Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, August 15, 2014

It's Julia's Birthday!

Two years ago, I was celebrating Julia's Birthday (her 100th) with cake -- her cake.

Today,  I'm reprising my post from two years ago because I'm too busy to bake a cake -- I've been out and about celebrating my friend's Shirley Ann's birthday -- alas not her 100th . . . 

But in memory of Julia
my first culinary hero

Happy Birthday!

Today is Julia Child's 100th Birthday.     An icon in the foodie world, she took us away from jello salads and onion soup on roasts to beef bourguinon and vinaigrettes.     She was meticulous in her research when writing her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.    

Doesn't everyone have a copy of Mastering the Art?   

An Iconic Book

I have not one but two.    One that I bought myself because I thought everyone needed a Mastering the Art and one that I found at a Thrift Shop -- a first edition that I found at a Thrift Shop for a mere pittance.   

I cook with the first and I feel the second should be locked under glass!

As a high schooler, my mother and I would sit and watch Julia.

Who doesn't remember these wonderful episodes where we all learned the basics of French cooking!

Nothing fazed her and you never knew what she was going to do.    I must admit that my mother never did make anything that we saw.    But as a perpetual clipper of recipes and a lover of good food, she enjoyed what Julia was making.

As a new bride, I, too, enjoyed watching Julia.    That was when, I think, that I got that first copy of Mastering the Art.     I don't remember cooking anything from that book but it was comforting to have it as I faithfully watched Julia.

And for a while, Saturday mornings were not Saturday mornings without Cooking With Julia: The Master Chefs.

I remember this Julia the best -- and I loved her bantering with Jaques Pepin

I think this is the Julia I remember best -- the one from those shows . . . and she was the first "Queen of Butter"!     Paula Deen doesn't hold a candle to Julia and her butter!

One thing I regret -- not seeing "the kitchen" in the Smithsonian -- we were there but my knees were bothering me and I chose not to go.   I still regret it!

And Julia's kitchen -- which was featured in that show.    I adored it.    From the big stove to the wooden countertops to the "things" with a place for everything and everything in it's place.    A real cook's kitchen -- not a "show" kitchen.

Perhaps it was Julia's influence for I've always had a "working" kitchen rather than a show kitchen -- a kitchen where everyday items were within easy reach and a kitchen where those things always had a place and were always in their place.

And today is Julia's birthday -- she would have been 100.     She led a very interesting life and began her celebrity career later in life.    But it was a career that spanned decades and those early fans of hers who learned to cook French food watching the beloved Julia on their black and white television turned into a second and perhaps a third generation as she did more books and more television shows.    The later ones being filmed in that famous kitchen.

Birthday celebrations at Linderhof are a meal and then a cake.    Usually the honoree's choice of cake.   

Dinner first, dishes cleared and then on a pedestal, the cake with candles is brought in.

A birthday dessert!

Since it was a birthday celebration, china instead of the transfer ware -- my favorite gold and white cups which are so dainty and the silver coffee pot.     Noritake Marcassite dessert plates and Mrs. Boland's dessert forks.

Just one candle -- a tribute to Julia.

The recipe is in Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

The cake?    Julia's chocolate and almond cake (Reine de Saba).

And we had to light the candle even if we didn't sing happy birthday!

We did light the candle, although we did not sing Happy Birthday!     But we each had a large piece of the cake and pronounced it superb!  

Happy Birthday Julia!

You Changed the World!



Bernideen said...

What fun trivia about Julia and a lovely cake that I am sure was delicious.

Michele M./ Finch Rest said...

Oh this is neat.

Did you watch the movie "Julie and Julia" by chance? I loved it. Funny I went straight to the grocery after seeing it and bought everything I needed for her recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon.

I few days later I was explaining it to my eldest daughter and she said the exact same thing! SHE had gone to the movie and did the exact same thing. Which is shocking a) because she hadn't mentioned seeing it beforehand with me,and b) because she seldom cooks, she bakes but doesn't cook very often, her husband does their cooking. We laughed and laughed about that!

Mmmmm, now I am hungry.

Happy Birthday, Julia.

racheld said...

Ahhh, such memories when all the food was in gray-and-white and the recipes made easy and fun.

My children and I were avid watchers of those early programs, and occasionally, we'd have EVERY item needed in the pantry or fridge. I still have a sweet spot in my remembrance for the afternoon of chou-fleur a la polonaise, with one browning the butter and crumbs, another sieving the warm boiled egg. And the same program, with Broccoli and Hollandaise (one of my first makings in a bowl-atop-a-pot-of-water). What a supper feast that was, and we felt so elegant (though probably hot and disheveled from all the poaching and steam).

We all cook for our families, and those are still two of our stand-by dishes.


Michelle said...

Love your "working kitchen" and would take it over a show kitchen any day =) Great post on Julia!