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Sunday, January 31, 2010

my "julia" project.

There are hardly words to describe my state of...well, being.

Last night mom and I decided to make "Julie Child's Bouff Bourginon" - little did we know of the delicate procedure. After buying all the ingredients, concocting numerous brews, assembly it all through over 30 "specific" steps, and achieving ultimate perfection....we reached our goal of "bouff bourginon" and gorged ourselves. The amount of fat in every bite, is something I would rather not think about. I'm surprised that I didn't have a heart attack after the first bite, and even more surprised that I haven't keeled over by now.

All the same, I don't think I've ever tasted anything better. After being in the kitchen from 3pm to 7:30pm, we were expecting it to be worth it, and it was.

I absolutely love to cook...but after several hours of strait preparation...things do to seem to fall a little out of perspective. Don't believe me? Just try making this and you'll understand. I have, however, learned something worth learning (I think).

Ever since I saw Audrey Hepburn in "Sabrina", I've been in love with France. The beauty of it and it's architecture, the art, the music, the culture, and of course, the food. However, I always thought it was almost a "waste" to go to a lovely restaurant and spend heaps of money on a half a cup, if not less, of well put together food. After a few bites, you're done! What's the point?! It's in your stomach and moving to you know where, and the money is out of your pocket. It seemed wasteful, in my opinion. Especially knowing that hours had been spent to make this arrangement prime.

Last year, mom got me a book called "The French Don't Diet Book"; it's all about their food, why their healthy...and pretty much "dissing" the American life of eating. (Don't worry, it's written by an American, nothing said about 'yanks') I'm sad to say, but truthfully, America loves and wants "quantity" over "quality"- just look on the back of a Cheetos bag and you'd see what I mean. French, on the other hand have been raised with "quality" over "quantity". Wouldn't you love if you could get up in the morning, ride your bike into town and buy a loaf of bread, fresh from the ovens still crispy and warm, and a piece of fruit ripe off a tree? Well, I would, anyhow.

To get to the point, the French spend so much time preparing their food, because they don't make a big deal about it. I'm sure you're thinking, "Hah, what a paradox." But it's true. Americans make such a big deal about diets and food and exercise, and yet, we're the nation with the most obese people! The French, even though they seem to make a big deal about their food and how it's prepared, just enjoy it and then let it go. So many people in America(and other places too) binge and over indulge in food orgies. I'm guilty of it. You come to the holidays, and that's what they seem to be about. It's crazy.

Even though I was tired by the time mom and I finished making dinner last night, I took the time to enjoy the meal s l o w l y, because I knew how much time and effort went into it; because of that, I enjoyed the meal so much more! I didn't scarf it down, I savored it. All the steps in cooking like Julia really do make a huge different even if I thought it was bizarre. The mushrooms have their own sweet, buttery flavor because we had to take the time to cook them separately. Same with the onions and carrots. Same with the beef and bacon...everything tasted better because we took the time to do it.

So I learned last night, that this is why the French take so long to make their food, and why they only eat smaller amounts.

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"Watch a French housewife as she makes her way slowly along the loaded stalls...searching for the peak ripeness and flavor...What you are seeing is a true artist at work, patiently assembling all the materials of her craft, just as the painter squeezes oil colors onto his palette ready to create a masterpiece."

Keith Floyd
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1 comment:

  1. I loved this one! i love Julia and I love that book! i read it when i got back from America last time i was there actually! haha and it helped me a lot with my view on food :)

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