"The last day we were there [in Paris] we trotted up to Les Halles and bought a 1 ½ lb. fresh foie gras (raw), and 2 fresh truffles about 2 ½ inches in circumferences, and took them down in the train with us to Cannes... That smell of fresh truffles in the compartment was almost suffocating. While at Simca’s we marinated truffles and foie gras in Madeira and Cognac, then poached the truffles in the marinade, cut them into fat sticks, stuck them in the foie gras, wrapped the foie gras in a crépinette (filament cobwebbed with little lines of fat... pig’s cawl), and poached it in a casserole. Quel parfum. Then, after it had cooled and chilled, we all ate it with a spoon... 8 of us, and we ate every bit of it. An unforgettable gastronomic height." (Letter from Julia Child to Avis DeVoto, January 17, 1960, p. 353)This collection of letters is very fascinating to read. Although I have read several biographies of Julia Child, and the authors used the material from these letters, more or less, reading the words of these two women as they corresponded about the personal details of life and the public events of their time is remarkable. I enjoyed their views on politics, especially as the two of them knew some of the politicians and also knew prominent individuals who were victims of McCarthyism, the great political shame of their time. (Paul Child was himself one of the victims, though this is covered in more detail in other books.) Julia Child's accounts of her enormous labors creating Mastering the Art of French Cooking are fascinating as well. But I liked this quote with its revelation of how much Julia Child simply liked to eat!
I knew about this book, but I thank my friend Jeanie who blogs at The Marmelade Gypsy for reminding me to read it!
|My favorite photo from the book: Julia Child in her Paris kitchen,|
some time before 1954.