Kind of a weird post title.
It’s early Sunday morning. I’m the only one awake, besides the cats, of course.
I’m listening to a succession of cooking shows on the tv – all of them on PBS channels, because I like those the best. More information, less desperate and over-the-top entertainment, with a warm, cozy feeling of home. Really. Julia Child and my mother were somehow related to each other in my mind when I was a kid. My mom was a great cook, and hey, so was Julia! Julia would always be on the tv (it seemed) and my mom (it seemed) would be in the kitchen – when she wasn’t in the living room with Julia (on the tv). (Graham Kerr, the Galloping Gourmet, was kind of a wacky uncle in all this.) I know, it’s a bit nuts, but that’s how it all melds together in my memory.
I’ve got (obviously) the laptop opened in front of me, but kind of pushed back on my work table so I have to reach to type.
There’s a notebook opened to my right, with a few things scribbled along the right margin. It looks like this:
– 6 oz extra sharp ched
The pen lies on top of the paper.
That’s as far as I got.
I’d meant to write a shopping list, as you’ve probably figured out. But I got distracted.
Dorie Greenspan’s most recent book, Around My French Table, is out, and my copy arrived on Friday. I had a bit of time Friday to look through it, but really, this is the first chance I’ve had (remember that part about me being the only one awake…besides the cats) to really sit down and look.
And read. And gaze at the gorgeous photographs.
And smile and nod. A lot.
And – the hardest part – resist the urge to try to cook or bake EVERYTHING in this book TODAY or at least this week.
And I’m not even all the way through, yet. But still, I am…joyful. And fidgety and excited.
I’m like my Julia on her most recent birthday, when she wanted to play with ALL of her toys and use ALL of her jewelry-making, decorative frame-making and I don’t remember what else RIGHT NOW!! Wait? One thing at a time? What??
That’s how I’m feeling.
But since I’m a grownup (mostly), I can also reason with myself a bit.
It’s okay, Jayne, you will have plenty of time to cook everything. Really, you will.
I was, for over a year, I think, a member of the fabulous group Tuesdays with Dorie, which started out relatively small and then just exploded with members until Laurie, of slush, had to close the group. For those of you who are wondering, the members of TwD bake their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, posting the results on (you guessed it) Tuesdays. I stopped officially participating last spring, and it was a painful decision to make because I love the book, love the group, loved being a part of such a fun endeavor. And I’m not done cooking through that book, either. I’m just going solo now.
But now, Dorie is back with another amazing book, and Laurie is back with a new group, and I’m IN.
French Fridays with Dorie is the new group, and we will be working our way through this lovely, mouth-watering, inspiring volume recipe by delicious recipe and posting about them on Fridays. This group is a bit different from TwD in that there are no minimum posting requirements. Just cook along when you can, as much as you can, and post about it.
Dorie herself has picked the recipes for this first month. Our first recipe is Gougères, and the posts will appear this Friday, October 1st.
Now, it’s kind of a funny thing, but I’d just been talking about gougères with my niece, Natalie, not too long before the recipe list was announced.
Natalie is 15 and she recently made éclairs. From scratch. Pate a choux, pastry cream – did it herself. I told her she should try making a savory version, and described gougères to her. When I found out this was the first recipe for FFwD, I called my sister to see if Natalie could bake them with me, but she’s got a busy social life and couldn’t make it. Ah well. Another time.
Anyway, this morning I sat down to go through the book, page by page. And the lovely thing is that as I’m reading the recipes, nodding, resisting the urge to make ten different entrees for dinner tonight, I’m feeling the same warm, homey, cozy feeling I remember from watching Julia – my mother’s somehow relative – on tv years ago.
I cannot wait to begin.