Sunday, August 12, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child!

This week, August 15, marks the 100th birthday of my favorite chef and inspiration, Julia Child. I LOVE reading about Julia Child and her adventures as a late starter and author. I feel a personal connection, since I was born in France the same time Julia was there learning all about the way to cook. It's a vague connection, I know, but it's my little delusion. I devoured "My Life in France" by Julia herself, and am looking forward to reading "Dearie" a newly released biography of Julia by Bob Spitz. I have watched "Julie and Julia" several time and think that Meryl Streep nailed Julia's presence and spirit. I also watch "The French Chef" anytime they run those classics on PBS. If you have not seen Julia in action, you've got to check her out. She is a riot and absolutely FEARLESS in the kitchen! SO, in honor of all things Julia, I've been re-reading her masterpiece, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", a must own cookbook for anyone who truly loves to cook!

I also loved reading about her lifelong friendship with Simone Beck, her co-author of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", along with Louisette Bertholle. Here is something that Simca said that reflects the way I cook, especially in the summertime, when the produce is so plentiful and delicious that very little needs to be done to make it shine:
"There is no technique, there is just the way to do it. Now, are we going to measure or are we going to cook?"
Simone Beck "Simca" co-author with Julia Child, as quoted by Frances Mayes, in "Under the Tuscan Sun".
This year, we've been lucky enough to reap the bounty from 2 neighbors who share, a woman in my husbands' office who sells her homegrown produce very cheaply and an abundance of herbs and lettuces from my very own garden. Is there anything better that classic Salade Caprese with homegrown tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and a few ribbons of basil? I like to drizzle ours with a few drops of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of coarse salt. SO yummy and SO easy!

Another cold and fresh favorite is pasta salad with lots of veggies. Any combination of vegetables will work, but the method is always the same. See my method here:
Farmers Market Pasta Salad

Not everyone at my house loves cold soup, but I do and so does my youngest son.  Cold Cucumber Soup is an absolute must have for the summertime refrigerator! Gazpacho is easy and fast too, and uses up a bunch of veggies. SOOO good for you too, makes you feel healthy when you eat it!

Eat your veggies! And pick up a book about Julia  -- it'll keep you laughing and inspired in the kitchen. Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!!

No comments: