Today I am thrilled to share with you my third French mum interview 🙂
When I asked Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini, for a copy of her new book, Edible French I asked her if she would make us the privilege to share with us a few of her food memories and top tips as a mum. Yes… Clotilde is not only a 30-something French food writer living in Paris but she is as well the mum of a lovely boy called Milan who is almost two and a half 🙂
Croque-Maman: What is your most cherished childhood food memory?
Clotilde: When I was growing up, my grandmother came to lunch every Sunday, and she was in charge of bringing dessert. As luck would have it, she had a very good pâtisserie downstairs from her on rue Poncelet, and every week she brought different cakes and pastries for us all to share. We felt absolutely spoiled and this is how I discovered, and fell in love with, all the classics of the French repertoire from mille-feuille and fraisier to Saint-Honoré and Paris-Brest.
CM: What are your top tips to manage meal time and/or to promote healthy childhood eating?
C: What I discovered early on with my son is that things go much, much better at meal time if I stick to this principle: my responsibility is to provide a variety of fresh, healthful foods (with the occasional indulgence thrown in); my son’s responsibility is to decide what he eats, and how much of it. This keeps him in the driver’s seat of his own eating and in touch with his own appetite and tastes, which I think is key to a lifelong healthy relationship to food. And it keeps me from worrying, fretting, or taking things personally — I do my job and let him do his.
I also believe that kids learn largely by example, and I have faith that as he sees us eating varied, balanced meals with lots of vegetables, drawing pleasure from the food itself and, just as important, the shared moments, he will integrate these eating habits much more efficiently than if we purposely tried to drill them into him.
CM: What are your children’s favourite dish(es)?
C: Milan is a big fan of madeleines (especially homemade ones, I use my perfect madeleines recipe for those), bananas, and eggs in any shape or form. For everything else, he goes through phases of adoring something, then losing interest for a while before loving it again, which certainly keeps us on our toes.
CM: Could you please share with Croque-Maman one of your best family recipe and any story/comment related to it?
C: I often cook one-egg omelets for the whole family: they’re simple egg pancakes that you can play around with, adding herbs or cheese into the batter, and garnishing them with all kinds of ingredients like you would tortillas. I started making them when Milan was small and I was looking for something he could eat independently at breakfast: they’re really good for small children, who can eat them with their fingers easily and with minimal mess. You can find the recipe on Chocolate & Zucchini – The One-egg omelette.
Clotilde has published other books before Edible French, The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes from My Parisian Kitchen being the most recent.
Photo credit: Chocolate & Zucchini