inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #26 of 67: Eric Gower (gower) Mon 5 Dec 05 11:07
    
And Jill -- get better! 
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #27 of 67: Jill Davidson (jilld) Mon 5 Dec 05 11:10
    
work and family demand a lot of my time, but I think I think about and 
read about food, and at least a few night a week after the kids go to bed 
cook, and consider making food a good use of my time nearly anytime 
because that carves out the time that you are referring to, Julie and 
Eric. the subject of what we are going to eat next is rarely far from my 
mind.

but it would be really hard for me to execute many French Cooking sorts of
items. I just don't have THAT kind of time most of the time, except after
9pm, hence my gratitude at being able to read all about it through you, 
Julie. gratitude - and sometimes, as your writing really vividly conveys, 
immense relief that it was you, not me.

I have actually made only one Mastering the Art of French Cooking recipe, 
and it's from Volume 2 - Poires Meringuees, au Sabayon. Took a couple of 
hours and it's one of the very few cooking project my husband and I ever 
did together. lotta steps, and excellent result. I've used her later 
cookbooks, particularly Way to Cook, much more often.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #28 of 67: Jill Davidson (jilld) Mon 5 Dec 05 11:11
    
thanks for the get better wishes! I am totally better - one of those 24 
hours deals, happily all gone.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #29 of 67: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Mon 5 Dec 05 15:16
    
Glad you're better, Jill.

One of the MtAoFC recipes I've done is the Potages Parmentier, which I
cooked because of Julie's chapter on it. And it *was* "simplicity itself"
and it *was* delicious and I asked myself, "Why don't I do this every
night?"
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #30 of 67: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Mon 5 Dec 05 16:22
    
I made a mental note of that one as well.  OTOH, true to form, I'll
probably buy a food mill first.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #31 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Mon 5 Dec 05 16:43
    
Well, that's the thing... there are lots and lots of things in MtAoFC
that are extremely fiddly and difficult - you can find lots easier
versions of cassoulet or fricassee or whatever in other places.  I
would say that often (not always) JC's extra steps are worth it, when
you're really looking for an extraordinary result.  But there are other
things in the book that are completely simple, and yet retain that
rewarding feeling you get just from making something that tastes
totally, I don't know, genuine.  She has a soup that's basically just a
broth of garlic and water and some seasonings, and then you poach an
egg in it,  and it's just lovely.  Excellent hangover or cold food.

In retrospect, I think that the most important thing about the project
was the way it altered my perception of time.  Taking something many
of us do and just letting it sort of take over the spine of my life, so
that cooking was not just something I squeezed in but the armature of
my existence.  My job became the thing that needed squeezing in.  Which
was much a better way to go....
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #32 of 67: Casey Ellis (caseyell) Mon 5 Dec 05 16:56
    
the leek and potato soup *is* dead easy -- and at one point in my life
was one of the few things all 3 of my kids would eat. not long ago my
son (who 39) asked me to e-mail is wife "your recipe for Green Soup". I
often used a lot more leek tops than JC called for.

I've made a lot of dishes from Mastering. I certainly didn't do the
entire book, but when I was stranded in Texas in the early 60s with
nary a decent restaurant closer than New Orleans, I found great comfort
in opening Mastering and learning to turn out first-rate food. Julie
mentioned the cassoulet. I think that's a perfect example of a recipe
where the additional steps are truly worth the effort. I was at a
restaurant with friends on two occasions recently--once in SF and once
in Santa Cruz, where several of us ordered cassoulet--and it was good,
but nothing compared to Julia's.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #33 of 67: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Mon 5 Dec 05 17:08
    
One of the things I like about learning good cooking at home is that
it's not really all *that* hard to make something that is better than
98% of restaurant meals.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #34 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Tue 6 Dec 05 05:56
    
Oh, I've gotten totally obnoxious about eating out - 9 times out of 10
it just irritates the shit out of me.  Buy a bottle of wine with
dinner and soon you're looking at $100, for mediocre crap food.  There
are very few places I want to shell out for anymore....
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #35 of 67: Jill Davidson (jilld) Tue 6 Dec 05 10:17
    
so what's the best place you have eaten lately? I am going to guess that 
book touring may have taken you to some interesting (great? awful?) 
places. maybe I should say, if you are willing to name names, what's the 
worst, or most disappointing?

you're touring now, right? where are you (if you'd like to say)? not 
asking you to recycle your current blog, but we, Well people, are all over 
and maybe could come say hi.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #36 of 67: Carl LaFong (mcdee) Tue 6 Dec 05 10:50
    
I have developed the same attitude as Julie re: eating out.  We've
probably cut our dining out expenses 90% since I started cooking. 
Which isn't to say that there aren't some amazing professional cooks
out there.  But those are the only ones whose food I want to eat at
this point.  And sure, I'll still go out for cheap, fun meals,
especially stuff that's easier to make in quantity in a restaurant than
at home (tamales, for example).  

When forced to dine out on business, etc., I usually do something
snarky like order a dish I make all the time myself and see how theirs
is.  Now and then I'm humbled and pleasantly surprised, but mostly I
just become more insufferable.  A modest priced Italian place around
the corner makes carbonara so much better than my own that I've gone
completely back to the drawing board.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #37 of 67: Kathy (kathbran) Tue 6 Dec 05 15:51
    
>Well, that's the thing... there are lots and lots of things in MtAoFC

>that are extremely fiddly and difficult...

This reminds me that my sister-in-law gave my mother a copy of MtAoFC.
 My mother selected a recipe that included green beans, and they both
got serious cases of the giggles while they were drying each washed
bean separately before beginning to cook them.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #38 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Wed 7 Dec 05 10:48
    
My favorite, as I talk about in the book, is JC's rice recipe that has
you boil a cup of rice in something like 10 quarts of water, then
drain it, rinse it, and steam it in cheesecloth.  Bitch Rice, I call
it....

I'm actually pretty much done with the tour, though I was in Natick,
MA, of all places, last night.  Kind of a terrible strip-mall-y sort of
place.  Real suburbia.  Had a dinner event at a place called Maxwell's
148.  The food is Italian and Asian.  Not fusion.  Just Italian dishes
and Asian dishes.  A little odd.  But for the event the chef cooked
Julia recipes.  

It was okay.  I find that chefs, under the obligatory JC reverence,
are a bit contemptuous of her food.  Which makes sense, since what's
she's doing is a whole different thing than restaurant cooking.  It's
almost impossible to do her recipes in a professional setting.  It's
food that tastes better when it's made at home, somehow.  

Where have I eaten on tour?  Gosh... There's actually been lots of
room service.  That and French food, of course.  I had a fantastic meal
in Portland, and this lovely restaurant in a renovated warehouse, but
of course I can't remember the name of it.  And my hotel in Boston, I
think it was called the Elliot, supposedly has a great restaurant in
it, but I never got to eat there.  I just had a gimlet.  Which they
made with real lime juice instead of Rose's - blech.

In terms of great places I've eaten lately - In one week I went to
both Esca and Cesca in New York.  Esca was not quite as great as I
remembered, but Cesca was lovely as usual.  Though I thought I was
going to die when I was done....
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #39 of 67: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Wed 7 Dec 05 13:05
    
I've waited 'til Wednesday to ask, incredulously: Eggs, really? It took
Julia Child to turn you on to eggs?

While I credit you, personally, for the return of the Gimlet.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #40 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Wed 7 Dec 05 13:53
    
Thank you.  I credit myself with the return of the gimlet, too.

As far as eggs go - yeah, I know.  I just managed to avoid them.  I
hated the smell of them.  Hated the look of them.  By the time that
project had started, I could manage them scrambled or in a omelet, as
long as there was sufficient cheese about to disguise the egginess.

I don't know what to day.  It's embarrassing.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #41 of 67: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 7 Dec 05 14:08
    
Interesting.  I've known people who raised their own small flock of hens
who swore that store bought eggs are vile, and even smell like chemicals
when you crack them.  And I've known those who find ZZ 
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #42 of 67: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 7 Dec 05 15:26
    
Hey Julie, how's that black tub of yours doing? (I am sure Wellperns
who haven't read the book/blog will be curious about it)

And I adore your riffs on "stalker food," and why Martha is so much
better at it than Julia.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #43 of 67: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 7 Dec 05 15:52
    
(pardon my truncated post.  I was gonna ask something about learning to eat
eggs but I forget what it was!)

What's stalker food?
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #44 of 67: Eric Gower (gower) Wed 7 Dec 05 20:41
    
One of my favorite lines from the book: 

"Laughter through nausea is my favorite emotion."
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #45 of 67: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Thu 8 Dec 05 09:09
    

Reminder: Those playing along at home can join in the conversation by e-
mailing their question, answer, or other contribution to inkwell@well.com to
be posted on their behalf by one of the congenial hosts of the Inkwell.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #46 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Thu 8 Dec 05 16:15
    
Ah, the black tub.  It's about as horrible as usual.  Perhaps a little
worse.  The apartment is fucking falling down around our ears.  We
have to get out of there before either the roof caves in, we freeze to
death, or I enter a psychotic fugue and do myself or my husband an
injury.

Stalker food is simply food that is convenient for stalkers to use -
neat, packable treats that can easily be left on doorsteps or shuttled
back stage to hopefully impress whatever semi-famous actor you may be
in love with.  Julia's never been much good at it - her food is sloppy,
sticky, smelly.  Martha's all about the packable. 

I sure would like to know who Martha's stalked.  Surely it happened,
sometime when she was younger.  She has that steely obsessiveness.  You
know she did.

What was the other thing?  Oh, yes - Laughter through Nausea. 
Embarrassingly, that's cribbed from "Steel Magnolias."  Only of course
there it's Laughter through Tears.  It's a terrible play, but I played
Ouiser in it in high school, and some of those lines just stuck.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #47 of 67: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Sat 10 Dec 05 10:50
    
I've had people tell me the eggs from my chickens taste fabulous.
Honestly, I don't notice the difference in taste. What I notice is the
difference in the way they look -- tight, upright, deeply golden yolks.
Makes me wonder how old the eggs in supermarkets are.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #48 of 67: Daniel Loftin (dedwardloftin) Sun 11 Dec 05 12:51
    
I really love the idea of food as meditation, in the sense that it
gives a new mind-set, a new sense of time, a center to the day, and you
get to eat it! My guru of long ago was the reknowned Fanny Farmer, of
the 1918 edition. Her recipes were hopelessly complex, and some were
downright scary. Her turtle soup started with a Live! turtle. The more
recent editions unaccountably left that one out.
Do you look forward to being able to prepare food every day, or has
the book tour pulled you out of that groove?
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #49 of 67: Julie Powell (juliepowell) Sun 11 Dec 05 14:28
    
Now that I'm more or less done with touring, I'm getting back into a
cooking groove, but I have to say that I love not having to do it every
single day.  My husband is getting into the kitchen more and more -
he's still a bit of a disaster, but often what he makes tastes great.

Just don't let him get near your computer.  He tried to install some
thing called Tiger on my laptop whilst drunk, and now it's got the
spinning beach ball of death.  Sucks.
  
inkwell.vue.260 : Julie Powell, Julie and Julia: 365/524/1
permalink #50 of 67: Casey Ellis (caseyell) Mon 12 Dec 05 15:46
    
Clearly he needs to get back in the kitchen and cook you something
wonderful for dinner.
  

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