|Monday, August 26, 2002|
The Hows and Wherefores...
For the moment, I will not tackle the existential query, "Why, Julie? Why Julia? Why now?" Instead, I shall stick to explicating the rules of engagement.
Initially, I had thought to work through the book front to back. This quickly was declared impracticable. (Two weeks of sweetbreads, anyone?) So I decided to work through each chapter, beginning to end. This is advantageous because the ten chapters of recipes conveniently add up to 10 recipes per week, roughly equivalent to the pace I need to set to get through the thing in a year. Also, there is the suspense factor. Because the book is structured like a classic cooking lesson, building up from basic techniques, the going will get gradually tougher as times goes on.
Those who are following far too closely should know that the vegetable chapter is an exception, being organized alphabetically. I will be skipping through from time to time according to availability.
Enough of these technicalities. Let us begin!
Those readers who are staying tuned to snicker at my ignonimous defeat will have to wait another day. Similarly those who plan to drool voyeuristically over my improbable triumphs. The first meal of the Julie/Julia Project was:
Bifteck Saute au Beurre
Artichauts au Naturel avec Beurre au Citron
(That would be, Pan-Broiled Steak, Whole Boiled Artichokes with Lemon Butter, and rice.)
And it was okay.
The steak was quite good. Pan-fried, as I said, which was a nice change from the usual stick-the-hunk-of-meat-under-a-broiler routine, especially with a nice buttery jus on top. Artichokes tasted like, well, lemon butter mostly. Which is good. (half a stick per person, anyone?) (Though, sidebar on the artichokes here, this was only the second whole artichoke I've ever eaten in my life, and I couldn't help thinking when I ate it, mostly, "huh." And maybe giving a moment of respectful silence for the poor starving prehistoric bastard who first braved one. Artichokes -- the lobsters of the vegetable kingdom.)
Nothing went wrong. It was good, though after one meal we're already feeling the buttery side effects. I cooked Julia and lived to tell the tale. It was easy.
9:22:13 PM comment