Thursday, August 13, 2009

De-Boning the Duck


This is a blog based on a movie, based on a book, based on a blog, based on a…..

Ok, stop. My head is spinning.

Coming up with interesting blog topics can be a challenge especially if your brain is fried from revisions, work or playing Staries on FB :-) Needing a break I went to the movies.

Yup, the movie I’m talking about is Julie & Julia. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. It’s a movie based on a NY writer’s Julie and Julia Project whereby she spent 365 days preparing all 524 recipes from Julia Childs book “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

I like Meryl Streep and am really becoming a fan of Amy Adams so with the promise of movie popcorn I trooped off with my friend and CP to see it.

Loved. It.

This movie spoke to me in so many ways. First and foremost was the parallel experience of Julia and Julie feeling kind of stuck in their lives and trying to find a way to explore their passions. Julia’s seemed rather simplistic at first….she wanted something to occupy her time and decided to go to the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and learn how to cook the French cuisine she loved. But it soon became something more as she met with skepticism and outright scorn that she…an American…could be so foolish as to attain such a goal. It was a thrill to watch Julia get that gleam in her eye, one that I personally identify with, that said “Oh, no? Watch me.”

And so she did. She had the “courage of her convictions” and mastered everything they threw at her including learning the difficult technique of de-boning a duck.

Fast forward to Julie Powell in NYC. An aspiring writer, mired in a cubicle job she wanted something to bring her out of her wallowing. She admired Julia and thought if nothing else than to prove to herself that she could do it, decided to prepare every one of Julia’s recipes in one years time. As an experiment or maybe just as an outlet to her frustrations and revelations she decided to blog about it. And in doing so, she opened up her own world as well as connecting with thousands like her who echoed her own aspirations and desire to do more, to BE more.

Julie and Julia were women determined to prove to themselves that there was more to them than being a diplomat's wife or an office worker. They were both authors, struggling to get their writing recognized, accepted for publishing. I commiserated with them both when publishers turned them down or in Julia’s case when they wanted to take the unique, wonderful book she had written and change it into the “white bread” of the industry of the 1950's. French dishes by MIX?!!!! I don’t think so!
And neither did Julia.

Julia had worked hard to craft a book that would bring difficult techniques and cookery to the American public. She didn’t give in. She had her ups and her downs as did Julie who was astounded and thrilled when her blog evolved into offers from publishers but she knew the value of her product. So she stood rejection until that moment when the right editor, the right time, the right place published what has since become an iconic American tome.

While the movie did not inspire me to attempt any of these dishes (I am a baker, not so much a cook) I did embrace the spirit of these two remarkable women’s drive and determination to achieve that which they thought they could not! With the courage of our convictions we can accomplish anything!

On second thought….pass me a duck!


What about you? Have you been inspired by a movie? What is the most challenging recipe you’ve ever attempted? A cooking technique you’ve mastered? Have you seen the movie and what did you think? (No spoilers, please!) Or, like me, have you developed a crush on Stanley Tucci?

71 comments:

Cassondra said...

Ha!

Cassondra said...

Mine!

Mine, mine, MINE!

Ha!

Come to me, chookie.....

Cassondra said...

What a great synopsis of a film, Joanie, and what a great job of connecting it with our real lives!

Lessee...I recently learned to make a roux, which is NOT easy and requires some patience.

The thing I'm working on now (Okay, Anna Sugden, don't you dare laugh at me) is Yorkshire Pudding. Also called Dutch Babies in some recipes.

I'm completely stymied. I can get moderate successes, but the grocer thinks I'm the Easter Bunny cuz I'm buying so many eggs, and I have yet to get that wonderful huge salad-bowl shape that makes Yorkshire pudding famous.

*sigh*

I have mastered amazing grilled steak.

yes. That, I can do.

Elyssa Papa said...

I can't even make pancakes *hangs head in shame*

It's why I use the microwave or order take-out. ;)

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Cassondra.

Hi Joan,
Can't think of a movie that inspired me to do something. I can't cook. I wish I was one of those people who can whip something up with whatever is available in the frig. I can't bake either. I do make great fried eggs.

Anna Sugden said...

Great post, Joanie - must go and see the movie.

I don't know what the most challenging thing is, but I can't seem to master pastry. *sigh* But, I do make great rice, thanks to my Persian mother.

There are some recipe books that are gospels because THEY WORK. The food comes out exactly as it should.

My Top 5 faves are:

Delia Smith (all the basics of English cookery)
Nigella Lawson (everything!)
Jamie Oliver (his risotto recipe is foolproof)
Yan Kit (THE Chinese cookery book)
Madhur Jaffrey (Indian cookery)

And I love The Australian Woman's Weekly Collection.

As for Stanley Tucci - he is forever the awesome Richard Cross in Murder One (one of the best TV series ever!) The man has a great twinkle.

Anna Sugden said...

I wouldn't laugh, Cassondra - Yorkshire puddings are hard! Even experts can mess them up every now and then.

The keys are very hot oven (and don't open the door until they're done), whisking well, then leaving to rest and using beef fat dripping or lard. Delia Smith's recipe is pretty foolproof.

We always do little ones in a muffin tin, so can't help with the big one!

Must admit, though, there are some frozen pre-prepared ones that just need cooking, which work really well. So, most of the time we use those.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I used to be a great country cook, which means I left all the fat and calories in, my mother and grandmother didn't know any better so that is the way I learned. Now? Not so much...mostly I used a frozen entree and add veggies and potatoes, most of the time they come out of the freezer too!

I so want to see this movie, I get several minutes of enjoyment just watching the commercials.

Helen said...

Congrats Cassondra how do you think Thor and him will get on?

Joan
What a great post and now I want to see the movie these 2 Ladies sound very determined good on them.

I don't think I have ever seen a movie that inspired me either and as for cooking I do enjoy cooking when I feel like it I would truly love a bigger kitchen though I would be more inspired then.

I always bake the kids and now grandkids birthday cakes and decorate them. I have made pirate monster Dora minnie mouse all sorts of cakes and always enjoy doing them.

My Mum was a fantastic baker as well and I still make the cakes that she used to the lammingtons are the best fidely to make but worth it and I make a good pavlova when I get the energy and my family loves my caramel biscuit slice.
I will always try receipes when I am in the mood.

Have Fun
Helen

PJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PJ said...

Great blog, Joanie! I'd like to see this movie. I don't recall any movies that have inspired me but my kitchen inspires me. It's my favorite room of the house.

The dh and I belonged to a gourmet club when we were first married. We both enjoyed cooking and making dishes from different countries. We always searched out recipes we'd never tried before.

Anna, the dh lived in England for four years so we made a lot of English dishes. My favs to make are Yorkshire Pudding (I use muffin tins) and crumpets. Gawd, I love crumpets!

Joanie, I love French cooking. I enjoy making souffles, crepes, pate and mousse. (sorry for the missing accents) Chicken Cordon Bleu is my favorite chicken dish and a lot easier to make than you'd think. Oh, and when I have a full day and don't mind making a mess of my kitchen I love to make french bread from scratch.

I also love exploring Greek, Italian and Chinese recipes. I make a mean moussaka!

August 13, 2009 7:51 AM

Joan said...

Woohoo!!! Thor has a playmate!!

The Battle of the Fowl...news at 11

Yorkshire pudding? Wow, Cassondra that sounds daunting. Only ONE time have I successfully made anything pudding like from scratch. Too time involved with stirring over heat on the stovetop.

It was chocolate mousse which did make it the semifinals at the competition at the fair.

And roux? Equal parts fat and flour stirred into your liquid...if I'm remembering correctly. Good Eats, episode "Roux the day"

(kidding)

Joan said...

Elyssa,

Don't feel bad. I can't either.

But my brother can! He taunts me mercilessly about how he can make them with "crispy edges" like our Mom always did.

Me? I go for the Aunt Jemima microwave ones,....which AREN'T half bad.

And pre prepared microwave potatoes. I recently discovered them! Covered in wrap you pop them in the microwave and in 10 min...voila....perfect baked potato!

Joan said...

Jane,

Again, a brother specialty.

I only started eating fried eggs after my trips to Ireland. I can never flip them right though I've analyzed and think I need a different type of spatula...yeah, that's it...spatula

Joan said...

The man has a great twinkle.

I swear, I read this as "twinkie"

:-)

It IS a blog about food!

Yes, Anna I too am pastry challenged. I just can't do a good pie crust to save my life. I know keys are cold water and cold fat/butter. I usually have cold hands too which is touted as the true gift of a pastry maker.

My favorite set of cookbooks are a series put out by Southern Living about a decade ago. Each tome is dedicated to one aspect of cooking.....poultry, desserts, cookies, cakes, bread....

Twinkies....

Terry Odell said...

Great movie - and I blogged about it yesterday myself!

Things seem to run in cycles. It was one of the few movies we were motivated enough to go to the theater to see.

I probably have spent more hours watching cooking shows on TV than any other type. My brother met Julia Child when he was pastry chef at the Biltmore Hotel in LA. He said she sounded exactly like she did on TV. I can't wait for him to see the movie so I can get his take.

Now, if only I'd come home to an answering machine full of requests for a book because people are reading MY blog! Sigh

Joan said...

Dashing out real quick for breakfast with a friend....

Fried eggs and microwave pancakes

:-)

Be back shortly.....

Beth said...

I swear, I read this as "twinkie"

I'm LOL at this because I'm blogging today over at the Super Authors blog on eHarlquin about the Twinkie cake I made last weekend. I'm sure Julia Child would not have approved! But you know what? It was a BIG hit at the picnic :-)

I can't wait to see this movie, Joan! I love cooking and baking and I'm always trying new recipes.

Right now I'm trying to master Mexican cooking then I'm going to work on Chinese. I'll have to check out the Yan Kit cookbook Anna mentioned *g*

Karen Olson said...

Absolutely loved this movie. Thought Meryl Streep was brilliant, and Stanley Tucci great. I could've done with more Julia and less Julie, although I saw what they were trying to do.

As for recipes, recently I tackled cream puffs. My mother in law's recipe. I was astonished they came out so big and light and fluffy and delicious! Usually meatloaf is the most complicated thing on my repertoire.

Joan said...

Dianna,

Good 'ole Southern cooking. Did you grow up with a little metal pot on the stove where fat "drippings" were collected to be used for browning etc?

Can't imagine the amount of Lipitor THAT would take!

But man...there is nothing that gives flavor like bacon drippings. Sorry, there just isn't.

Joan said...

Hey Helen!

What a treasure your kids and grandkids have in you baking and decorating their cakes.

I have only had one birthday cake since my Mom passed so I know how special they are.

Lammingtons? Pavlov? Caramel biscuit slice? These sound interesting and when I get back from my errands, I'm looking them up! I especially am intrigued with anything that has "caramel" in its title.

Maybe I can do an Australian lammington for the Ky State Fair!

Joan said...

Yanno, PJ, one of these days you're going to hear a knock at your door.

You'll glide to open it...

And outside will be 20 Banditas with knives and forks and bibs come to sample all your culinary art!

Man, I can't imagine trying to home cook Chinese! "Wok" a challenge!

Mexican maybe, but when I have a locally famed place called Taco Tico less than 1/2 mile from my house...why?

But OMG! You can make moussaka?????

Yum.

I did get a Greek cookbook and replicated a fantastic Greek braised chicken dish and the aforementioned Greek green beans.

I made baklava ONCE. Most time intensive, nerve racking thing (trying to layer the phyllo dough with out it drying out..impossible!)I've ever attempted.

Vowed then and there that I would never make it again lest I had a sexy guy to help me eat it :-)

Joan said...

Terry,

Great minds and all that :-)

Wow! Your brother is a pastry chef!!

How cool!!

At one point about 10 years ago, I considered going to our local culinary school for that. But my nursing schedule did not allow for class time and THEN they did not have night classes.

In the end, it's just as well....I don't do well getting up at 4 am to "Make the doughnuts"

{Ducks, and looks around....Kristen....???}

Joan said...

Beth!

You made your own TWINKIE???

What a woman!!!

Ya'll are lucky though, you have family to experiment on. I have to have a specific "event" to bake for else the extra cookies, scones etc. stay in this house and TAUNT me into eating them!!!

"Just one more" they whisper innocuously..."No, don't look at the scale...come to the kitchen...come...come...."

Gulp

Joan said...

Cream puffs, Karen?

My hat is OFF to you!!!

Now see I've been wanting to find a good, basic meatloaf recipe...not tomato based but with maybe some veggies I could smoosh into ground turkey???

Hey, I have to make up for the whispering cookies...

And I did enjoy the movie and yes, the scenes with Julia in particular were great...I love the era of the 40's and 50's. I swear I want that one blue silk/sateen party dress she wore...THAT is my ideal dress up dress!

limecello said...

Hm... most challenging recipe? I don't know - but a technique I figured out? Making meringue. Or whipped cream. And especially by hand. I kept trying to make pavlovas in college, and always failed, until the one time I made one by hand - but it took FOREVER. Now, however, I can whip eggs and cream with the best of them, and actually enjoy doing it by hand.
My new thing isn't making crazy difficult recipes - no time or money :P But I like doing everything by hand, without any electricity. Just me, a wooden spoon, and good old fashioned elbow grease.
Congrats on the GR Cassondra! I don't think I'll be seeing much of him b/c I'm in nyc, and it's hard to get internet.

Donna MacMeans said...

I have the best of both worlds. My daughter who went to culinary arts school and can chop those veggies into small little pieces - does the cooking at home. I know how to cook but am VERY content to let her have at it.

I haven't see the movie yet but my daughter and I are planning to go this weekend. I'm a real Meryl Streep fan.

I can't think of a "hardest" recipe. I can think of some super time-consuming ones! But once it's broken down step by step - it's not that hard, really. Of course, for me, having patience is HARD (grin).

Joan said...

Hey Lime! Say hello to the Statue of Liberty!

I admire anyone who can hand whip. Doesn't it do better if it's in a copper pot?

I'm afraid my wrists would cry if I attempted it so I'm content to let my KitchenAid do the work...

Though it was a revelation to me that real whipped cream tasted SO much better than Cool Whip :-)

Joan said...

Donna,

Wow, you have a daughter with knife skills....cool.

I still struggle with that...chopping without it looking as if a madwoman attacked the onion and ripped it to shreds.

You'll really enjoy the movie. I'm going to see it again.

Becke Davis said...

I don't like to cook, but I've LOVED Stanley Tucci ever since I saw him in the fantastic movie, Undercover Blues, which starred Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid. Stanley Tucci plays the villainous "Muerte" and he should have won an award for it!

PJ said...

Yanno, PJ, one of these days you're going to hear a knock at your door.

You'll glide to open it...

And outside will be 20 Banditas with knives and forks and bibs come to sample all your culinary art!



I can't imagine anything more fun! I love cooking for people I love. :)

My biggest cooking/baking challenge is pie crust. No matter how many times I've made it over the years I've never been able to replicate the perfection of my grandma's pie crust. Most times I just buy the pre-made.

PJ said...

Joanie, what are you baking for this year's State Fair?

Karen Olson said...

Joan, my meatloaf recipe is very easy, although it does have a splash of ketchup in it and I do use ground turkey. I crumble up two or three old slices of bread, wet them with a little water so they're mushy but not watery; add a package of onion soup mix, an egg, a splash of ketchup, then work in the ground turkey/meat. Cook an hour at 350. Always comes out great.

MsHellion said...

I love cooking, but I'm not a French food fan (unless you count French fries.) I read the book recently and kept getting grossed out by the Aspic recipes. Nasty.

Okay, so I like my food hot. Cold chicken jelled in savory broth gellatin does not do it for me. *LOL*

But like Cassondra, I can make a good roux--and it does take patience and constant stirring. (I cheat and read a book while I stand at the stove, stirring.)

I've always wanted to make yorkshire pudding--but since those go with prime rib (and I can't afford to cook prime rib)--I get to skip it.

I stink at pancakes--but recently started making yogurt pancakes and they are the bomb. They're hard to mess up and very fluffy.

I think I would like to make a Turducken one time, just to say I did it. *LOL* But I'd have to be bored in a bad, bad way to try it. *LOL*

Movies that inspired me:

Braveheart and The Patriot--both made me feel very patriotic and went around shouting "Freedom" at inappropriate times.

Zach and Miri Make a Porno inspired me to NEVER make a porno, not that I was really contemplating it in any way. But it was a funny movie. (Sometimes you can learn from movies what never to do.)

MsHellion said...

Most challenging recipe I've ever done: probably chicken-sausage gumbo, because the roux takes so long and you have to have everything prepped before you start the roux or it'll burn.

I find making fried chicken challenging because of how long it takes to cook without burning the crust, but cooking it long enough to cook through...and you can't put the lid on it becuase then you have steamed fried chicken. A decent batch of fried chicken is hard to get unless you drive through KFC.

Sometimes it's the simplest recipes that are the hardest.

terrio said...

I plan to see this movie this weekend. Like you, I'm a fan of both these actresses and I like Nora Ephron as well. From what I hear, Stanley Tucci pretty much steals every scene he's in, which against Meryl Streep is saying something.

I'll say it loud and proud, I can't cook. I often feel inadequate about this, but to be honest, I don't like to cook either. I have invested in cookbooks lately, but only because my daughter loves many more foods than I do and I think I should offer more variety for dinner than Hamburger Helper, Tuna Noodle, and fish sticks.

I do make a very good lasagna but my recipe is WAY simple, so I'm not sure that's saying much.

But I'm all about feeling empowered and stubbornly doing what others say you can't. Been doing it for years, actually. LOL! "You'll never move to Nashville on your own." I did. "You'll never move half way across the country to start over." I did. "You won't ever be on the radio." I was.

"You won't ever write a book."

I. Will.

Barbara Monajem said...

I tried one of Julia Child's recipes a few years ago -- it was for rabbit, and it worked out very well (definitely better than anything I've tried for rabbit since).

My most recent failure was an attempt at butter pie. It was too bland, but since I love butter, potatoes, onions and pastry, I mean to try again.

Genella deGrey said...

I think this is the third blog about this movie - Perhaps I'll drag one of my writer friends to see it.

While my brownies rarely ever turn out right, I continue to stun guests with my great-grandmother's spaghetti sauce recipe. Go fig.

My current WIP is about a young woman in the 1890's attempting to make a name for herself as a pastry chef - in France no less! Gutsy gal considering the culinary arts (and just about everything else) was dominated by men at that time.

And what's all this about Stanley Tucci's Twinkie? ;)

G.

Cassondra said...

Yorkshire pudding is so simple. It SHOULD be easy. But it's not.

It's only eggs, flour, with a little vanilla and salt, and some kind of fat. I've been using butter, because that's what this recipe called for, and these puddings I've been making I serve with powdered sugar and syrup. But I want to do a roast and try the savory pudding in the roast pan.

It's beating them too little or too much, having certain ingredients at room temp or not at room temp...it's all about getting the air pockets and the rise out of it. When done well, the big ones blow up like a huge salad bowl with high sides and a "bowl" in the center. They can be filled with fruit, berries, melon or whatever. But it's getting the rise. Mine are always lopsided and tend to roll over. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

And as Anna says, one recipe says to be sure to let the batter set before you pour it into the hot pan. Other recipes say pour it in immediately, and I have friends who can do it without following any of the rules. It's just so hit-or-miss. Very aggravating.

Oh...Thor will have nothing to do with the chook, and the chook will have nothing to do with him. They stay on opposite sides of the room, glaring at one another.

Cassondra said...

Hellion said:

I find making fried chicken challenging because of how long it takes to cook without burning the crust, but cooking it long enough to cook through...and you can't put the lid on it becuase then you have steamed fried chicken. A decent batch of fried chicken is hard to get unless you drive through KFC.


Hellion, fried chicken IS hard, done well. I'm about to get it though. I DO put the lid on--after the crust is brown. I brown the outside in a skillet with the lid off, then once I have that done, I put the lid on and turn the heat down just a little to cook the chicken through. So far it's worked out well. I don't have the KFC-style crust that completely encompasses the piece of chicken though. My chicken is just dredged in flour.

Janga said...

I hope to see the movie this week. I too am a big Meryl Streep fan.

Day to day my cooking rarely gets more complicated than a grilled chicken breast or a baked potato, but I go all out for holidays. I use my grandmother's recipes and have a great time, especially with the baking. But I bake a couple of cakes. My grandmother always baked half a dozen plus pies and cookie--and all from scratch.

Cassondra said...

Beth said:

Right now I'm trying to master Mexican cooking then I'm going to work on Chinese.

Oh, Oh! (raises hand) I want to do both of those two. I'll never master anything, truthfully, but if I could just figure out how to make my own taco seasonings and stuff, without relying on those packages, which are always full of MSG, I'd be thrilled.

I CAN, however, roll sushi. That's as far as I've gotten into Japanese, but I LOVE sushi way too much to be able to pay for it in a restaurant as often as I'd like it. Roll your own, FTW. No raw fish, though. Not qualified for that.

Cassondra said...

lime said:

My new thing isn't making crazy difficult recipes - no time or money :P But I like doing everything by hand, without any electricity. Just me, a wooden spoon, and good old fashioned elbow grease.


Gak!! GAH!!!

Okay, yes, I know how to do that. Learned it from my grandmother. But I, for one, embrace our new Kitchen Aid overlords.

Joan said...

Hi everyone! I'm back from the hospital baby shower....chips and mexican all around.

Becke, I've noticed Stanley before but there was just something about this role that went "aha" for me....Maybe it is the glasses or the toast he gives to Julia during one scene....

Joan said...

PJ,

Awww....we love you too....

What time's dinner?

I can't do pie crust either. I mean I CAN but it is blechie. I use the Pillsbury refrigerated crusts.

I know...sacrilage from a Southern woman.

As to what I'm baking...it's down from many years..only 10 entries: Jam cake, pumpkin cake, pecan cake, devils food cake, lemon cupcakes, choc chip cookies, oatmeal cookies, brownies, sugar cookies and loaf cake with fruit.

Not much. I can't AFFORD it! I mean an 8 oz bag of chopped dates was almost $5!!!

Joan said...

Yummmy Karen. I can do a "splash" of ketchup.

Do you form into meatloaf form or in muffin tins? Open pan?

Joan said...

LOL....FREEDOM!

MsHellion, I can see that happening as I too felt the urge to shout that after seeing Braveheart.

As to Turduken...that would be a challenge allright. I don't really see the POINT in putting a chicken in a duck in a turkey. I'm not fully convinced even Julia would know how to cook one. (I'm sure each fowl gets "done" at different times)

And fried chicken IS a challenge. My mother did like Cassondra does...brown then cover to finish cooking. Actually, part of the secret process for Col Sanders was frying in a pressure cooker.

Dang...now I'm getting hungry.

Joan said...

Terrio said: I. Will.

I would amend that to You. Are.

Terrio, you've expressed EXACTLY the spirit of this movie that I identified with. Not just in the laborious process of getting a mss. published but in the determination to bring their vision to the table.

You, my friend are a true "Julia"

Joan said...

Mmmmmmm...butter pie, Barbara?

THAT sounds like Julia's kind of dish!

Chess pie could be like that...very buttery and sugary....

{Stomach growls}

And Suz may be interested in your rabbit recipe....

Just sayin..

Joan said...

Hey Genella,

Your WIP sounds fascinating. This would be a great time to query/submit what with all the hoopla about J&J....

Joan said...

Janga,

Sounds like the holidays are filled not only with wonderful dishes but lots of tradition.

My mother never baked from scratch. When I started entering the fair and winning, people often asked if she'd taught me. She'd reply "H*ll no...I don't know where she got it." :-)

Now the only concession I make to mixes is the occasional CHEWY brownie mis though I HAVE found a recipe that makes good ones.

Karen Olson said...

I always cook the mealoaf in a loaf pan, Joan :)

terrio said...

Joanie - Good catch. Yes, I are. :)

I like the idea that I capture the spirit of the movie. Most people just say I'm difficult and contrary. LOL!

And is there ever an inappropriate time to yell FREEDOM? I think not.

My grandmother was always cooking and baking with recipes in stained and aged steno notebooks. I really want to turn those into a cookbook for my family, but I've yet to get my hands on the darn things.

Joan said...

I always cook the mealoaf in a loaf pan, Joan :)

Well...that makes SENSE!!!

{smacks forehead}

Joan said...

Terrio, isn't it sad when people get difficult and contrary mixed up with determined and focused?

I mean really.

FREEDOM!!!!!!!!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Joan said...
Good 'ole Southern cooking. Did you grow up with a little metal pot on the stove where fat "drippings" were collected to be used for browning etc?

Absolutely, in fact what they both had was a covered "can" that had a strainer right under the lid, that was it's only function was for bacon drippings. You can't find kitchen ware like that anymore but that doesn't stop me from saving my drippings.

Joan said...

Yes! That's exactly what my Mom had!

It was made of really...tin...but had the strainer..

Wouldn't want to..yanno...get bits of BACON in the drippings! LOL

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey, Cassondra girl, you got the chook!

On second thought...uh-oh. Between you and P226...that bird's already dangerous. Oh. My.

Grins.

Joanie, this is a fabulous post. I can't wait to see this movie for all the reasons you listed, not to mention Stanley Tucci. Love him. :>

The most complex thing I ever attempted was probably hand made croissants. That's a LOT of butter, folks. Wow. :> I managed that and souffles, but like JT, I'm more of a baker than a cook. I do a mean cider-pork-chop recipe, a great turkey tettrazini and some pretty mean brisket. Grins.

In fact, I made brisket tonight and it was gooooood. Any one want a taste?

Joan said...

In fact, I made brisket tonight and it was gooooood. Any one want a taste?

Don't downplay your talents, my dear Duchesse.

Jeanne hosted the Banditas at her house prior to conference. She made lovely salads, side dishes and marinade for salmon.

She was definately the hostess, with the mostest!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Thanks, JT, but I didn't really get to cook much. That was the DH. Grins. And Suz was the salad queen!

Joan said...

You are modest,

Suz's salad was to DIE for....pasta salad...yum!

DH did do the grilling, but your masterful grand plan was behind the successful evening!

Virginia said...

Congrats Cassondra on nabbing that rooster, have fun with him, if that possible!

Great post and no I haven't seen the movie. We don't watch to many movies anymore.

I cook all the time but I don't go by a recipe to much unless I am making candy or something like that. I am just and old fashion cook. Like my mother use to do.

Nancy said...

Cassondra, congrats on grabbing the rooster! You haven't had him in a while, have you?

Joan--a fun blog! But "a recipe you've mastered?" Moi? Surely you jest! Cassondra and her roux are way ahead of me.

My mother made scrumptious, creamy, delicious chocolate fudge every single Christmas until arthritis prevented her from beating it. I, on the other hand, have never fully comprehended the "soft ball stage."

I can make rice, like Anna S., thanks to my mom--if I have a colander. Forget it if I don't. But Anna's worried about mastering pastry, where I just worry about how much I'll gain if I eat it.

Nancy said...

PJ--not only chocolate but gourmet recipes from other cuisines around the world? Is there anything you can't do in a kitchen? All that sounds so yummy.

Nancy said...

Cassondra wrote: Oh...Thor will have nothing to do with the chook, and the chook will have nothing to do with him. They stay on opposite sides of the room, glaring at one another.

Well, if push came to shove, my money would be on Thor. God of Thunder, and all that.

Nancy said...

Joanie, we have a pecan tree. Come help yourself. BTW, I can make chocolate chip cookies--just not as massively delectable ones as you make. Those are the Imperial Class chocolate chip cookies! *g*

Nancy said...

Jeanne, I've eaten at your house--steak and salmon and, as noted, fabulous side dishes! That was a feast you and the dh set out for us. Now you inform us you can do brisket.

I think I am the most culinarily challenged bandita.

Joan said...

Imperial class, Nancy? I like that, says the Roman girl....

I'm making those cookies for the fair. They've YET to comprehend that they ARE the best. Maybe this year.

Wow, a pecan tree. Do they come already chopped and in the bag :-)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Joanie said: I'm making those cookies for the fair. They've YET to comprehend that they ARE the best. Maybe this year.

Well, we can all tell them that they are FAB-U-Lous. My boys kept saying, "Are there more?"

Grins.

Nancy said...

Joan wrote: Wow, a pecan tree. Do they come already chopped and in the bag :-)

If only.

But we've been known to mail them to the dh's baking-inclined relations in the winter. His sister and brother-in-law used to own a restaurant, and their desserts are also pretty amazing. The yield is good only every couple of years; I forget whether this year is an "on" or "off" one.

As for those people at the fair, they need to get real. Put the GR to work on it--let him do something useful for a change!

Michelle said...

OOOOHH! i'm reading this right now and loving it so far (although i'm still around page 30). i can't wait to see the movie (i'm planning on buying it on dvd b/c that's cheaper than going to the theater).

hmm... the most challenging recipe i've attempted was homemade tortillas back in the 10th grade... i couldn't even boil water then. college definitely changes a person :)