Monday, February 22, 2010

Weekends, Julie & Julia, and Beef Bourguignon

I cannot express to you my love for weekends. I wish everyday could be Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday. I suppose it would not seem so special in this case, but at any rate, I do really appreciate weekends. 

Anyway, I started reading Julie & Julia, by Julie Powell this past Thursday evening. I watched the movie not too long ago with my Grandparents while I was home for Christmas. My Grandma actually bought the book for me. I don't often have time to sit down and read, but for a book where cooking and Julia Child are the main topic, I will make time. I have always loved Julia Child. We go way back to my childhood when her shows, along with the Frugal Gourmet aired frequently on PBS. I believe it was this along with mom and Grandma's help, that ingrained in me a love for cooking. I have been a cook at heart for quite sometime now, even if it was mud pies and rotted vegetables from my grandparents garden. I even had a few cooking shows like Julia's as well. My set included a a good size sand pile, a large vegetable garden, old pots and pans, and as for my oven, well, stacked wooden palates of course. My only audience consisted of the many maples trees that surround my grandparent's land. Being that I never enjoyed speaking to small or large crowds, the trees in my opinion were the best audience because they did not Judge or notice if made a mistake. To others, my cuisine may have looked like piles of mud, but to me, they were gourmet dishes that I had carefully selected ingredients for from the garden and sand pile. I then slaved for hours over my wood palate stove to make what if had been edible, would have melted in your mouth from the love and creativity I put in it. As I grew a little older, I started to write my own recipes. A few I recall were garden pea and leaf lettuce soup, which poor grandma had to slurp down many times convincing me that it was practically the best thing she had ever tasted, marshmallows coated in peanut butter and rolled in rainbow sprinkles, and lemon slices dipped in sugar. Yep, those were my recipes, lol. Thank God for mothers and grandmothers and bless their hearts for going along with their children's imaginations, even if it does mean choking down raw pea and leaf lettuce in canned chicken broth. 

This post will come together at some point, I just don't really know when...I guess now would be a good time. I said before, that I started reading Julie & Julia on Thursday evening. The next day I made a pit stop at the local Big M to find whole beef tenderloin on sale for $4.99 lb. Unbelieveable! I thought for sure that it must have been a mistake, but nope it wasn't. In addition, the butcher will trim and cut the meat any way you wish. I purchased a whole tenderloin for $22.46. I know, crazy. The butcher sliced it in 1 inch steaks and also left a good size roast. This roast would soon become beef bourguignon, Julia Child's beef bourguignon. Coincidence? Yes. Well, this weekend, as a result of inspiration from reading Julie & Julia, beef tenderloin at an incredibly low price, my love for cooking, and precious time during the precious weekend, I made Julia Child's beef bourguignon . It was delish, very time consuming, but so worth it. I have always wanted to try this recipe, but who has money to buy beef tenderloin (you don't have to use tenderloin, but for the time spent cooking this, you might as well use high quality beef)? From this day on, beef bourguignon will hold a spot in my recipe box. All in all, from mud pies, to lettuce soup, to beef bourguignon, not one more important than the other, my love for food and cooking has continued to grow. I know I have said this before many times, but cooking is my therapy. Some need prozac, deep breathing, or stress balls, but I need to cook.  Thanks Julia Child, Julie Powell, Grandma and Grandpa, Mom, and Maple Trees for allowing creativity,  imagination, and persistence to flow. 

Sauteed Mushroom before going into the stew

My makeshift dutch oven in which I wrapped foil tightly around the dish for braising

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon served over toasted French Bread

Recipe Here

There are a lot of steps in this recipe. I few of which I did not do. For example, I think I was supposed to take out the carrots and sliced onions, but I did not. I also forgot to buy pearl onions, another reason to keep the other onions in. Oh yeah and in the beginning it says to simmer the bacon before sauteeing. I did not do this. I just chopped the bacon and sautéed it immediately. 


  1. how sweet you are and the food made my mouth water as always. you need to come home and be my private chef!

  2. Well, its probably a good thing I am not your private chef because you most likely would not have lost 30 lbs, lol. Especially if I cooked you Julia Child recipes.