Happy Birthday Julia!
You may or may not know that I am a very sentimental person, so it didn’t surprise me when I teared up a little bit when I drove by WGBH today on the Pike and saw an enormous picture of the one and only Julia Child on their display. The goose bumps on my arms got me thinking about why seeing her struck such a chord with me. Sure, I have the box set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I, like many people, watched Meryl Streep in her fabulous performance in Julie and Julia. I have high hopes to one day successfully cook Beef Bourguignon.
But then I realized where my favorite memory of Julia comes from and why it resonates so deep with me: watching her show on a tiny television in my grandmother’s kitchen. It’s funny to think about this now, since my grandmother wasn’t the worlds greatest cook and even though I never asked her about this, I’m pretty sure she never attempted any of Julia’s recipes, but rather watched her show for the love, passion and humor that Julia seemed to always exude. My grandmother did excel at cooking Polish food, and some day I’m going to get her golumpki recipe and try to make them myself. But in the meantime, I will always cherish those afternoons in the kitchen with my grandmother, and I will always have Julia to thank for that.
On what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, many restaurants in and around Boston are offering special menus to dedicate to the woman who took the stereotype of the male chef and empowered women everywhere to take their skills out of their own kitchens and into the spotlight.
For a complete list, visit BostonChefs.com!
Brasseri Jo: Aug 15-18, $40 per person, add $38 for wine pairing
(Choice of one)
Ris de Veau Braises: Braised Sweetbreads with Herbs, Ham, Vermouth
Chicken Liver Pate
Coquille St. Jacques a la Provençale
(Choice of one)
Poulet au Porto: Roasted Chicken Basted with Port, Mushrooms
Sole Dieppoise: Mussels, Shrimp, White Wine Sauce
Bifteck Saute a la Bordelaise: Sliced Sirloin, Red Wine Sauce, Fondant Potatoes, Haricot Verts
(Choice of one)
Grill 23: Aug 15-18, $59 per person
Vichyssoise with Russian vodka, chive puree and caviar
100 day aged Ribeye Steak with pommes anna, asparagus and foie gras-juniper butter
Peach Tarte Tatin with sauternes caramel
Salade Nicoise; Tuna Conserve, Quail Egg, Anchovy, Haricot Verts & Heirloom Potato
Heirloom Tomato Provencale; Tomato Water, Sea Beans & Fines Herbes
Caneton aux Peche; Gratin de Pommes de Terre Crecy & Legumes Braisees
Queen of Sheba Cake; House Made Sea Salted Dulche de Leche, Almonds, Mascarpone
Monday Club Bar Dining Room; Dinner ($33.12)
Jambon Persille Tartine
Steamers with Beurre de Crustacés
Cold Cucumber Soup – Shrimp à la Grecque
Sparrow Arc Farms Lettuces, Sauce Vinaigrette
Bavette Steak; Tomato Provençal, Shallot & Chenin Blanc Butter
Wild Spearmint Roast Leg of Lamb; Dijon Toasted Buttered Crumbs
Salad Niçoise; Confit Tuna, Red Norland Potato – Summer Beans
Lemon Sole – Lobster Soubise
Goat Cheese Pasta Pyramids; Meyer Lemon Confit, Beet Fondant & Garlic Chips
Walnut Gateau; Peach & Raspberries
Mousseline au Chocolat; Dark Chocolate Mousse with Port Wine Poached Cherries & Chantilly Cream
Finally, I leave you with some words of wisdom from the woman herself (source).
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
“It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it.”
“I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. ”
Happy Birthday, Julia! Bon A Petiet!!
Do you have a favorite Julia Child Memory?