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She says:

I was thinking about writing this week and after a couple of precious meals with my busy husband the thing that came to mind was how much more you enjoy food when you share it with someone you love. Even when you eat alone, a meal becomes special when there is something to associate it with in your memory. That is why the meal you had on that exotic holiday, or the childhood memories of some favourite food stay with you the rest of your life. We are always searching for more of those special memories… maybe that is why the best parties happen in the kitchen.

Well, I really knew that I had the right idea when I went out this evening. The Brownie troop I worked with was having one last get-together, to give the girls a chance to say goodbye till the fall if they hadn’t already. On a hot day, the movie theatre was the place to be, and of course with a few van loads of elementary school girls what do you choose but the animated movie?

As the film opened and I heard the voice explain about having a keen sense of smell and taste, and enjoying every nuance of food, I thought “This is my kind of movie!” Couple that with the usual elements of an animated film – the underdog (“under-rat”?) and the laughter of children in the theatre – and you have a guaranteed good time. For a gourmande like me who loves everything about food and the kitchen, this was a movie made in heaven. I wish I could do those kind of acrobatic moves in my kitchen!

I suppose I am digressing, so I should make the connection for those of you who aren’t following my wayward brain waves… I could get carried away and tell you how thrilled I was to see someone else describe the magic of blending tastes together, or how I loved the abandon the chef showed as his creative juices started to work.

But my point, you see, is that this movie was all about creatures who love food working to share their creations so that they could create special memories. It proved that what I was thinking all along was something that we all share (even those of us who don’t cook): we all want to savour as many moments as possible in our lives. You have often heard us talk here about our cherished moments, and I am sure you share one or two around the dinner table as well.

Every new day gives us the chance to add to our collection, and maybe it won’t be in a fancy place like Paris, but it may be something as simple as a bunch of grapes and a piece of cheese, if you take the time to treat that as an experience.

Bon Appetit!

He says:

Watching the movie was very much like being in a professional kitchen. The movie makers did their home work. Just the personalities alone were very true to many professional kitchens. I saw a few ex-colleagues from the good old days. They show many interesting techniques, too and they use some great copper pans! I strongly suggest that you go see this movie if you are a foody and try to think past the cartoon and see the art, the creativity and the stress involved in cooking for a living.

For those of you who have never made the dish called ratatouille, try it out…

Simple Ratatouille Recipe

4 zucchinis
2 eggplants
4 ripened tomatoes
3 small green peppers
1 medium rd pepper
1 medium to large onion ,or 4 to 5 small fresh onions
2 cloves garlic
flat parsley, chopped
basil, chopped
pepper from the mill
Olive oil for cooking

The order of cooking is actually pretty important, so keep the vegetables separate when preparing them.

Slice the onion and chop the garlic finely. Cut the peppers, clean them and then cut into 1/2 inch squares. Without peeling them, cube the zucchinis and egg plants to an equivalent size into 1/2 inch squares.

Remove the stem and seeds from the tomatoes and cut the flesh into small pieces. Chop the parsley and basil. In a large enough pan, sauté the onion, garlic and peppers in olive oil over a brisk heat, stirring frequently.

Season with salt and pepper. When the peppers are 3/4 cooked (they should be nice and crunchy), remove from pan and keep warm. Sauté the egg plants until they are cooked through and nice and golden. Set aside with the peppers. Sauté the zucchinis, adding the tomatoes and parsley as they start to golden, and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.

Return the peppers and egg plants to the pan, mix all the vegetables thoroughly and add the basil.

You can add a few splashes of water if you want to make the sauce thinner.

This is a dish that all vegetarians in your family will love and the meat lovers will, too.

Ratatouille is a great movie and a great dish.

Happy summer!

More Happy Gourmand articles

About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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