Some people might think I started this blog because I saw Julie and Julia. Let me assure you, that is not the case. In fact, I hadn’t seen the movie or knew the gist of the story until just two weeks ago when I watched it on dvd.
Still, considering my blog attempt and my experiments in the kitchen, it made sense for family members to get me the Julie and Julia movie along with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. After reading through the cookbook, I found it daunting at best. The recipes are complex. There are chapters that include things I have never heard of, even in English! I literally have to study the dictionary and technique sections before I begin. I do love the way Julia and her partners listed instructions next to the specified ingredients. However, I am still overwhelmed by the sheer number of instructions.
Tonight, I finally got up the nerve to try a recipe. It was a sautéed chicken in butter, egg, and herb sauce. I read through the ingredient list two days ago and noted I would need just a few to complete the dish. I needed the chicken, the fennel, and lemons for lemon juice. I had never bought or worked with fennel before. I bought fennel seed, but soon discovered I needed ground fennel. So, I pulled out my mortar and pestle. This was the first time I had really ever attempted to grind any herb. It was awesome! The licorice aroma released as I ground the seeds, clearing my senses. It felt earthy and satisfying to grind seeds into such a fine powder.
It took me well over an hour to make the chicken. Luckily I had put the potatoes in the oven before I started and they roasted while I worked so feverently over the range. Remember the timing issue in my Kitchen Disasters post? Not tonight!
I am proud to say I only made a few mistakes. I forgot to add the garlic with the herbs, don’t think I skimmed out the sauce correctly, and managed to overcook the meat a tad. The herb and butter flavor was fabulous, but tonight taught me that I have a long way to go before I become a really good cook. Still, I will push forward, opening my mind to new techniques, focus on the details, and not give up or avoid a recipe just because it’s difficult. I don’t claim to be a celebrity chef, but I am the Suburban Cook, ready to take on the kitchen then tell you all about it!