Julia Child. The woman who brought cooking to television; who reassured home cooks that making mistakes was okay. The woman behind boeuf bourguignon.
A few years ago my friend Dana and I went to the movies and saw Julie & Julia. We were smitten, head-over-heels even, for Meryl Streep’s character, and promptly began talking to each other in our best “Julia Child” voices. (This may still happen on occasion…) After the movie, we walked over to Barnes & Noble and each picked up a copy of Julia’s infamous cookbook: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. (Yes, we are the type of people this movie targets — the women who run out and buy the highly re-publicized object of affection within an hour of seeing the film. Way to go, marketing department.)
Somewhere between reminiscing over our times in Paris and the smell of buttery croissants, we decided to make Julia’s presence in our lives more prominent. Thus began our intimate monthly Julia Child Dinner Club. It only happened a handful of times (apparently grad students have a limited schedule or something), but a few of our closest friends would get together once a month and prepare several dishes from MtAoFC.
As we prepared our first dinner, Dana and I were shocked when we realized just how much butter and cream were thrown into these recipes. It’s almost as if Julia was actively trying to scare people away. But alas, we stuck it out. We delightfully tossed in a bit of butter here, a large splash of cream there, and copious amounts of salt, resulting in one hell of a meal. (With the amount of calories these recipes pack, you only want to do this once a month. Trust me.)
My time in grad school has obviously come to an end (R.I.P. Julia Child Dinner Club), but there’s a part of me that still wants to keep Julia’s legacy alive. I cannot imagine making some of her recipes in the heat of summer, but now that we’re dropping down into the 30′s during the day, I have no excuse.
There is no other recipe in MtAoFC that screams Julia Child quite as much as her famed boeuf bourguignon. After months of hiding on my bookcase, it was time to dust the ol’ lady off and bring her back to life.