Julia Child, I Need You

Cooking in France for French people feels a little intimidating. Not for the Boyfriend because I’ve tasted his cooking and he lost the right to comment. Homeboy should NEVER be allowed near a stove or an oven, or even a microwave for that matter. Actually he shouldn’t even be allowed in a kitchen (he’s only in there to sneak cookies anyway).

But I digress.
We all grow up knowing that the French are culinarily (is that a word?) superior to everyone else. It’s just one of those things ingrained in your knowledge base like Henry the VIII had six wives and boys have cooties. And I’ve always thought of myself as a descent cook and I truly believe that now that I am not spending ten hours a day behind a desk and I have the time to explore the culinary arts, my inner Julia Child will come out to play. And like Ms. Child, I’ll be able to show the French what’s up. I’m not really there yet but I get to use the excuse that I’m still too busy getting the house sorted to really really cook. It’s not like I haven’t cooked, I have, and it’s been good, just not super-duper impressive.
My daily meal planning usually goes like this:
1. Look in the fridge. Must use whatever meat is closest to expiration. Or if there is an abundance of eggs, we’re having omelettes.
2. Consult cookbooks and magazine recipe clippings for ideas using above meat.
3. If I do not have enough of the ingredients to fulfill any cookbook or magazine recipe clippings, turn on laptop and google (that’s how I found the merguez sausage, corgette and pepper couscous recipe – but in fairness, I could have figured that one out on my own).
The meals have always been cooked from scratch, tasted fine and looked presentable enough and the Boyfriend says how great each meal is but I can’t go by his word; he would eat cold ravioli out of a can and instant mashed potatoes. The Boyfriend is an eating machine.
There’s been Shrimp Scampi over linguini. This was more time consuming than I had planned because when I bought the shrimp I hadn’t noticed that they still had their little heads attached. Removing those took awhile. There’s never a little guillotine around when you need one.
Mushroom Risotto which I have to say has come out so well that I’ve made it twice.
Spaghetti Carbonara, always easy and satisfying.
And Steak with Roquefort Sauce and Frites. This one I was particularly pleased with because Honey Jr was our guest and he was full of compliments and I don’t think he would eat cold ravioli out of a can.
But I don’t think I’m ready yet for the ultimate test; cooking for Papa’s wife. Now she is a good cook and the presentation is always perfect. I feel as if her final opinion of me is waiting to be weighed on my dinner party skills. Right now she likes me, and I would really like to keep it that way. I’ve told her that we will have her over for dinner as soon as I have the house sorted. But how long can I get away with that excuse? Four weeks and counting….

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