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Bill Spohn

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In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:46 pm

I have far too many cookbooks, most of them perused with glee and marked with numerous bits of paper in the possibly vain hope that I will remember where to find a particular recipe when I want it.

In a weak moment I indulged myself and picked up a copy of the two volume Julia Child magnum opus "Mastering the Art of French Cooking"

I have no intention of reprising the movie, "Julie and Julia" and cooking all the way through the book, but I had always enjoyed watching old shows with Julia Child, and the recipes she collected are an excellent directory of classical French cooking. Plus I lucked out and found a set for $25 instead of the more usual $65 or so, albeit without slipcase, and my thrifty ancestors would approve of taking advantage of a bargain.

Does anyone else still use this as a reference, and if so, do you recall any especially good recipes?
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Jeff Grossman » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:22 am

The Boeuf Bourguignon, of course.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Mike Filigenzi » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:37 am

I've cooked a couple of the recipes but I can't recall which offhand.
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Ted Richards

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Ted Richards » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:34 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:Plus I lucked out and found a set for $25 instead of the more usual $65 or so, albeit without slipcase, and my thrifty ancestors would approve of taking advantage of a bargain.

Does anyone else still use this as a reference, and if so, do you recall any especially good recipes?


I hate to say this, but I got my [hard] copies for a total of $3 US at a used book sale in Ohio. I use them fairly often. I often make her roast chicken recipe, various quiches and Gratin Savoyard. It's also a reference if I want to refresh my memory of a technique.
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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Jenise » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:22 pm

I love the Gratin Savoyard too, Ted, though I actually picked it up from Julia's later book, The Way To Cook. I purchased that one, and inherited the original Mastering... from my mother-in-law.

I envy Bill so much--he only needs like four hours sleep a night, so he gets about four hours more reading a day than most of us. I've never read through the books (though I do most cookbooks), but I reference them occasionally.

Btw, can I mention: she's so famous for her Beef Bourgogne. I've never made her recipe, but I've tasted many others and: I don't quite get it. I've had, and make, better BB's.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Bill Spohn » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:02 pm

Jenise wrote:Btw, can I mention: she's so famous for her Beef Bourgogne. I've never made her recipe, but I've tasted many others and: I don't quite get it. I've had, and make, better BB's.


Have to remember that Julia was playing historian and reporting French recipes the way they were told to her, not trying to improve on them, although she did occasionally make suggestions that might not be in accord with the orthodox view. I bet your BB includes components that her recipe does not. She restricts her herbal content to thyme, while you or me would probably add a couple of other herbs. In fact I have the hardest time making BB without turning it into a daube with black olives and rosemary.....
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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Jenise » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:10 pm

Bill Spohn wrote:
Jenise wrote:Btw, can I mention: she's so famous for her Beef Bourgogne. I've never made her recipe, but I've tasted many others and: I don't quite get it. I've had, and make, better BB's.


Have to remember that Julia was playing historian and reporting French recipes the way they were told to her, not trying to improve on them, although she did occasionally make suggestions that might not be in accord with the orthodox view. I bet your BB includes components that her recipe does not. She restricts her herbal content to thyme, while you or me would probably add a couple of other herbs. In fact I have the hardest time making BB without turning it into a daube with black olives and rosemary.....


We stayed in Burgundy back in the 90's at the Castel Girard in Morey St. Denis. I ordered BB wherever we went because I was fascinated by the fact that no two were alike, not even close. All good, but like meat loaf in America there was clearly no one right way. What I make is modeled on the one I liked best, a result both bolder and more nuanced than Julia's (IMNSHO). Btw, before that trip I believed that BB was only served on potatoes, and I believe that's Julia's recommendation too. Every single one we had there? Noodles.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Barb Downunder » Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:30 am

I initially found the recipe structure difficult (many years ago) but it is logical and I don’t worry about it now.

Use it for references and puff pastry and croissants come to mind.

Bill, you might like to check out eatyourbooks.com /exited thanks to Tom’s correction.

have a life subscription (whatever’s that might mean but ohave had it for maybe ten years). You create an online bookshelf of your cookbooks and you can then search your own book collection for recipes by, ingredient, recipe name. Etc etc.
Then you get to get out your book/s and look up the result/s
The web site is limited by the books they have indexed, but by golly they have indexed some of my very obscure and old books and they continually update. And it can be fun to put in a search query, see what pOps up and rediscover a book you haven’t looked at in a while.
Last edited by Barb Downunder on Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Bill Spohn » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:02 am

Thanks, Barb - sounds interesting. Would save me having to get out the stepladder to get the books on the top shelf down until I knew if there was anything I wanted in them.
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Ted Richards

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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Ted Richards » Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:22 pm

Barb Downunder wrote:Bill, you might like to check out eatmybooks.com.


Looks like it should be http://www.eatyourbooks.com, not "my".
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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Barb Downunder » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:33 am

Thanks Ted you are Quilpie correct.
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Re: In Which I buy (another) Book....Julia!

by Paul Winalski » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:29 pm

I have a copy of Mastering, but my go-to Julia Child book is The Way to Cook. That book, and Joseph Carey's Chef on Fire, were the two cookbooks that made me really grok cooking technique, as opposed to just following recipes.

-Paul W.

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