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Madeleine evokes the glorious countryside and robust country cooking of France as she takes us on a culinary tour to eight regions -- Poitou, Auvergne, Normandy, Savoie, Touraine, Alsace, Brittany, and Provence. She tells of marketing in Paris with her notoriously hard-to-please great-grandmother, Marie-Charlotte. Then there was the lean year she spent at the elbow of Mimi, the cook at the boarding school in the Alps where she was sent for safe-keeping during World War II. Working as her aunt Claire's reluctant butchering assistant evolved into a lasting apprenticeship at Claire's Michelin-starred restaurant in the Touraine. In Alsace, it was a Christmas spent in the fold of her mother's family and the gift of her grandmother Eugenie's diary that reacquainted Madeleine with the cooking of her roots. These experiences, together with warm reminiscences of meals and lessons shared with the other four women featured in the book, paint an intimate portrait of a France -- her France -- that has nearly vanished.
With over 250 recipes, each prefaced by the practical advice of an irrepressible teacher, When French Women Cook is an immersion course in authentic, regional French home cooking. Part social history, part memoir, part recipe book, When French Women Cook tells how one inquisitive, supremely talented French girl became the culinary authority we know and cherish.
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