Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm getting excited

Just thinking about it. Of course, we still don't own the book (who in all this wide green earth would have thought that it would be nearly impossible to find a cookbook?!?) but the library has a copy that we've borrowed. It's not our own, and it's not advisable to get it dirty (what's the point of a cookbook if you can't get it floured up and a little greasy and splash some burgundy on it? Not much, in my humble opinion.) but it will have to do for getting an idea of what we're getting ourselves into.

And speaking of burgundy, may I just say that cooking with wine is every bit as exciting as owning this book? Truly it is. I don't know what it is about a burgundy, a roséa Bordeaux, or a Riesling, but they have such cooking appeal. Just reading about them in this cookbook is putting the beef in my bourguignon. Honestly, though, cooking with a wine just sounds French and wonderful. Authentic.

Anyways, looking through the book from the library, the first chapter is on soup. 'Potages et Soupes'. ( Go ahead and say it in French. It's fun, I promise.) After watching the movie, I can just see Julia at her typewriter, typing these recipes up, and thinking of little anecdotes and introductions to them, trying desperately to not have typos, and faithfully pounding away at the keys. I must confess, however, to be a bit frightened at the thought of eating Watercress soup. 'Potage au Cresson'. I'm not a person who enjoys much watercress. But I'm willing to give it a shot. 'Soupe au Pistou' (that's Provencal Vegetable Soup with Garlic, Basil, and Herbs) sounds delicious, though. As does the thought of 'Soupe a l'Oignon Gratinee' (Onion soup gratineed with cheese) with croûte, which is simply hard-toasted French bread.

Chapter two is on sauces, which is both spelled and pronounced the same in French as it is in English. While the thought of sauces sounds French, a majority of them are just glorified gravy recipes. Until you get to the 'Sauce au Cari', which is a 'light curry sauce'. (I didn't think the terms 'light' and 'curry' went together, but maybe they do in France.) Then from sauces, it progresses to Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, hot butter sauces (butter!), cold flavored butter, stocks, jellied stocks, and fish stocks. (Fish stocks??? Whoever heard of such a thing?) until finally moving on to the next chapter which is on eggs.

Eggs are not my friends. I do not like eggs. The only way I can even really bear to look at them, much less eat them, is hard-boiled. Maybe if I wear a blindfold, or smother them in ketchup, then I can make it through this chapter (no offense to Julia. Some things just can't be helped.) Although, as I look at it, one recipe sounds like I could possibly stomach it: "Oeufs sur Canapes, Oeufs en Croustades', poached eggs on canapes, artichoke bottoms, mushroom caps,or in pastry shells. And artichoke bottom or mushroom cap sounds doable for eggs.

Ah. Chapter Four: Entrees and Luncheon Dishes (pie dough- pastry crusts). Anyone know what a Timbales is? Me, neither.  Oh. Wait. "Timbales de foies de volaille". Unmolded chicken liver custards. Any takers?

Chapter five: Fish. Poisson. Fish filets poached in white wine. Yes, please. With mushrooms? Pile 'em on. "A note on dealing with live lobsters... If you object to steaming or splitting a live lobster, it may be killed almost instantly just before cooking if you plunge the point of a knife into the head between the eyes, or sever the spinal cord by making a small incision in the back of the shell at the juncture of the chest and the tail." Good news. I do not object to steaming a live lobster at all. No objections whatsoever. Although, my Mom just informed me that they make noise. And that their shells scream from the steam. I'll just play my music really. really. really. loud.

Chapter Six: Poultry. Volaille. Mmmmmm. 'Poulet Roti a la Normande'. Roast chicken basted with cream, herb and giblet stuffing. Yum. Yum. Yum. And duck! We get to bone a duck. 'Canard'. Absolutely. Goose. 'Oie'.

I'll leave you to ruminate on those for awhile while I go clean the kitchen up from a breakfast of waffles (Belgian waffles are sort of close to France... right?). Song for today? What better than a song that's wonderful time after time?

Bon Appetit!

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