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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Julie, Julia & Me

So I'm sure by now most of you have seen Julie & Julia, the movie about Julia Child's life.  I loved it and had seen it when it came out.  Ever since then, about a month after I saw the movie I purchased The Art Of French Cooking, Julia Childs cookbook  in hopes that I would make the Beef Borguinon.  I went to a great French Restaurant and had it in April and got inspired again.  Well I decided that today would be the day.  I started reading the recipe two days ago, not only to get inspired but also to get acquainted with it and get a better understanding on what it entailed.  I went on line as well to see what the food network rated this recipe.  THEY RATED IT DIFFICULT!  Well to some that would be a sign that would discourage some, for me it became a challenge.  I felt like, okay I went to college, I raised two sons, don't tell me that this is difficult.
My day began at 6:45, okay so I managed to sneak in 15 more min of sleep since Rob took Matt to the bus, My day began at 7am.  Took the dogs out, went for coffee and then came home, put my apron on and began.  By the time I was settled, had had my breakfast and was ready to conquer Julia and the French cuisine it was 9:15am.  I began by cutting all the ingredients.  Believe me they were alot.
THE BOOK SAYS, PREP TIME IS 120 MINUTES.


I didn't allow myself to become overwhelmed, I tried to focus on each part of the recipe.  I do find that I become afflicted with Dimentia when I am cooking something new.  I will read the next step, walk over and begin and then two seconds later I think "What was that?  Or Was it one tbs or tsp?"
Anyway,  from 9:15 when I officially began, my pot which I used my trusty creuchet (spell check) pot that is perfect for all stews and fine meats.  Goes perfectly from stove top to oven which I had never done but seen on the food network constantly.  If your using the right pot, it will not ruin the pot.  
By 11:00 my pot was in the oven.  I had beat Julia by fifteen minutes.  Now, it needs to be in the oven for THREE HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  THAT IS NOT COUNTING THE 120 MINUTES IT HAS TAKEN TO PREPARE IT.  Oh the French!  They must have alot of time on their hands.  I think it's because there television programming is so lousy.  I mean I love Jerry Lewis as much as the next person but geeze.  Now this recipe contains 3 cups of a good bold red wine and 3 cups of beef stock.  There is a lot of liquid that has to simmer.  But I tell you that when I finally sat down with my dinner plate and fork in hand and took the first bite. . . I said a big thank you to Julia Child whom I believed was watching with her arms crossed wondering if I would pull it off.  The meat was so tender it truly melted in my mouth just like she said it did in the movie.  The onions (pearl onions) popped at just the right moment.  The mushrooms were delicious.  I served it over a bed of my mashed potatoes  (By the way anyone who makes mashed potatoes out of a box in my opinion should be hung in a public arena)
Here are a few pics.  

This is my onions and carrots (not the pearl they come later) sauteed in the bacon drippings.  


This is how it looked 4 hours and 50 minutes after I began.  The colors don't look as beautiful as it did in person.  But believe me my kitchen smelled amazing.  I am so proud of myself for trying.  Thank you Julia. 
Now for those of you who don't like to cook, I'm gonna be honest, don't try it, because you can easily become overwhelmed.  But those of you out there who are constantly trying new things in the kitchen and are good and dedicated to it. . . I promise you, you will not regret it.  It was worth the trouble and honestly, I would do it again.  Especially since I did it once, it will be so much easier because I know what to expect.  
I loved it! Loved it! Loved it!  It was Restaurant Quality (Le Park in Philadelphia, mine was just as wonderful as the one I had in April)
I rate it difficult/ but rewarding.

2 comments:

shannon said...

Look at you! Ms. French Chef!
I'm impressed! You are multi talented!

I wasn't crazy about the movie, and I really thought I was going to love it...I was inspired to "french up" my cooking a bit since then, though.

Suzanne said...

Your quote: "I do find that I become afflicted with Dimentia when I am cooking something new. I will read the next step, walk over and begin and then two seconds later I think "What was that? Or Was it one tbs or tsp?"

I do the SAME thing! Over and over!

Congratulations on your perseverance and finished dish! You ROCK! I can almost smell it from here.

(I made a beef stew in the slow-cooker the other day. Does that count?) ;-)