1. I was scared at first.
2. I thought Julia Child was the only French Chef who knew everything about French cooking.
3. Butter is often used. One day last week I ran out of butter…and really had to consider cooking a French dish. Olive oil worked just fine for this recipe.
4. French Wines are fantastique (my best favorite French word).
6. Cooking meat very slowing on the stove for hours on end is like “a bare murmur that flirts with divinity”- Olney- I like to watch the stew murmur-whispering “good job.”
7. There is more than one recipe to Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin. And there is no romance in the process! Coq au vin takes some time!!
8. Cook the same 6 or 7 dishes often to become an expert in them (mine is the Lemon Chicken with Croutons).
Marie-Antoine Carême (1784–1833): The concept of molecular gastronomy was perhaps presaged by Marie-Antoine Carême, one of the most famous French chefs, who said in the early 19th century that when making a food stock “the broth must come to a boil very slowly, otherwise the albumin coagulates, hardens; the water, not having time to penetrate the meat, prevents the gelatinous part of the osmazome from detaching itself.
10. You need a set of rules (recipes) to first start out and then you can improvise. My Lemon Chicken- for my third time- I am going to improvise- using the recipe as a backup but following the method to create my own French dish.
12. Don’t be afraid to try different cuts/kinds of meat-organ meat, lamb, oxtail, rabbit, goose. I’m still a wee bit scared.
13. Have a dinner party and share in the culinary experience. A MUST!
14. Lastly, the trick is to enjoy cooking for cooking’s sake AND devour each step with GUSTO!! and do it again and again until it seeps in your person-hood. You will get stronger and bolder in your French cooking no matter if it’s French, Italian or American- -that one thing is true…cook for the simplicity of it and once you do that, you realize that there are no tricks to cooking French food after-all.
Now off to cooking another French meal…until the next time. Au Revoir.