Monday, June 05, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth
Check it out, this documentary is a must see for every responsible citizen. See and hear for yourself just what all this Global Warming buzz is about, how it affects each of us and what steps we can take to avert a disaster. Join the millions nation-wide on opening weekend at a theater near you to show both your concern and indicate your support for immediate changes. Pledge to be there, buy a ticket and be counted! The film will be screened at several locations in the greater Orlando area opening on Friday, June 16th. Call friends and family, get a group together, spread the word, this is too important an issue to ignore.
On a lighter note, A Prairie Home Companion, the movie opens this Friday (6/6) at Enzian. Robert Altman and Garrison Keillor - can you think of a better combo? If you've never visited Lake Woebegone now's your chance to see it as well as hear it. Meet the Men's All Star Shoe Band and Guy Noir. Get acquainted with a place where "the women are smart, the men are strong and all the children are good looking." Garrison Keillor never fails to entertain, week after week with his successful PBS radio show - now's a chance to put faces to the characters. Just to see the dynamite cast that's lined up is worth the price of admission!
I had a light week in the reading department. I was completely captivated with Geraldine Brooks' Pulizter Prize winner, March. She has cleverly given a back story and answer to: what ever happened to the father in Little Women? Her well researched depiction of the horrors of the Civil War laced through the lives of some very interesting characters makes for a satisfying page turner. Marmee and the little women make a splendid backdrop to Mr. March's story, both familiar and sympathetic. Ms Brooks' previous novel, Year of Wonders, a tale set in the time of the plague, is a great read also.
I finished My Life in France, Julia Child's memoir. The book includes some great photos taken by her talented husband, Paul Child. After so many years of watching Julia's TV shows, starting with The French Chef on WGBS in Boston, I could hear her distinctive voice and precise enunciation in every written word and her marvelous sense of humor came through along with her dedicated, serious approach to her quest, making French cooking do-able for the American cook.
I cut my culinary teeth with her Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Still have it and still consult that faded, food-stained volume which now retails in the $45 range. My copy was a Christmas gift in 1967 and ran a grand total of $9.95 (no sales tax in NH). The book is more than a collection of recipes, it's a textbook, teaching techniques and processes. Once mastered, one can cook successfully and with great confidence. The following passage from the memoir leapt off the page at me, so I filed it away to share:
". . .nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should. Good results require that one take time and care. If one doesn't use the freshest ingredients or read the whole recipe before starting, and if one rushes through the cooking, the result will be an inferior taste and texture. . . But a careful approach will result in a magnificent burst of flavor, a thoroughly satisfying meal, perhaps even a life-changing experience."
So how about some onion soup - ala Julia?
1 1/2 lbs of yellow onions sliced (about 5 cups)
3 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3 TBS flour
2 quarts of boiling beef broth or stock
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
S & P to taste
3 TBS cognac
Rounds of toasted French bread
Grated Swiss or Parmesan Cheese
Cook the onions slowly in the butter and oil over low heat in a covered saucepan for about 15 minutes. Uncover and raise heat to medium, stir in salt and sugar.
Cook for 30 - 40 minutes stirring frequently until the onions have turned an even deep, golden brown. Then sprinkle in the flour and stir for 3 minutes.
Off heat, blend in the boiling liquid, add the wine, season to taste. Simmer partially covered for 30 - 40 minutes.
Just before serving, stir in the cognac. Pour into soup bowls over the rounds of bread and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Note: This is not the version of onion soup with the gloppy cheese top - that's gratineed.
Hope you'll try it, it's a winner. Till next time. . . keep on cooking!


Greg said...

Hey! I was a Christmas present in 1967 too! =]

Joyce said...

Indeed you were a gift. A little late for Christmas and a little more than $9.95!