Day 218–Cook for Julia!

August 15 of this year would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday. As someone who came woefully late to cooking, I love the story of Julia Child and her role as a mentor to chefs and home cooks around the world. She was an exceptional woman and an exceptional teacher. And, I have to say, I love her quirky sense of comedic timing and mannerisms. We recently watched many of the first episodes of The French Chef on Netflix and one of the things that strikes me is her use of simple, honest ingredients prepared with surprisingly little effort. Of course, her shows also feature some complicated dishes and topics, but there is no high-end truffle oil from halfway around the world or peppers from South America or exotic meat from a half-extinct animal. No food towers. No plates of mostly garnish. No smoked underbelly of mustard leaf (ok, that one I made up). Real food, olive oil, salt and pepper, butter and fresh herbs. For. Reals.

So PBS is sponsoring a Cook for Julia to celebrate her 100th birthday. Make a dish between August 5th and 15th, take a pic, post it to the website HERE. Or not. But isn’t it fun to celebrate someone who reminded all of America that maybe SPAM isn’t really a food and that a simple whole chicken can be an exalted thing when dressed simply and roasted with care? I think that’s worth a celebration. Here is a quote from Julia Child that I often think about when I’m cooking:

“Learn how to cook. Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun.”

What will I make? I’m going all-out with simple, local ingredients. Here is my Julia Child Birthday Dinner:

  • Julia’s Roast Chicken
  • Oven roasted potatoes
  • Julia’s Grated Zucchini Sautéed in Butter and Shallots
  • Julia’s Baked Stuffed Tomatoes
  • Julia’s Peach Tart

We’ll have our feast on August 12 and I’ll post pics from our birthday party. Should be fun!

Bon Appetite!