“Bon appétit!”


Back in April, I received an email about the JC100, the online celebration of Julia Child’s life and work on what would have been her 100th birthday. Like most of what lands in my blog-related inbox (especially since our little guy arrived), that email was read and left unanswered, forgotten until yesterday, when I started seeing remembrances posted nearly everywhere.

Tomato mania!

Julia’s show was the first cooking show I remember watching, and though it would be many years before I ever cracked open a copy of Mastering the Art, I feel that she was a big influence on me as a home cook. She was large and loud and kind of endearingly dorky – all of which I could relate to quite well – but she had this incredible self-confidence, and in watching her cook, I felt that I, too, could take even the humblest of ingredients and turn them into something both delicious and elegant. She did what she did with love, she seemed to get such true joy from feeding herself, her family and her friends, and she never seemed to let a little kitchen mishap get her down.

Dinner: August 14, 2012

Mike has almost certainly cooked more recipes straight from those iconic books than I have; I’ve never had the patience for classic French technique. But every time I step into the kitchen, set a cutting board in front of me and pull my knife down from the wall, I can’t help but feel that Julia’s spirit and influence is guiding my way.

Happy birthday, Julia, and thank you.


The essence of simplicity

Dinner:  September 11, 2007

Julia Child’s Potage Parmentier – the little black dress of soups. Every time we make this, I am amazed at how the combination of potatoes, leeks, water and salt leaves us slurping the very last dregs out of our bowls. How is it that a recipe so simple, so spare, is so unfailingly delicious?

My creation

I did guild the lily just a bit here, giving my leeks a brief sauté in butter before adding the potatoes, water and salt, and I melted a couple of healthy blobs of sour cream into the soup after pureeing, but those additions are hardly necessary. While the recipe as written lends itself to embellishment, it stands on its own as a true classic.