Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here we are

at the beginning.

But supposing I tell you what it's the beginning of.

Just a little while ago, my Mother watched the movie 'Julie and Julia'. When she was a small girl, she'd spent hours on her back porch (now our back porch) pretending to be the quirky, endearing, and fearless Julia Child. So the movie quickly became a favorite, and she shared it with me. I haven't had much experience at all with Julia Child- I was born towards the end of the cooking legend's life, and I'd seen maybe 2 shows out of all the hundreds of shows she taped. So Julia Child didn't mean as much to me. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie immensely. Engaging script, brilliant photography, delectable colors, and partially set in Paris- does it get any better?

I admit to being basically a failure in the kitchen alone- you've no idea how many times I've burned the beans, forgotten the cookies, and numerous other things I don't care to recall. But I can follow a recipe (no originality for culinary arts resides in my bones) and so long as someone else can remember to check the oven or stir the pot along with me, I can squeak along. I'm also an avid eater- when good food is served, I enjoy and appreciate it. So I could appreciate all the deliciously prepared food displayed in 'Julie and Julia'. In fact, it looked so good that I wanted to look up the recipe right away and make it myself, which is incredibly unusal, given that my fear of ruining something usually overcomes my desire to create anything in the kitchen.

Then my Mom started saying she wanted to cook through 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'. Not in a year, but as we had the money and the supplies (or money to buy the supplies...). And the more she talked about it, the more I liked the idea.

Next came ordering books from the library- 'My Life in France' by Julia Child, 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' by Julia Child, 'The French Chef', series 1 and 2, and numerous other things I haven't even perused yet, but which my Mom is going through voraciously.

So here we are. We're actually doing it. That is, as soon as we procure our own (hardback) copy of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'. No deadlines, no pressure, no high expectations. Just fun in the kitchen, learning curves, laughter, mistakes, and oh, did I mention we're skipping the entire aspic section? Because we are- there's a reason no one serves them, and it's because no one wants to eat part of an animal that has been boiled into a juice and gelled overnight. The very idea is disgusting, and plus, I don't have a warm and happy feeling when I think about boiling a calf's foot. Hoof. Whatever you would call it.

And good news! We aren't going to stop at Volume 1 of 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking'- we're going to purchase Volume 2 as soon as we finish the first book. So, whoever is reading this, you won't be rid of us in a year, or maybe even two. And hopefully at the end, we'll all be better cooks, bakers... or, in my case, just more confident in the kitchen.


  1. Oh, hooray! Yay for not being rid of you for years! I'm thrilled to follow along in your adventures (living vicariously, perhaps). And as I said before...if you need a taste tester or two, Jarad and I will hungrily clear our schedules!!

  2. I was wondering how you'd do with some of the recipes. :) That's what Mom and I both thought when I told her. But I am thrilled, and I cannot wait to see some of the beautiful things that you and your darling mother create. :)

  3. Sounds like a good excuse to see more of you guys, Rhonda. :-)

    Mom and I decided the unnecessary things (such as plucking a chicken when we can just buy a chicken from the store) we won't be doing. Just because it would be more expensive, and more time consuming (you'll notice we have more than two people and one cat living here, so more people to take care of, unlike Julie. :-D) But we *WILL* be boning a duck.