-“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
-“I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
-“Cooking is one failure after another, and that’s how you finally learn.”
For our next meeting on May 4, we will need to stock up on butter and goose fat, when we pay tribute to Child, an American-born chef who helped bring French cooking to North American kitchens in the 1960s.
All three courses, the appetizer, main and dessert, will be selected from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, an iconic tome published in 1961 that contains hundreds of labour-intensive and often difficult French recipes. But I’m confident we are up to the challenge. Brendan has been assigned the appetizer, I’m cooking the main, and Sabrina’s handling dessert.
I’ve already started combing through the cook book to find that perfect main. The book, which was co-written by Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, is a must-read for anyone serious about cooking. It’s also hilarious in parts, including the advice against buying cheap chickens (she bitterly complains that they taste like teddy bear innards) and a forward that boasts the book is for the “servantless American cook”.
While Mastering the Art of French Cooking’s often cited and highly-praised boeuf bourguignon recipe seems like a natural go-to-recipe, I want to try something a little more off the beaten culinary track. Stay tuned to find out what I picked.
Also, the scoring will be a little different this time around. The food won’t be judged.
Instead, we will turn our attention to the vino being consumed. Each couple has been asked to pair their dish with two bottles of wine. Both have to hail from the same country and grape, and one has to be more expensive than the other. The other couples will then have to guess what they are drinking and which one cost more. The team that gets the most points will win and help boost the running tally we’ve kept since we started meeting.