30 August 2009

My Julia

I resisted telling my Julia Child story for a while because I didn't want to be seen as trendy, or as one of the many people promoting the movie. But I finally saw the Julie and Julia, and couldn't resist pulling out my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which, like all well-loved cookbooks, has it's own story.

It was August of 1993, and we had just moved to Seattle from the Bay Area, and had decided it would be cheaper to leave the furniture behind that we had scavenged and salvaged when we moved to California than to rent a moving truck. So we arrived in Seattle with nothing, and immediately started scavenging.

If you're not familiar with Seattle, one of its many good features is its yard and garage sales, and one of its other brilliant features is September. September's yard sales were bright blue, not too hot, not too cool, and full of treasures. For eating on, we got a small wooden table with two small chairs for the little kids, and a marble bistro table for family dining.

For cooking, I picked up MTAOFC and a Moosewood Cookbook, both annotated with the marginalia of careful, thorough, tidy little cook--her recipes were accompanied by notations in a small, neat hand, notations like "6/27/77 very good" or sometimes "v. good" or sometimes just "good." Other times she suggested substitutions: "Used veal stock instead. V. good." I took the book home and made tahini dressing from Moosewood, then soupe aux choux, potage veloute aux champignons and soupe a l'oignon. I made them a bunch of times that fall, mastered them, actually, because they were the recipes I could afford to make. I carefully honed some skills that fall.

After coming home from the movie the other night, I got all excited about learning some new skills and pulled out my cookbook. I'm not sure what I'll make yet, but feel like, after the tired and not too delicious chicken teryaki I made last night, It's time to take the cooking up a notch. I was inspired by Julia's energy and dedication, which is what I need in my life right now.

Here's to more energy, more dedication to delicous food, a better brown sauce, Navarin Printanier, Moussaka, and Epinards en Surprise.

(My kids are telling me this resolution will only last two weeks, the length that most of my resolutions last.)

(And for pete's sake, can someone tell me how to put accents into this damn blog?)

1 comment:

Alice Dubiel said...

Certainly it is your virtue to discover the treasure of two carefully annotated cookbooks. And the marble top table.