Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"If you're afraid of butter, use cream." ~Julia Child

Last summer we made our second -- and hopefully annual -- trip to New Hampshire to visit Suzanne and her family at their vacation home where they spend the summer. We swam across beautiful clear lakes, we kayaked, we hiked, and of course we ate lots of really good food. We also went to see Julie and Julia, which Suzanne and I just loved. We loved it so much, in fact, that we made a date to cook Boeuf Bourguignon a la Julia Child on my birthday in September.

It was perhaps the best birthday ever. We watched an old episode of Julia Child cooking Boeuf Bourguignon, and then started cooking. While the stew simmered in the oven, we watched Sense and Sensibility, because another of our projects together is to work our way through all the Jane Austen movies (I know, it's a hard life, but someone's got to life it! As Suzanne noted when she posted these photos on Facebook, it's a shame you can't upload the aroma! You'll just have to take my word for it -- this was one divine meal.

We promptly decided we needed to cook together regularly, and chose Italian for our next adventure: pan-fried thin beef steaks cacciatora style with zucchini risotto (also divine, if I do say so myself):

This meal was a little more labor intensive than the beef stew was, so we didn't have time to watch a whole Jane Austen movie. Instead we watched several episodes of Jacque and Julia, including an episode on desserts that featured ice cream filled profiteroles. Our next meal was conceived: a simple tomato soup that would leave plenty of room for the main course:

cream puffs and ice cream filled profiteroles

cream puffs served on a bed of creme anglaise and raspberry jam (below)

fried apple pies

and raspberry souffle.


edited multiple times to deal with stupid formatting issues (sorry!)


Kate Haas said...

How coincidental! I just went to see Julie and Julia with my husband (who, although a terrific guy in most other respects, hates to go to the movies, although he will do so just for me now and then - and he ended up really liking this one).

Anyway, I was so taken by that beef stew (especially since this was my second time watching the movie) that I went directly to my mom's house and borrowed her copy of MTAOFC, Determined (!) to make it myself.

I still haven't done it, but I do have a question since you have - do you think it would taste any good without the bacon?

Those desserts...oh, my.

Sara said...

ONE of us needs to move to within neighborly vicinity of the other - b/c we would cook together a LOT !

Ellen Skilton-Sylvester said...

OK. My first new year's resolution is to find a way to cook something with you at some point in 2010. You know how to live.

Holly said...

Marta, a new topic suggestion: how you came to resume eating meat after becoming a vegetarian in college! I have made the same about-face for health reasons (e.g., hoping never to be anemic EVER again!) but wonder if it's a good and decent choice, especially given personal health consequences of eating meat in our culture and the ongoing violence to "food animals." I look forward to reading your thoughts on this someday! Aloha, Holly

Marta said...

kate, i think it would taste really quite yummy without the bacon. let me know!

sara, that would be SO MUCH FUN! we do seem to manage to see each other a couple of times a year -maybe we can fit some cooking in, hmmm?

ellen, that is SUCH a doable resolution! "i run, therefore i eat. i eat, therefore i run. with ellen!"

holly, thanks for stopping by! i will most certainly tackle those questions, but i would recommend michael pollen's "the omnivore's dilemma" if you want to know what i think about eating ethically. pretty much, that's it!