Day 225–A Locavore Birthday for Julia Child

The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appetit!–Julia Child

Two of our three happy eaters!

August is one of those odd months with no major holiday or celebration. June has the beginning of summer, July (for us in the U.S.) has Independence Day, and September has Labor Day and the beginning of fall. August is just hot. And humid. So we thought maybe we could find a new holiday and have a very good time. It was either that or go sit in the pool and not come out until Labor Day. We picked the party.

August 15th would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday. After watching numerous episodes of The French Chef and realizing Julia Child was a locavore ahead of her time, we felt like her birthday was the perfect summer celebration we needed. So we threw Julia Child a birthday dinner using her recipes and our own local chicken and produce. Our menu included all locally sourced ingredients except olive oil, butter, kosher salt, and pepper. I even went crazy and made my own breadcrumbs. We all pitched in to make it happen. It was such a fun success that I think we will do this again.

Ellie making the roasted potatoes!

We dressed up our table, put on nice clothes, lit candles, poured sparkling pink lemonade into wine glasses, sang Happy Birthday and had a pretty awesome time. For an afternoon and evening, we were a remote outpost of Julia Child’s Ecole Des Trois Gourmandes (School of the Three Happy Eaters). We even wore the patches designed by Paul Child! Although the menu seems like a lot, each recipe was very simple and made use of what is super fresh at our farmer’s market right now.

 Here is what we had:

  • Julia’s roast chicken (thank you, Rainbow Farm)
  • Tomates a la Provençal (stuffed heirloom tomatoes)
  • Sautéed Zucchini in Butter and Shallots (and cream!)
  • Roasted new potatoes with rosemary (our recipe)
  • Tarte aux Peches (fresh peach tart)

The Sautéed Zucchini (top) and Tomates Provencal (bottom) were surprise hits!

The chicken was amazing, but the real standouts of the night were the stuffed tomatoes and the sautéed zucchini. The recipe for the tomatoes is HERE and the recipe for the zucchini is HERE. I would make both again in an instant. Ellie devoured the zucchini, which is rich, creamy and amazingly good. Tom, who does not enjoy a stand alone tomato, even ate his stuffed tomato and enjoyed it!

Our one gourmand (happy eater dude) even enjoyed an almost unadorned tomato!

I’m ending with another of my favorite Julia quotes. Have fun cooking, eating, and living! And Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces–just good food from fresh ingredients. Julia Child