Search this blog

February 16, 2010


I wanted to do something really special for my beloved for what some call the most romantic day of the year: President's Day. I consulted with Taft's ghost for a good long while and came to the conclusion that only one thing would do for such a special occasion. Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon.

I had received Madame Child's chef d'oeuvre Mastering the Art of French Cooking this summer during one of my bouts of selfsame literary obsession (immediately preceded by Marie Antoinette and followed by fundamentalist Mormons), but had yet to try one of her delicious dishes due to rabid fear and self-doubt... and an affinity for my arteries.

But lo, twas time.

I dutifully went to my grocer and picked up the exorbitantly expensive ingredients with nary a complaint. I spent the afternoon reading and rereading the recipe and mentally psyching myself up. When the time came, you better believe I made sure that the beef was dry as a Sahara so as to ensure proper browning. Julia only knows I simmered those pearl onions in their herb bouquet and broth until the liquid had reduced properly. And those mushrooms. Those sinfully buttery mushrooms. Don't worry; I merely browned them lightly, just like Julia wanted.

During a lull in the simmering and stewing and sauteing, I started on a luscious and light dessert suggested to me by my m'ma via that other culinary goddess, Lynnn Rossetto Kasper: honeyed figs with marscapone. I first presented this dish to rave reviews at a pasta party on Friday night, so I knew Julia would approve of its pairing with her boeuf.

Five hours later (I shittake you not), everything was ready. The table was set, the boeuf was bourguignoned, the figs were honeyed and soon to be marscaponed, and I was all Betty Drapered up in my best dress, heels, and a pink and white half apron with Eiffel Towers on it. I even did my hairs all nice!

Taft, Julia, and Lynn would be proud, for the boyf pronounced this the Best Thing I've Ever Made, a distinction he does not give lightly.

And now, with my fears of her tome evaporated like so much Cotes du Rhone, I am ready to plow through it to find even more buttery fulfillment in her pages! March on!


  1. You're making me want to buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking!

    PS where did you get an apron with Eiffel Towers on them? It sounds fetching.

  2. Cotes du Rhone makes a delightful Coq au Vin. Maybe next week?

  3. I approve of you making "Betty Draper" a verb.

  4. You're my hero(ine)! I don't think I have the nerve or skill to tackle Julia's oeuvre (did I use that correctly...I wonder). Your perseverance is most admirable. Cook on(ward).