I watched Julie and Julia last night and, despite finding the Julie part of the movie to be terribly tedious, was inspired to take my old copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking to bed with me. I inherited the book from my grandmother a few years ago and was only motivated to cook from it after reading My Life in France this past fall. I’ve made a few dishes (like the the beef stew, a daube, that I ate for lunch today) and each effort has been well worth it. The complex flavours of her meat dishes in particular are astounding! (Though I really didn’t like braised Brussels Sprouts with butter. They were exactly as I remembered from childhood and not worth revisiting prepared in this way. Now Brussels Sprouts with fish sauce is another story.)
But last night, I read the opening of the book and proceeded to the sauce chapter. By then it was past my bedtime but I was imagining boiling thick beef bones for the stock that forms the base of a brown sauce. I was salivating at the description of the mayonnaise. And the Hollandaise… ahh.
I am fully aware that it is a cliche to say you love Julia Child these days. But how can you not love a woman who worked so hard to create accessible recipes so that everyone could eat delicious food