I tried it, and by gum, it works.

That's the 5th sentence of my 23rd post: the 23.5 meme, brought to you by Sylvia, my blogodoppelgänger. My 23rd post was about raw cookie dough, and the thing that works (by gum!) is substituting soy flour for eggs.

This is entirely apropos of this totally stupid book I'm reading right now, French Women Don't Get Fat. Like I'm really gonna whip up an asparagus flan or a celery root rémoulade to serve my kids for dinner. Like I'm really gonna start sitting down to eat breakfast. You know, breakfast on fine china with a fresh white linen napkin. I haven't eaten breakfast sitting down in years.

Actually, the book's premise makes a lot of sense. Eat delicious, fresh, flavorful, homemade food. Whatever you want. You won't mind the smaller portions because the food tastes so interesting. You'll be satisfied with less.

But the book is totally annoying. Not just because it prescribes a totally unrealistic lifestyle (at least, for me) but because of the way it's written. For one thing, it's unnecessarily full of French phrases, such as: "I still needed to me remuer (move my butt)." What's the point of that? To remind us she's French? The whole book is about French women. We already know she's French.

Which brings me to my second criticism. Apparently all French women are alike. And all French women are incredible. Did you know that "[j]ust as French women have an uncanny knack for using the same scarf to create a different effect by draping it over the head, neck, shoulders, or waist, in the kitchen they master a few basic preparations and leave the rest to improvisation . . . " Yadda, yadda. Or how about this? "French women live on budgets, too, but they also understand the value of quality over quantity." Well, excuuuuuuuuse me!

Think I'll go whip up a batch of cookie dough.


  • The French are annoying, indeed. I had the pleasure of living in Paris for a year, and all I heard about was how much better they were vs. the U.S. At everything.

    Once I got out of Paris, it was very different. Charming, upbeat, rural, and ready to welcome you with open arms.

    And the wine. Oh, the wine...

    posted by Blogger Fred on 9:58 PM  

  • I'd give that broad a french knuckle sandwich if I ever ran in to her. I think we American girls are probably better at kicking ass than the French. All those carbs give us extra energy!

    posted by Blogger Heather on 11:01 PM  

  • Egad. You know what is also annoying? I remember in high school when the French exchange students came, they were all maddeningly thin, beautiful and suave. But that didn't make me like them. Why are you reading this book?

    I don't really believe that food is the major problem with us homely, unscarf-wearing American girls. I do not think that most of us gorge on junk food just because it's there. I think that here are the two problems: not enough physical work (I don't mean exercise, I mean work) and living alone. I think if women lived with other women, their family, closer to their communities, there would be less of a need to comfort feed. I know, women gorge when together at times, but I find that it is when I am alone that I really pack it in.

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 11:49 PM  

  • Fred, clearly Parisians have every reason to be proud. I mean, what incredible street musicians they have, ha ha.

    Heather, yeah! I KNOW you're right!

    Well, Laura, I'm reading the book because I'd like to lose a few pounds. A friend of mine recommended it not for its prose but for its dieting ideas. And it does have some interesting things to say about women and food. One of the things the author recommends is kicking off the diet with a weekend of eating nothing but leek soup (leeks are a diuretic). I ADORE leeks in any form, and especially in soup, so I was intrigued.

    My extra weight (about 15 lbs) is left over from pregnancy. I gained 60-70 lbs with each kid, and though I managed to lose most of it afterwards, I haven't succeeded completely this time. For me, I don't think the problem is gorging as much as it is large portions. And the occasional raw cookie dough binge....

    posted by Blogger Julie on 12:26 PM  

  • Julie,
    Your post made me laugh. By gum, pass the cookie dough. :)

    posted by Blogger mrsd on 2:09 PM  

  • Hee hee, mrsd. Here you go (*passing the bowl*), and here's a nice tall glass of milk to go with it.

    posted by Blogger Julie on 2:12 PM  

  • Maybe it's not the French that are irritating, per se, but just books about the French...

    Can I have some cookie dough, too?

    posted by Blogger Melissa on 2:51 PM  

  • I'm gonna have to give the soy flour substitution a try. Sometimes the dough is so much better then the baked version. I've been eyeing that book for the past few months (I work in a library, so I see it go out often). I think I might just pass on it.

    posted by Blogger donna y on 3:15 PM  

  • Interesting distinction, Melissa. I guess we'd have to read some more French books to find out. While we're pondering... here, help yourself to the cookie dough. And don't forget your milk. :)

    Donna, welcome! Personally, I think raw dough is always better than baked. Please come back and let me know how the soy flour works for you.

    posted by Blogger Julie on 8:43 PM  

  • That books sounds really irritating. It reminds me of girls I knew in college that were soooooo snooty. I just wanted to trip them and make them fall scattering their books EVERYWHERE. I know, very mature.

    We are big fans of raw cookie dough over here too. And it is really good in ice cream too!

    Oh I forgot that you might know Mrs. W because she used to work at your school. She is the coolest.

    posted by Anonymous Nixie Knox on 8:46 AM  

  • For some reason a whole bunch of people in the last few days have written posts about weight. It seems to be hitting me from all directions. The very idea of losing weight just weighs me down more--I find that the happier and busier I am, the less I eat. We had a smashing tea party this afternoon and ate LOTS of decadent things, but I don't feel one bit bad. When I punish myself by dieting, I just want to rebell more. What would Freud say?

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 10:24 PM  

  • I hopped over from Fred's blog because I relate to your answer. And hey, I like cookie dough too. I'm reading 'Dark Star' right now and really like it. Sorry you aren't enjoying your read.

    posted by Blogger M. C. Pearson on 12:13 AM  

  • And if you eat the cookies standing up, the calories don't count (they are afraid of heights).

    posted by Blogger Running2Ks on 3:53 PM  

  • C'est la vie. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) why in the world did you read this? Was it for your book group?

    Cookie dough tastes gr8 to me in any language and I need the calories so I'm waiting! ;)

    posted by Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) on 6:16 AM  

  • Oh, I tried that Frenchwoman thing last year. Didn't work. Although the french bread with pate I was eating for lunch was delicious! But it was too hard to keep that up and still provide all the horrible processed American foods that the rest of my family demanded!

    posted by Anonymous Melanie Lynne Hauser on 9:55 AM  

  • Hey Julie, I need you to pass on a message to Booknut--she's changed her site so that only blogger users can comment--and I can't anymore. If she was trying to weed out her readers, I understand, but if she was just trying to get rid of spam, she may not know. Thankee.

    posted by Anonymous Laura on 10:51 PM