Posted by: njbrown | January 24, 2010

Watching The French Chef

January 24, 2010

Yesterday and today I have had the luxury of doing almost nothing productive.  Instead, I’ve been watching some of The French Chef  DVDs I received for Christmas.  I returned to Julia’s omelette show driven by a Heston Blumenthal-like compulsion to perfect the "jerk" technique.  I even got out the dried beans I’d bought several months ago to use to practice.  (This show and a number of others are on Julia’s site that can be accessed from  I still don’t have it down pat, and George questions why I am trying to master a technique that produces an inferior omelette.  Really good question, so I think I’ll abandon the attempt for now.

I watched Julias’ Reine de Saba show (Queen of Sheba cake), and it really is one of her funniest ones.  She seemed to be tired, because she was having trouble putting her words together, but she is always adorable.  I’d like to make one, but clothes are feeling less loose. 

I must be in a chocolate phase, because for some reason, Sacher Torte has been on my mind, and I’ve found several recipes for it.  Many years ago, I had it while in Vienna.  A few years later, I attended the Viennese Opera Ball in New York, and they had flown in Sacher Torte from Vienna for the dessert.  It will stay on my "to do" list.  In the meantime, I’ve found a highly rated recipe for vegan chocolate cupcakes with vegan chocolate icing.  In the lovely vegan cookbook my daughter gave me for Christmas, the authors noted that most vegan desserts don’t taste as good, so I’m really motivated to find some way to let my daughter indulge without guilt.

My husband was talking to his sister this week, and she said her twenty-five year old. newly married daughter had become interested in Julia, and my sister-in-law had passed on all her Julia cookbooks.  Without Julia to watch, learning would be infinitely harder!  Even with my thousands of hours watching the Food Network, there are many techniques I know only because  Julia showed us.  Those who ran out and bought Mastering after seeing Julie and Julia would be well to use it in conjunction with The Way to Cook, since I think each helps a successful outcome.



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