I can’t put any weight on my foot for a few days while my racehorse injury heals (all I need is a blanket of roses and a bucket of oats), so when I was struck by one of my Great Ideas (TM), and needed to do some shopping, out came the crutches.
Jesus, I’d forgotten what an ordeal it is to move around on those things. They should have a ‘dodge crowds of clueless shoppers while doing the three-legged hustle back to the car to beat the two hour parking cut off’ machine at the gym. I guarantee the best workout ever.
So why not cook a dish from Julia’s book (and blog about the ensuing disaster) to celebrate a something really great happening to a great blogger?
Only problem is that I don’t have a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’ve never had one. My hand-me-down cookbooks have all been from older female relatives who are good cooks, but not French cooks. I’ve never bothered to buy it because quite frankly Julia’s cookbooks scare the bejesus out of me. I can boil the hell out of some pasta, but give me a five page long recipe full of italics and I break out into a cold sweat and must console myself with the nearest martini.
I have my mother’s old Larousse Gastronomique, but it’s not really a cookbook so much as it is bookcase decoration and browsing material for when one’s having that pre-dinner cocktail. For women of my mother’s era and social circle, French pretense was far, far more important than French cooking skills when it came to snaring a husband (or two, in Mom’s case, but that’s another story).
While Julia’s book can be had new for a small fortune, the used stores are all completely sold out (and anything ordered from Amazon won’t get here in time), of course. Guess I’m not the only one who had the idea. I gave up and collapsed in a heap after I wore off my newly re-grown armpit skin.
However, since I can’t be trusted in any retail establishment which stocks old cookbooks (I really like the pre 1960 books – it’s a rare apolitical window into a long-lost world), the day wasn’t a total loss. I came home with a 1935 edition of Recipes of All Nations (featuring dishes from countries which haven’t existed in my lifetime) and a 1965 Going Wild in the Kitchen featuring several different methods for cooking woodchuck. Somebody fetch me a .22 rifle and a set of hiking crutches and dinner’s on me.
Total cost for both books was less than a used Mastering the Art of French Cooking (fair condition, some burns on cover) from Amazon.
Oh, well. Happy movie release day, Julie. I’ll just drink to your well-deserved success with some French wine and something called Creamed Puffballs* instead.
Okay, maybe just the wine.
*Page 172, Going Wild in the Kitchen; Make a rich cream sauce, adding a little sherry. Add sauteed puffballs**. Serve on toast.
**What the hell is a puffball, anyways?***
***Never mind. According to Google, it’s a yellowish fungus which, when dried and stored in powder form, can staunch bleeding and spontaneously explode. Hopefully not at the same time.