurs (Que je partage ) que vous inculquez à votre petite tribu. Et c’est beau de se dire qu’ils en transmettront certainement quelques unes à leurs propres enfants un jour. Félicitations pour votre petit Lucian à venir.
Merci Laurane! Mimi x
Fabulous long post. Love the dogs of course, and the children because we too have five! and totally agree with your passion for vegetables. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Merci
Thank you! You are always a ray of sunshine! Merci pour tes jolis mots, Mimi x
Lovely post Oddur! Lucian a beaucoup de chance de vous avoir tout les deux et j’en suis sûre qu’il va adorer les légumes!
Mimi, congratulations pour ton nouveau livre, j’attendrais la version française. Beaucoup de bonheur et santé pour le nouveau née. Il ne reste beaucoup de temps pour voir son petit visage. All the best ! xxx
Merci Eva! Nous sommes ravis du nouveau livre, il sortira cet Octobre en Anglais/ Américain et en Francais à la prochaine rentrée! On se reverra peut-être lors de la dédicace? 🙂 Mimi x
Avec plaisir Mimi ! x
I can’t wait for the book! Thank you for sharing your life, stories and recipes.
Thank you for being there! Mimi x
Oddur writes like a dream, and a wonderful, different look at the life you beautifully depict in all of your posts. I eagerly await your new book and wish you and your family (and dogs, and Lucian when he comes) the best.
Oh, thank you for such sweet words! We are thrilled, it’s like having 2 babies this year! Mimi x
Thank you. I am looking forward to your next book. I am from Australia and some ingredients we cannot get here. I am coming to France in September with my husband, we are staying 2 weeks in Lacanau Océan. Would you have any cooking classes available at this time please?
Hi Christine! Thanks for your kind words. September classes are full, but please send an email to [email protected] and we will double check. Mimi x
What a beautiful life you have and I so enjoy your blog and dreaming of having same in my next life. Mimi’s receipes are simple and great – beautiful food – looking forward to cookbook.
Thanks Pam, Mimi x
Did Hudson, who seems to follow in the style of John Ray who once remarked he’d like to ban casual Fridays, have a hand in naming your John Ray? I’m so curious about the story!
Great post. I believe all you need in the world is love and a dog. Oh, and maybe some good wine. You have it all.
Take care and get her to the hospital on time.
Thank you for sharing your such beautiful feelings. So much love.
Merci! Mimi x
What a lovely blog by Oddur! I didn’t know Mimi was expecting again but many many congratulations to you and your family on the impending arrival of your son! I cannot wait for your new cookbook to come. I devour the first book reading it and trying the new recipes and cannot wait for the second one to come. xo
Thank you Mel – baby is due soon! Mimi x
Oh my! I just noticed…is that a cameo from Mimi’s side of the family?! How wonderful! There is a certain resemblance ever so graceful and elegant and oh so slightly reserved 🙂
Yes, my parents are discreetly in this post! 🙂 Mimi x
Fabulous post and what a new book cover! John Ray is adorable too… Wishing you all the best.
Thank you Peita! Mimi x
Would you believe I have that ITALIAN BOWL and the same Champagne glasses!
A Beautiful POST by a BEAUTIFUL MAN!
He is a KEEPER………..
AS FOR MY THIRD SON when YOU TIRE Of him………dressing UP!OH MY GOODNESS He has GOT TO BE RELATED TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!He is growing UP TOO FAST!
Book signing in SAN FRANCISCO PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!PLEASE.We have the NAPA VALLEY TOO that should spark some interest!
A BABY BOY………..what JOY!
Can’t wait! These last weeks are so loooong, wish I could press fast forward 🙂 ill do my very best to come to the West coast for book signings, promise! Mimix
I am WAITING!!!!!!!!!!XOXOXO
Oddur, fabulous words and photographs!
My brother had Smooth Fox Terriers, so I have a small understanding of the dog dynamics of the breed. A very special breed, very attractive, very agile and smart!
Oddur and Mimi, you’ve both worked really hard to develop what you have. Well deserved, and comes with much ongoing “wise counsel” for your children.
I’ll preorder again.
Hi Mimi and Oddur,
Reading this blog post brings so much pleasure and joy to my normal morning ! I really enjoy it! I am looking forward to get a copy of your cookbook later this year. Wish Mimi has a smooth delivery to the baby boy! Your family must be happy and waiting for his arrival 🙂 take care.
Thank you Syeling! Mimi x
Thoroughly a pleasure to read! Your pictures always are such soul-stirring beauty. Oddur had me in tears over his confession. One of my dreams I’ve yet to realize though my farm is ruled by Russell Terriers and one equally noble Great Pyrenees. I adore your life, such a beautiful way to live. Cheers to your continued health, happiness and a home rich with dogs and children.
Thank you for such a sweet comment Stacy! Mimi x
I adore your way of life and your family…how wonderful to actually live your dreams!… Please include more recipes since they sound so delicious and even better ,healthy!! Of course many good wishes for your new baby son when he arrives.. Thank you, have a wonderful summer.
Thank you Susan – I am so happy to hear you enjoy the recipes! I love anything seasonal and I have lots of goodies coming up with artichokes etc! Mimi x
This post warms my heart on so many levels as did my time spent with your family during our October workshop. I do hope our paths cross one day soon. Hugs to all from New Orleans.
Hi Yvette! We miss you! Hope you and family are well how I wish we would come your way and share a smashing New Orleans dish! Soon I hope! Hugs from all of us, Mimi x
I love your photos always and I especially loved the dog stories and of course the recipes. Your new book cover looks very inviting.
Thanks Denise! We are thrilled with the new book, can’t wait to share more! Mimi x
Bonjour Mimi & Oddur! After one of the most horrible days at work, this was truly a welcomed post and getaway without having to leave home. I love you guys’ stories so much… I even made Kev read this post since Oddur wrote it! 🙂 I was really happy to see all of the veggie dishes!!! 🙂 …and I adore the new book cover! I have, of course, preordered my copy! We’re looking forward to seeing you guys in October and receiving the new book! Blessings! xo, Dana
Can’t wait to see you and Kev, sharing some ‘Sunset’ wine in October 🙂 ! Mimi x
Dear Mimi and Oddur, thanks for sharing this wonderful post and photos. I needed this so much today! Sometimes in life you need to stop for a moment, slow down and think. This post stopped me exactly at the right moment. Sacrifice and doing the right things…wonderful thoughts and so true!Thank you! Nice greetings, Judit
Thanks Judit, thrilled to hear you enjoyed the post. Oddur is a wise man 🙂 Mimi x
Really enjoyed this post as usual, I could totally “see” all the goings on with the dogs, visitors, home cooking and parenting. So much energy in your lives. All the very very best for next month with Lucien’s arrival. And so starts a whole new chapter!!
Thank you so much Fiona! A bientôt, Mimi x
Beautiful words, beautiful photos, beautiful family, amazing recipes.
It is a blessing being busy with your kids around, cooking for them and enjoying them growing up.
Congratulations on your new book, I preordered from Amazon uk and can’t wait to see it.
Hope all is fine with your pregnancy wishing you a safe and he large deliver
Best wishes and much love
Thanks Rowaida, I am so touched to hear you pre-ordeerd the book. Merci! Greetings to your wonderful family, always a pleasure to get your newsletter! Mimi x
Thank you Mimi xo
Sorry for the mis typing. wishing you a safe and healthy delivery.
I can’t wait to sign up for a workshop with my family to meet your family
Best wishes and much love
BELLISSIMO POST!!!! PROVERO A FARE GLI SHRTECAKE ALLE FRAGOLE……
Grazie! Mimi x
What a lovely post ! Such a great insight of your family life ! Well I guess we are all waiting to discover the little baby face of Lucian…Exciting !
Thank you! Can’t wait to introduce him! Mimi x
It’s hard to decide which is more beautiful–the words or the images. A lovely, lovely post full of quiet strength and grace.
Thank you so so much! Mimi x
I’ve been waiting for new post very long and here it is! Nice words Oddur. And Mimi, i can not wait for October! 😉 When i showed your first book to my friend she was thrilled. Now she has own copy and i think she’ll have your second book 🙂
PS Todaydinner will be asparagus.
Thank you! Oddur’s post are my favourite! Can’t wait to shar emore of th enew book! Soon! 🙂 Mimi x
I just adore these blogs! A real gem in the mele of life as we know it today!….have signed up for your new book too, bonne chance!
Thanks moira! Mimi x
I enjoyed your story of kids, dogs, and vegetables. Hopefully Mimi’s pregnancy will proceed without problems. Having 2 daughters and three grand daughters, the only boys are the family dogs. I hope we will be able to see you this summer as we return to the Medoc at the end of June. We have had an interesting years with a destructive flood here in SC. Maybe I can bring you guys lunch one day.
I still remember your post from last year Oddur, as if I had just recently read it. I enjoyed reading this one just as much & your photos are wonderful, always. I’m glad you got me started on Instagram – it’s a treat every time photos & news pop up from you & Mimi. Lucky Baby Lucian is about to come into a beautiful life for a child to learn & grow !
Mimi has a wonderful way with vegetables ! My husband, Matt & I have vegetarian dinners most nights – we’re still fish & meat eaters, but going heavy on the veggies works best for our health. By the way, I still have Louise’s original vegetarian artwork – her painting of a tomato that Hudson “custom ordered” for me at the workshop last May.
I’m so looking forward to getting my hands on Mimi’s new book – I still love getting lost in the pages of her first one!
Oh, those puppies! Do you walk the dogs, or do they just roam around the grounds (as most dogs in France seem to)? I also cook for my dog (the soppiest spaniel ever) – roast chicken, lamb hearts, liver, toasted fish skin, our leftover rice and veg, lol 😉. Loved this post, Oddur. X
Oh Mimi, that man of yours! He’s a keeper.Poignant, piercing words of wisdom. Felt like a cermon, really and left me in tears. I’m MAKING my husband read it. Love from Brittany.
Thank you Lena! I love Oddur’s post, yes, he is a keeper 🙂 Mimi x
Oddur shoud start his own blog, I always nearly pee myself laughing with parts in his posts and am left pondering with others. I love dogs, so this one has spoken deeply to my heart! This husband of yours should seriously think about writing his own blog, though. Or he should make this a bi-annual tradition, it would be fun!
Hi, I do agree with you! His blog would be so entertaining! Mimi x
Mimi..congratulations for your new book. Not only the cover makes me curious what is inside.
Oddur…I wasn’t so lucky with my
dog as you was with John Ray re. tricky food change and b.t.w. you are not only a talented photographer but a good story teller/writer as well. Enjoy
both your wonderful family life and all the best for the imminent
Thank you so much for your kind wishes! Mimi x
I loved this post. As a new father of a 10 week old boy, he has already shown me that nothing that has real meaning is easy.
Looking forward to October too.
Thanks Drew! Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy! All the best, Mimi x
You have a wonderful life. I look forward to Oddur’s yearly posts. I often wonder how you have such amazing children as mine only tried cherries 2 days ago (and loved them) and she’s 8.. When she refuses to try something I know she’d enjoy I often think of you and your kids and wonder how you do it. Perhaps it’s cultural but I admire your beautiful family. Take care. xo
Thank you Courtney! We love to share everything with the children, and I believe that a lot of our basic education starts at the table. Our kids are food lovers, we try to keep their minds open 🙂 Mimi x
What a lovely post Oddur! I always enjoy your annual blog post and your view on things. You and Mimi are very generous with your stories and insights on your personal lives. It was also nice to see Mimi parents on the blog. Thank you and looking forward to try the recipes! Cassandre xx
Did you find an owner for your female puppy???? We lost our beloved dog last year and our family would love to adopt a new pooch to give our hearts to.
We are living in France until July, when we return to the USA (Montana), a real “dog town”:)
Yes, Arden went to Paris, we still have one male puppy left, Helmut – he’s the sweetest of the group! Mimi x
Hello Mimi, Hello Oddur,
I hope you are fine and Lucian as well… 🙂
I love your blog and your family life and your creativity when its coming to kitchen and atmosphere.
Its so inspiring.
In fact, we would love to adopt Helmut if he’s still available.
We are a family of one mum and 3 nearly adults living in Bordeaux. We have a very kind and friendly grandpa cat (moumou) who just shared his space with a dog once.
We have a loving and happy family life (unfortunately without garden) but we love to escape see the ocean very often.
Since a while I am thinking of taking a dog, because I love dogs.
But not a very huge one (no garden ;-))
So if its still possible, we would be glad to welcome Helmut at our house (if he’s not afraid of cats of course ;-))
In the meanwhile I wish you lots of joy and good luck!
P.S. And yes, I’m not french but german
Hi Cornelia, Thanks for such a sweet message! Still waiting for Lucian. Sorry to say, but Helmut has already been adopted by a lovely family in Paris… He’ll be leaving later this week. They are so irresistible. Wishing you all the best, Mimi x
I’m glad to hear that Helmut found a loving home 😉
I wish you good luck and lots of love and happy hours with the arrival of Lucian.
And enjoy summer in the médoc 😉
Thoroughly enjoyed your post, Oddur! Thank you for sharing your life and experience with us. I started to quote it you to my husband and ended up leading loud almost all of it. I suppose it was the right thing to do.
Last summer when we were in Paris I was drawn to the interior of an empty restaurant and took few pictures of it. It turn out to be Verjus. Thank you for the tip, it’s worth trying during our next visit.
Wish all the best to your family!
Lovely post. I love your commitment to your family AND your dogs. My sweet German Shepherd would have a terrific time playing with your pups. I would have a terrific time eating Mimi’s cooking. Life is a blessed thing.
Thank you Shawna! Mimi x
First I wish to tell you how your photos makes me dream. I love the angle/perspective, the “rustique” atmosphère or the magic one. I think of the one with your son Hudson in Italy, it’s night, he is delighted to eat ice cream and behind him, the illuminated town, the water and the dog. It’s such a joy to read both of you. You are gifted to give and share with all of us a kind of fairy life. I guess it’s not, you should have your own troubles. It’s like one adventure we follow, the next one is the birth of the baby. Could you imagine your followers through the world sending all their love to Mimi and you and the new one. it’s a crazy story.
You give us all the best you have, be blessed for your sharing.
love the post. We can’t wait for the new cook book. We sell your first one at the Willows in Phoenix because my entire family uses it all the time so it makes it easy to sell. Would love to come to one of your classes in September or October so please let me know how to sign up. Thank you Bev
Hi Beverly! Thanks for your kind words. The workshop is quite full but please send an email to [email protected] so we can double-check with your dates. Would love to meet you. Mimi x
You’re dogs remind me of the dog my brother & I had as youngsters. We lived with our grandparents on their farm/tree nursery and one afternoon we found a litter of pups just like these in our barn. The mother dog had carried them down from a neighbor’s house. We claimed one as our own and named her RCA because she looked just like the dogs on the RCA records. The owner came and found the rest and let us have them. Great memories and she was a great dog!
Dearest Mimi & Oddur,
I have been reading your blog for few years but have never commented… And that’s not the right thing to do.. I always felt that my life is so far from the dream you both have created. I am from Iran and chose Vancouver, Canada as home. I just shared this beautiful post with my Peruvian partner to encourage him, with your stories, to stay on his path and not give up on what he believs and love to do. We are both dreamers and have so much illusion about our life together and it is just wonderful to see through the lens of Oddur that it is all possible..
I immensely enjoy reading your words (both you & Oddur) and admire your strength and sense of vision. And Mimi, you remind me so of much of my mother.. She used to say; ‘you can smell life when something is baking in the oven’ and I can smell life by just looking at your book. I cannot wait to see your new book and impress Eduardo with real French food.
Wish you the sweetest Mother’s day ahead with the safe arrival of your new joy. Thank you for sharing your joys with us.
With love/ Helia
It’s always such a pleasure to read from you and you spoiled us with quite a lengthy post!
Thank you for sharing some of your wisdom and experiences.
All the best to the both of you and your family, dogs included, of course!
Merci Cécile! Mimi x
Love reading your stories!
Thank you! Mimi x
LOVED Oddur’s blog. I’ve re-read it several times. Very nicely done. Love your blog too Mimi. I always look forward to it and the wonderful recipes. I’ve already pre-ordered your book and can’t wait to get it. Thanks for sharing the stories of your charming family, including the dogs. Best to both of you.
Thank you so much Barbara, I am so touched! Mimi x
What en extraordinary family you are so fortunate to be blessed with..four-legged friends included, of course!
I am constantly inspired by your flavorsome blog..
Can’t wait to order your new book
Thank you Bridget! We are thrilled to share the new book soon! Mimi x
What beautiful words! Just another reason why I always come back to the blog–Mimi, the food, the dogs and the family!
Thank you! Mimi x
I’ve actually never commented on anything on the internet ever, however I wanted to let you know I cannot wait to purchase your second cookbook & have it posted to Australia in October as your first one is a weekly culinary reference for me. Your blogs are my absolute favourite, so, so heart warming and I loved this one by your husband and I LOVE that he loves dogs so.
All the best with your new baby in the coming weeks.
Your husband’s eloquent post is very inspiring — as are yours!
Thank you for this wonderful post Oddur, your writing is amazing, full of grace and elegance; thank you for your pictures that are always so beautifully composed and bring Mimi’s recipes to life; you really have a unique way of capturing things and the finest aesthetic ever; thank you for sharing;
All the best!
beautiful blog! 🙂
Wonderful, special bohemians and striking post! My warmest wishes for both happy events of this year… Lucian, and the new book (which of course can not be missed: with John Ray on the cover becomes even more special!)
the philosopher Peter Singer, whose book Animal Liberation (1975) was a founding text for the modern movement (The Vegan Society), wrote in The Guardian: ‘I haven’t eaten meat for 40 years, but if in vitro meat becomes commercially available, I will be pleased to try it.’. Will it be the same for you? 🙂
Hugs from Italy,
You’re feeding my soul with the pictures on Mimi’s instagram, on yours and here on the blog. Each photo is a dream and the way your carefully put them together here has no equal. Congratulations to you and Mimi on everything; you guys blog and everything around it that you do is truly amazing.
Thank you Lana for such a heartfelt comment! I am very touched. It is always a pleasure to share and inspire others. Merci! Mimi x
Cannot believe it’s been a year since Oddthur’s last post and worth the wait! Still love reading the blog and looking at all the pics on instagram – a special place away from the rat race! Hope all goes well with the baby x
Oddthor – Haven’t got my glasses on !!!!
Doesn’t time fly! Counting the days/weeks till baby come! Enjoy this beautiful spring/summer season. Mimi x
I love your blog. I’ve read it for the past 3 years. It frequently lifts my spirits and stirs happiness into my day. Days with small children can sometimes feel unending. I wish, however, that I was able to navigate through past posts easier. I would love to be able to look at all the posts you did in 2013 sequentially, without having to click previous page so many times. Or look at all the posts you did in a specific month. I thought of this when, yesterday, I wanted some cooking inspiration for May and wanted to look at the types of recipes you usually cook in May and June. I am happy to just go back and reread your blog (sometimes it’s like a favorite fairy tale that brings you comfort) but it would be more user friendly to have an archive organized by month and year. You bring a lot of love and beauty to the internet and to so many people’s lives. I hope that you continue to do so for many years even though your lovely brood of children may sometimes make that difficult. Thank you!
Hi Lana, You are so right! That’s why we’ve been working on a new website, much user-friendly to navigate through all the recipes. Should be ready by this fall. Mimix
This is such a lovely post, Oddur, with gorgeous photos as always. Mimi and Oddur, you’re so generous to share your life with your readers! It makes your blog very appealing. You’ve not only put Medoc on the map for most of us, but also made large families “popular”, for lack of a better word. God bless you and your family
Enchanting from beginning to end.
So excited to see a new post – its like finding a letter on the door mat (a handwritten one of course )excited at what’s inside. Stunning pictures, beautiful relatable writing, scrumptious recipes and a wonderful quote which is now chalked up on the kitchen board for my three girls to read. Thank you Oddur.
I loved the ‘long’ post. It was wonderful!
I have a question about the strawberry shortcake recipe?
Do the egg whites need to be whisked?
Thank you xx
Hello! Yes, the egg whites need to be whisked until light until stiff peaks. Then you fold it in the mixture. Enjoy. Mimi x
Your blog is so unbelievably beautiful, your pictures and your content. So inspiring and motivating.
Really great work!
Maybe you´ll have a look on my little blog one day.
Best wishes from Germany
I just came across your blog — it is fabulous. What a wonderful husband!!!!! Loved everything especially your son’s love of “formal wear” and the puppies. I would love one of your puppies.
My son and I spent a 10 days week in Italy and Nice visiting my daughter at Skema. We loved visiting.
Kimberly in North Caroliba/USA
Lovely, lovely post! Hubbie should post more often.(It’s the right thing to do!)
Thank you…made my evening!
Encore et toujours de magnifiques photos ! J’adore !
The sweetest post! Sounds like les enfants are in good hands between the both of you. It’s a lot of working teaching and doing the right thing, but oh so worth it…Happy nesting!
Hi Mimi! LONG time reader, first time commenting…..
I truly truly hope that this doesn’t come across the wrong way but I am curious – you feel so comfortable drinking wine during pregnancy! I absolutely think, in my own very personal opinion, that there’s nothing wrong with it…..but of course being American, I know that if someone here saw a pregnant woman drinking wine, they might fall right out of their chair!
Is it something that is very different in France? I’ve only been once and know that the way of life is so very different (in so many wonderful ways).
Anwyay, I know that it is SUCH a personal question but I guess I just really wanted to ask….and in a way….applaud!
(Also, your first cookbook was a gift and I immediately fell deeply in love with it and your blog….I can’t wait until October now!)
Hi Nicole! Sorry for the late reply, I am getting back on track after a long holiday! 🙂 Regarding your questions, I don’t drink during my pregnancy, however I allow myself to have a few mini sips here and there, because I want to taste the ‘connection’ with my meal. However, we are very relaxed here in France, so generally speaking, a few sips of wine is not an issue. Mimi x
Baby Boy! Darling and wonderful. Congratulations!
Juste vous dire comme votre petit bonhomme est adorable et vous souhaiter beaucoup de joie à tous avec lui !
c est avec impatience que votre nouveau livre est attendu
mais en attendant ,permettez moi de vous reformuler ma demande vous
seriait il possible de me dedicacer votre premier livre
j habite bordeaux et je vous ai laisse mes coordonnes lors de mon passage dans votre village
je vous sai gre de votre comprehension
belle continuation a vous
et merci pour votre tres beau blog
Just finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, a novel which features a family who breeds and exceptional (and fictional) line of dogs. It is a dramatic story but as a large theme of the book revolves around dog breeding I wondered if Oddur has heard of it and wanted to recommend it here. : ) Loved the post, thanks!