Thursday, October 25, 2012

Glorious food....

“You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.”
― Julia Child

Julia Childs would have been 100 this year(Aug 15). I loved the Julie Julia movie (2009) with Amy Adams & Meryl Streep. I really got into it from the perspective of creating a blog, as Julie did. But the life of Julia Childs was enchanting. She was a big & interesting lady. I loved her passion, her pursuit of being a beginner, and through adversity living a wonderful life. 
I read more about her and got the cook books. I thought i might like to try cooking French food too.

Now here we are in France and i thought i would learn to cook "french".
Everyday tootling down to the fresh produce market,
picking up the local ingredients as required for a recipe and cooking up a storm. 
When we were packing to come,
 i realised the Julia cook books are too big & heavy to travel with. 
So they did not make the trip. 
Then i found going to the markets, although interesting and yummy,
 wasn't great with the kids everyday. 
I can see why in some parts of the modern world, the car to supermarket and back is quite appealing. 
The alternative is currently my reality; market trolley in hand, trudging in all weather, dodging bikes, dog poop & blocked walkways to the market only to head back with lagging kids, fighting, bored with looking at different mushrooms, poultry with claws & beaks still attached and broken weird anglo-francaise conversations between their uncertain mother and the confused stall holders. 
Luckily for us all it is only like this on some days.
Finally, i now know, i actually don't like cooking, much. 
I am good with left-overs not with detailed instructions.
However I am doing the domestic goddess here, with full skirts & capes swirling.

My daughter & i decided to cheer up the working Monsieur with a cooked dinner.

Pre dinner: fresh olives & radishes with cold beer
Main: Roasted chicken with homemade stuffing, pumpkin & spinach & baguette on the side
Desert: Apple pie with runny creme

 We took turns preparing and photographing our afternoon.
Pie first. 
The movie "The Waitress" is another one of my favourites.
It is, among other things, about pies. All kind of pies.
I would like to know how to make great pies. one day.
Today with our fresh ingredients, we made apple pie. 

I bought the pre-done pastry sheets.
When i opened the box it was only one circle so we improvised and made a lattice top.
All recipes come from internet sources. Thats where i saw i could make the top like this.
Cinnamon and sugar coated, to hide the rustic imperfections. Perfect.
 It turned out pretty good too.

while it had been cooking we started on the stuffing for the chicken.
I made the recipe up myself, again with what we had, 
onion, garlic, stale baguette, giblets* olive oil, butter, herbs, lemon, salt & pepper 

chopped the bread & onions
(photos by Miss 6)

 Then it was my turn while she softened the onions, garlic and then cooked the chicken bits.
Then added all the rest to the mix. 
She loved this day. She is a little cook.
She was so proud that she could do it all.
 “Fat gives things flavor.”  Julia Child
*giblets are the colourful bits of chicken innards
I knew they would make the stuffing tasty. Like little drops of pate.

I think my son could become vegetarian if we lived in France for longer than a couple of months. 
He really struggled with the visual information at the markets.
Our Western sanitised life means the chicken he eats rarely resembles any living thing by the time he has it on the fork. Seeing fresh produce up close & personal has had an effect on him.

Although raw chicken isn't that good looking, i quite like how my roast preparation was coming along.
Julia would be impressed.
So in it went, into the oven to do its thing.

                                                “In France, cooking is a serious art form and a national sport.” 
 Julia Child 
Pre dinner nibbles are a favourite in our house.
Olives at the market are sold in little plastic baggies.
The red & white radishes come with the field of green stems.
Salted they are sweet & crunchy. 
 The veggie steam with succulence. Perhaps a touch on the well done side of the texture scale.
But Y.U.M.

Drum roll, please........
TA DA......
here she is, our Poulet Rotie
Parfait or perfect.

Plated up, as some say.

Oh, and some room for desert.

Good to the last mouthful.

"Learn how to cook - try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, 
be fearless and above all have fun.~Julia Childs 

We did just that today Julia, new, messy and fabulous.....

sparkle & twirl*

sources: julia childs quotes:


Enlightenment said...

very nice pics

Paulita said...

It looks like a great meal and what fun to cook with your daughter. My biggest problem with cooking is figuring out what to make. My husband, my kids, always say, "I don't care." They think they're being helpful by not demanding anything. Just give me an idea!

danasparkle said...

Thank you for your lovely comments. When mine say they don't care, i say i don't care and make something at least i like. Families are funny like that. Any day i don't have to think of what to make or actually make food is a holiday to me.
Smiling *