20 November 2015

Friday's Literary Feast

Quotes from The Virago Book of Food:  The Joy of Eating

JULIA CHILD  1912 - 2004
SIMONE BECK  1904 - 1991

"She dreamed of becoming a spy when the Second World War broke out, but instead Julia Child went on to publish what was in 1961 regarded as the definitive work on French cuisine for English speakers:  Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  The first of three volumes, it was ten years in the making, written and researched with the help of Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle.  Soon afterwards, the American public began a long television love affair with Julia Child, a 6' 2" domestic goddess with a wobbly voice.  This self-confessed 'natural ham' demystified French cuisine for millions of Americans rather in the way that Fanny Cradock brought haute cuisine to the British during the same period.  In an effort to allay public fear of the fat used in French cooking, she noted:  'You don't see all those big fat people over there that you see lumbering around here at Disneyland'.  She herself never became overweight, and ended every show with the words, 'Bon Appetit!'"

The memory of a good French pâté can haunt you for years.  Fortunately they are easy to make, and you can even develop your own special pâté maison.  Do not expect a top-notch mixture to be inexpensive, however, for it will contain ground pork, pork fat, and usually veal, as well as cognac,  port, or Madeira, spices, strips or cubes of other meats, game, or live, and often truffles.  If the mixture is cooked and served cold in its baking dish it is called either a terrine or a pâté.  If it is molded in a pastry crust, it is a pâté en croûte.  A boned chicken, turkey, or duck filled with the same type of mixture in a galantine.  Pâtés and terrines will keep for about 10 days under refrigeration; they are fine to have on hand for cold impromptu meals, since all you need to serve with them are a salad and French bread.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Julia Child, Simone Beck, Curnonsky, Louisette Bertholle 
February 1953
(photo credit - Paul Child)

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