To Honor Julia, Just Add Butter

Today would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday.

This will be me tonight, Mastering the Art of Roasting a Chicken

I love this woman. Mastering the Art of French Cooking sits on my kitchen counter, not only as a beautiful decoration, but also as a quick go-to reference whenever a question pops up. I’ve watched Julie and Julia countless times, marveling at Meryl Streep’s command of Julia’s eccentric personality. And I love butter.

Butter may just be one of my favorite foods, if butter can be considered a food unto itself. No? Well, perhaps I can lump it in with dairy. Cream, Butter, Cheese, Milk – I love them all. Good quality butter cannot be beat, especially if it’s raw!

So tonight I’ll be honoring Julia by cooking her Roast Chicken, complete with copious amount of melted butter. Of course, I’ll have to put my own spin on it slightly by adding potatoes to the carrots that will marinate in pan drippings, but other than that it will smell like a French Bistro in my house this evening. Maybe I’ll even throw on some classical french music and grab a glass of Bordeaux.

I just love theme nights, especially when they coincide with something I really care about. Julia, here’s to you!

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Fairy Tale Food by Lucie Cash – Bringing a Little Magic to Your Cooking

The book arrived at my doorstep on Cinnamon-scented wind. It came cradled in a basket like a baby brought by stork. Although no one rang the doorbell to announce its arrival, I knew something lay just beyond the threshold by the smell of chocolate and faint whirls of steam I could see rising over the panes in the door’s glass.

Actually, none of this happened. The book came wrapped in an Amazon plastic bag and crammed into my mailbox. But once the wrapping was off, I was enchanted.

Fairytale Food: Enchanting Recipes to Bring a Little Magic to Your Cooking. The name itself made me happy as I opened up the cover. Once the binding was creased, the pages within held even more wonders.

Every page has a drawing of some sort – a character, a magical food, a depiction of a fairytale. The illustrations, by Yelena Bryksenkova, are intricate, inviting the reader to do more than just glance at the recipe they are trying to recreate. They showcase each story and the food associated – for instance, Snow White has a section that includes Evil Stepmother’s Stew and Blood Red Velvet Cake. A little story accompanies each recipe, explaining its reason for being included.

This is another way that Fairytale Food departs from your typical cookbook. Food is not arranged according to courses (appetizers, soups, entrees), but by Fairytale. Each story generally has an entree, side dish, and dessert. Take Belle and her Beau – this section includes Beauty and the Beast Burgers, Pretty Sweet Potatoes, and True Love’s Hearts.

Other sections may include fewer courses, but are no less involved than others. Fairy Folk is filled with sweets – Enchanted Forest Gateau, Fairy Chocolate Cups, and Goblin Granitas.

Although I haven’t attempted any of the recipes yet, there are plenty of tips that will allow me to begin in the correct manner. A list that includes common sense information such as “Ensure that your cauldron is sparkling clean” comes just before lesser-known wisdom like “When stirring, always stir widdershins (counter-clockwise)…” Who knew cooking magically could be so easy? Keep in mind that the book was published in the UK, meaning that measurements will have to be converted for anyone more familiar with US measurements.

This will be such a fun cookbook to use in the future with children. I can just imagine creating tea-time treats as we dress up according to the menu of the day!