Why I've kept it: Who better to see us through the holidays -- through every day -- than Julia? And who better to teach us how to entertain all year long, without getting tied up in knots?
My husband Ted and I have tackled some ambitious entertaining dishes in our kitchen over the years. One of the fanciest was a recipe from this book, a chicken melon (boned and stuffed chicken in its own skin, filled with chicken paté, forced into the shape of a melon with a judicious application of cheesecloth and twine. It took two of us to accomplish what Julia made look so easy, but without her gentle voice and encouragement throughout the recipe, we'd never have had the courage to tackle it at all.
However, while Julia Child & Company focuses on entertaining, most of the recipes are not super fancy. I love that this book, which was a companion volume to Julia's television series of the same name (if you watched the series, you can actually hear her voice while you read), is organized by menu, with each chapter containing the game plan for an entire meal from appetizer to dessert. You can mix and match, of course, or make the whole menu as Julia envisioned it. The recipes walk you through basic techniques and strategies for putting a beautiful meal on the table.
I still love this homage I made for Julia's 100th birthday, an adaptation of her spiced pound cake recipe, and this salad Nicoise-style, inspired by Julia, too. I've made or adapted, but not shared here, many dishes from this book in addition to the chicken melon.
Bookmarked, to try next: chicken bouillabaisse with rouille.
Do you have Julia Child & Company, or other books by Julia, on your cookbook shelf?
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