Friday, May 20, 2011

Oeufs and Ends

First off, let me just say that not even one week into the three-week No Restaurant Challenge, this family folded.  Like a fragile house of cards in a gentle breeze.  I've cooked decent meals all week long, and tonight I felt like being catered to...and I felt like a steak.  So, I got it, and I enjoyed it, and I'm not going to feel bad about it.  At all.

Moving on.  Last weekend, I had the pleasure of watching the movie Julie & Julia.  Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a 30ish something who seeks to find meaning in life by cooking her way through Julia's cookbook "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".  The parallel storyline is of Child's trials and tribulations in the 1950s.

Anyway, enjoying food and cooking myself, I took a great deal of interest in this movie.  In fact, I was impelled to purchase the paperback version of Child's cookbook at the bookstore recently.  I have been content to read it over the last few days, and I am finding it very enjoyable.  This cookbook has a sense of humor (suggesting eight-year-olds can make Hollandaise in the blender).

So far, I am through Soups (which seem very delicious and doable), Sauces (v. daunting), and Eggs (of great interest).  I am a fan of eggs, but I've never really been terribly creative about cooking with them.  I know how to fry them, poach them, scramble them, and bake them...and that is about it.  About four times in my life I have been compelled to try making an omelette...and I have failed every time.

However, I have determined that this is the weekend that I conquer the omelette.  I will document the epic battle in another post.

Also, I am itching to try making pie crust a la Julia Child.  I never have before, but according to my mom, my grandmother made excellent pies, so maybe I have the magic as well.  Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon recipe also looms on the horizon, but I may have to wait until school is out and I have all my faculties about me before I attempt it.

In other food-related news, in addition to the ten-cent cottage cheese cookbook, I also picked up a cheap beef pamphlet-type cookbook (courtesy of the makers of A1 steak sauce, circa 1990).  The recipe for meatloaf was pretty darn amazing:

2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 c. A1 (natch)
1 c. bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 c. of minced green pepper and onion each (which I actually did not have, thus, I used a 1/2 c. of dried tomato and pesto seasoning...close enough, right?)

After shaping into a football-looking thing, I placed the meatwad in a baking dish (not a loaf pan) and spread a thin coat of steak sauce on top.  After baking it for an hour at 350 degrees, our family of five nearly obliterated the entire thing (but not before I procured two lunch servings for Brent and I).  Man, it was really good.  Then again, our family likes meatloaf in general...and so, can there ever be a *bad* meatloaf?

Finally, rounding out this random spew of food-related topics, I woke up this morning earlier than usual...to the banging of cupboard doors.  My twelve-year-old son was in the midst of making himself scrambled eggs...and doing it with much aplomb and success.  Then, some thirty minutes later, my ten-year-old daughter proceeded to make scrambled eggs for her little brother, and then a serving of "Taco Eggs" for herself (a sprinkle of taco seasoning added to egg mixture before cooking).  No smoke alarms, no exclamations of "Uh Oh", no discarded burnt eggs in the garbage...

With the exception of the early-morning kitchen racket, I am love, love, loving that my children are comfortable (and able) enough in the kitchen to make themselves an easy, good breakfast without any supervision. 

I think I will pat myself on the back as well...

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