Sunday, November 15, 2009

Julias Eggs..... 

Recently I have become a Julia Child enthusiast. It started with the movie Julie and Julia and progressed with reading My life in France – her autobiography, written in collaboration with her Grand Nephew. My Life in France chronicles her Journey through Life, her discovery of food and her life long affair with France. It’s an endearing story that was written in Julia’s declining years, and was completed after her death in 2004. Indeed, it is written a such a way that makes it feel like an old Julia Child is actually telling you the story herself, as it often, and quite randomly, inserts quaint but irrelevant pieces of information, changes direction and at times alludes to ‘a point’ but never actually makes one!! However, the combination of her sense of humour, her intellect and her experience gained from living and travelling all over the world result in an extremely entertaining read.

When I finished the book I felt like I was saying good-bye to a dear friend.

Off the back of My Life in France, I decided to buy a paperback version of Mastering the art of French Cooking, the book that her TV career was launched from and responsible for her subsequent fame.

Normally I would shy away from a cookbook that contained no pictures and that looked so complicated. However after learning of the painstaking efforts she goes to, to create perfect recipes, I felt it was a purchase that was worthwhile. (It was not unusual for Julia Child to cook the same recipe upward of 20 times in order to get the correct quantities, cooking times, and end product).

I thought it fitting to try out something easy first before I graduate to the more complicated la cuisine bourgeoise, and as it was Sunday morning, Scrambled eggs seemed the perfect place to start.

Firstly, you need to smear the bottom and sides of a pan with butter. Then comes the first major difference. The eggs should be cooked over a low to medium heat – so low that for the first 2 to 3 minutes nothing should appear to happen. Gradually the eggs should thicken into a custard like consistency. Now for the next major difference. Once the eggs are at the consistency you desire you then add either butter or cream – the key being that you don’t add any liquid or liquid-producing ingredients until the eggs are basically ready, as doing so is likely to cause the eggs to become watery. Also, adding the butter or cream at the end stops the cooking process.

Well – I got it completely wrong! The pan was too hot and the eggs cooked almost immediately. As a result I didn’t have time to measure out the correct quantities so ended up throwing a dollop of butter into the eggs at the last minute and hoping for the best!

The eggs tasted good – but let’s face it, any cooked breakfast tastes good on a cold Sunday morning!

The next time I try out a Julia recipe I’m going to be far more prepared – which means reading through the recipe completely before I start cooking so that I don’t get it wrong!!

Until next week…………

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