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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking Hardcover – November 14, 2000
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An excellent book written by Julia Child about basic recipes that you will use daily.
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I will give you one warning: never lend this book to anyone. I made this mistake and this is why I had to purchase a replacement. It will never leave my sight again.
I'm a huge fan of Julia's common sense approach to cooking, which is also tenoned with her professional knowledge. The cookbook which I'm reviewing here represents a maturity of Julia's years of cooking knowledge, rarely found elsewhere. The book's subtitle is, "Essential Techniques and Recipes from A Lifetime of Cooking," which is significant to understanding what is to be found in the text. Only Jacques Pepin and one other rivals her in this realm: Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques. James Beard, yet another contemporary of Julia, also produced some terrific cookbooks -- here's one of his best: Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking.
Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking is a relatively diminutive document in terms of length, only 128 pages, but every word counts in this fine edition. Here are the essential chapters:
-- Soups and Two Mother Sauces
-- Salads and Their Dressings
-- Meats, Poultry, and Fish
-- Egg Cookery
-- Breads, Crêpes, and Tarts
-- Cakes and Cookies
The simplicity of this work is astounding, given the detailed information which is conveyed. The book is brilliantly conceived, covering the chief areas of scratch cooking. I also much appreciated how the very nice photos of Julia in her studio kitchens, found throughout the book, punctuate her common sense attitude toward her art. There is a nicely organized index at the end to help you find the recipe that you need. It's tough to pin down exactly how many recipes are in here (lots!) because Julia offers us so many variations and alternatives to each of her basic dishes.
The recipes herein can be prepared by even the beginner to cooking. Julia has made it that simple for us. And when you taste her French Onion Soup (page 7) you'll come to realize why Julia was head and shoulders above the pack of television chefs which followed her. The French Onion Soup is a simple and amazing appetizer. All these recipes bear the hallmark of her apparently limitless culinary knowledge.
In summary, I have never been more pleased with a foundational cookbook and I believe that neither home cook nor the professional chef should be without a copy. Highly recommended.
Some of the recipes you will find in Julia Child's cookbook include:
Fat-Free Cream Soups with Pureed Rice
Grated Beet Salad
Thick Pork Chops
Roast Leg of Lamb
Fish Fillets Poached in White Wine
The French Omelet
Individual Broccoli Timbales
Strawberry Dessert Crepes
There is an active table of contents making navigation easy.
There is a section covering kitchen equipment and how to use basic kitchen tools such as knives or whisks.
Most recent customer reviews
That said this is a fantastic compendium of information and skills explained that every person should have by the time they are in...Read more