Happy Birthday, Julia

15 Aug

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Bon Appetite!

Today is Julia Child’s 100th Birthday.

After a long day of dealing with the public at large (and the problems they invent purely to torture us), The BFF and I decided a virtual get-away was required. 

…So we took up the copy of, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” her Mother had gifted her one Christmas, and started peeling back the pages to build a “servantless cook” three-course meal…on the kinda budget that two dames, two days before payday, can manage.

Taking a cue from le filme, “Julie and Julia,” (which we will be viewing while consuming said culinary arts), we decided to cook and document in tandem.  Since I’m primarily only good for Sous Chefing, I’ve been nominated head of this department.

…So, with French music cued up…and speaking in psudo-French-Julia Child accents…we begin.

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The evening’s menu includes:

Artichauts Braises a la Provence
(Steamed artichokes braised with wine, garlic and herbs)

Gratin de Pommes de Terre Provencal
(Scalloped potatoes with onions, tomatoes, anchovies, herbs and garlic)

Bifteck Saute Bercy
(Pan-broiled steak, with shallots and white wine sauce)

Crepes Fine Sucrees
(Light batter crepe Suzette)

We toast a glass to Julia. And let the games begin!

7:00 – We return from the produce-rich love of our life: Tacoma Boys.  Fruit and veg harvested yesterday, is all we will allow to touch Julia’s recipes.

7:15 – I make a quick run to the market.  We missed the milk.  Balls.

7:30 – The raw onions are making me cry, and I’ve already washed every dish and pan I’ve ever owned in order to use them all over again.

7:44 – The Chambord-spiked crepe batter is now commencing it’s two hour rest and chill in the fridge.  The Artichokes, are over flame with white wine and generous amounts of garlic. We are half way through the first bottle of red drinking wine, and the onions and garlic are in their bath of olive oil in prep for the potatoes.

7:51 – The BFF begins work on the steak, spewing French words at random and dancing to the “Girl from Impanema.”

8:00 – I am charged with the very important task of cheese grating.

8:07 – We open another bottle of wine. (It’s an Argentinian Malbec…but I don’t think Julia would mind.)  And the potatoes go into the oven.

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8:15 – We sit and make fun of our wine.  The BFF demands we include its liner notes, which are the following: “Baguala.  Wine made in the  Calchaquies (spoken phonetically by the BFF incorrectly as “CHAK-WE-LAZ!”) valley, a place where the stars contemplate the world from above.  A place so high, you can see through the paths of memories and tradition.  A place where the mountains as tall as giants paint the colors of the sun…a place of history, beauty and heritage…This is Baguala.” It cost five dollars.  Not bad.

8:20 – We check on artichokes and have a dance party in the kitchen (away from the stove.)

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8:25 – The BFF calls her Mom in Alabama to toss up a “Thanks” for our evening’s inspired delights, while we wait for things to simmer.

8:36 – Let the meat pan-searing begin!  Soooo much butter.  We love you Julia.  We love you like our favorite lip gloss and Christmas morning.

8:42 – A debate about what Chambord is: raspberry or blueberry, commences.  We ask BFF Mom and she says “Raspberry.”  Insist on a taste-test.  We do a shooter.  It reminds me of pancake syrup, but I don’t know which kind.  “It tastes like cough syrup.  But in a good way!” The BFF says. (Incidentally, The BFF Mom says try sinking Chambord in Mimosas.  Apparently, it’s awesome.)

8:48 – The steak is set to rest as more butter and shallots, make out in over flame.  Meanwhile the dinger goes off, and potatoes come out of the oven, as The BFF de-glazes the pan. Whatever the hell that means.

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8:54 – Shallot, wine, butter and herb steak sauce commences.  The BFF is with wild abandon throwing in more herbs as she sees fit.  I say thee, ye!

8:55 – The BFF: “I think I burned my face on the steak.  But it’s okay, cuz it was just a little point on it.  Right here.”
             Me: “Was it on the steak or the sauce?”
             The BFF: “The steak.  But it’s not that bad.”
              Me: “Well, we suffer for our art.”

8:57 – Lemon butter for artichokes commences.  At last count we are at two sticks of butter in total. 

8:59 – I am head of plating.  It’s my favorite thing of all time.  All we anal-retentive people love it.  Ask around.

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9:06 – We eat!  Main course of yum plus a movie date 🙂

9:51 – With faces of delight (from both film and food) we head back to the kitchen.  Me for KP, and The BFF for the crepe finale!

9:59 – The BFF: “I fucked the fucking crepe.”  (Translation:  “Oops. Practice round.”)

10:05 – Me: “I need some water, maybe.”

10:06 – I drink some.

10:11- I unwisely flirt with this one dude via text, while waiting for dessert.  Autocorrect makes my drunken postings even worse than normal.  He’s a good guy, understands the work at hand, and is awesome about it.  Also, he might be a few gone as well.  I think it’s all very charming. This will change tomorrow when I read it here in print, sober.

10:15 – Me: “I’m a total lush.”
               The BFF: “I just heard this thing about some people with 15 tigers in Chehalis, and they were drug addicts.  So people are fucked up.”
                …I don’t exactly know how to take this.  I think she’s drunk too.

10:23 – The BFF describes the fine art of making “CREPES DU SOL!” (Crepes of the sun), in step-by-step detail.  I pretend to listen.

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10:28 – Crepes are done.  And now we drizzle with goodness and eat.

10: 40 – The final fork full. Death by crepeing.

…And now, we have completed our pledge, are kinda snockered, and have a kitchen to clean.  But with our last conscious thought we would like to toss a final toast of petite Chambord to le Julia:

Happy Birthday, and long may she live in our food-gluttoned hearts!

***

The BFF and I would further like to thank this evening’s sponsors:

Land O’ Lakes butter
Chambord Liqueur
Tacoma Boys Produce and Meats
Baguala 2008 Malbec & Chalk Hill 2007 Chardonnay
My Kitchen

…Let the food coma commence.

‘Night all.

~D

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One Response to “Happy Birthday, Julia”

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  1. Absence Makes The Heart Grow Hungry | - April 29, 2013

    […] An articoke. (The epic 100th BD of Julia Child, when we decided totally on a whim to tackle a full-course spread straight from “The Joy of […]

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