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Old 05-05-2021, 05:39 PM   #1
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Question Any fans of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking? Do you still use it?

I fell in love with this book after I moved abroad, read it cover to cover like a novel. I still go back to it for advice and inspiration and I've gifted copies to young friends, I don't know how many times over the years.

I'm curious if anyone out there still uses MTAOFC and if so, what are some of your favorite recipes or take aways?

For example, Julia teaches us how to distinguish and use eight basic pastry types for non-desserts whereas most modern cookbooks just have one crust that works across the board for every recipe.

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Old 05-05-2021, 06:57 PM   #2
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I have the first volume. I use a couple of recipes from it.
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Old 05-05-2021, 07:06 PM   #3
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I have this book and still use it extensively. There are great basic techniques covered in concise terms. Always useful.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:31 PM   #4
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I like both of those volumes. It's been a long time since I used them, but I learned a lot from both, and still use some of the recipes, which I have tweaked, for my use. I also have another favorite book, written by her - From Julia Child's Kitchen - from which I have used a lot of recipes.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:21 PM   #5
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I don't have Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I became a fan of JC from watching her on TV. I got another of her books, The Way to Cook. I do still use some of those recipes. I would have considered the name of the book to be arrogant, but JC could get away with it. She was that good.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whole milk View Post
whereas most modern cookbooks just have one crust that works across the board for every recipe.
Ive never seen a credible cookbook that suggests one type of crust works for every recipe. That’s nuts. But maybe more like 3-4 basic crusts and not Julia’s 8.

Yes, I have her books and use them all the time. They are timeless.
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Old 05-06-2021, 08:41 AM   #7
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I have both, and have used them extensively over the decades. The last few years, I tend to adapt them a bit, usually to lighten things up. When I was in my 20's and 30's, all that butter and cream didn't bother me, but now my poor old systems just can't handle it the way I used to. But her techniques are so good that I can still follow her instructions.



An aside, today I saw one of my cakes at the top of the DC screen. This was a cake from MTAOFC. I still make it today.
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Old 05-06-2021, 09:48 AM   #8
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An aside, today I saw one of my cakes at the top of the DC screen. This was a cake from MTAOFC. I still make it today.
I had to pause half a minute to realize you were talking Discuss Cooking and not DC Comics. I was trying to work out how your cake could have gotten onto DC's website.

Oh, I hear you on the cream and butter. My body can digest it just fine, it wants to hold onto it, that's the problem for me.
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Old Today, 02:34 AM   #9
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I think it Julia is an awful cookbook. Julia details the steps of classic French cooking, but nobody wisely does that anymore. I’ve tried making stock from scratch a la Julia, but Tones or I Can’t Believe its Not Bullion is better (perhaps because they load it up with salt). Julia’s 8 page recipe for bread is a flop. It does not produce a baguette (does anybody want to buy 16 unglazed oven tiles?).

Yes, most of the recopies get good results, but times change, and it is now easier to get good results with other simpler, easier procedures. Dried herbs and spices taste different than fresh, but that does not mean that fresh is better. All it means is that the ancients unfortunately did not have access to dried herbs and spices.
I have both Julia books, and it is last place on my list of go to French cookbooks. Its a tie for #1-- Rene Verdon ‘French Cooking for the American Kitchen’, Curnonsky, and “I Know How to Cook”, the #1 best seller in France.

Julia’s later TV show’s French Onion Soup is far superior, and the world’s best French Onion soup if you understand where to modify the stated recipe.
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Old Today, 03:25 AM   #10
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How does "... the ancients unfortunately did not have access to dried herbs and spices." work? Do you really think that ancient peoples didn't dry herbs and other foods?
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Old Today, 11:51 AM   #11
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The flavor of commercial dried herbs is different from home dried. I would also expect there has been genetic manipulation of the plants to improve flavor.
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