Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bon Appetit!

Photo: People Magazine

My mother, bless her heart, wasn't a very good cook. She served up 3 squares a day, with a song in her heart and smile on her face, for too many years, but her heart was never into it. Oddly, I didn't discover this until very much later, by then I was out of the house. She always put on a good show, reading the newspaper's food section each week searching out new ideas, had the full cookbook shelf in the kitchen, but..... As a result I learned my way around a stove fairly young.

One of mom's treasures, taking pride of place on the shelf, was The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child. In the golden age of television, before the constant barrage of food programming a wanna be foodie's only choices were Julia and later Graham Kerr, The Galloping Gourmet. I now have my mother's copy of The French Cookbook which I had never opened until last night.

The thought of my mother reading Julia's cookbook is as unlikely to me as imagining mother saying yes to one of her children's requests. It's an image I simply can't conjure up. The book does look as though it spent a lot of time as a spoon rest. That I can imagine.

Julia, remember Julia, was born 100 years ago today. She died 8 years ago last Monday (13th). I am forever grateful to the woman who offered home cooks everywhere, the opportunity to expand their culinary horizons, if only in their dreams.


PS: Have you tried any of these recipes? Thumbing through The French Cookbook I can see how Craig Claiborne may have been influenced, but other than Julie I can't envision anyone tackling these.


Orthograph said...

Appetit, sir, not apetit.

Martha said...

She changed America! Between her books and her tv shows. I remember my mother having guests and making beef bourgignon -- beef, wine and cream of mushroom soup, I think! And they thought they were sophisticated! Julia came along and there was real beef bourgignon!

I treasure her books and in honor of her birthday I made her chocolate almond cake -- it is soooo good!

Betagoat said...

I've tried a few of the recipes, most with great success. My only flop was a cake; however I've never been a baker so it was no surprise that it was a little dry.

My family's favorite is Boeuf Bourguignon.

davidsl said...

I have my father's copy of the same book. It is heavily dog eared and annotated in his precise hand. There are dishes in the book that we ate growing up and that I learned to cook from my father.

Her books always required that you read the whole thing, not just skim the recipe, before getting started. I've tackled a few myself and find the results more than satisfactory.

Toad said...

May I blame auto-incorrect? Thank you for the correction