Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Make It NO Matter...

This is my new mantra..."make it no matter..."    

No matter if I don't have exactly the tools that the recipe calls for, no matter if I don't have precisely the same ingredients (within reason of course). 

I live on the coast of Mississippi and I have to drive to Louisiana just to find Fennel so when I want to make something and it calls for authentic lard or chervil (a French herb), I cannot simply push the recipe aside and dismiss it, saddened and depressed.  No, certainly not, I must carry through, find replacements and substitutes, tap all my resources. 

I have been reading this beautiful cookbook, European Peasant Cookery, The Rich Tradition, by Elizabeth Luard.  It is jammed full of rich and hearty meals from the peasant cooks of generations long since passed. 

Recipe's like Stuffed Steak from Holland, Oil Biscuits from Spain, Rosepetal Preserve from Bulgaria, Boiled Chicken and Noodles from Austria, Garlic Puree from France, and Colcannon from Ireland.  Over 500 recipe's in between the pages of this heartwarming book. 

Last night I made Beef Bourguignon that I adapted from, of course, Julia Child, as well as Ina Garten.  It was sooo good, my husband said it was the best thing I've made so far.  I will share my beef bourguignon day with you soon, with pictures and all. 

Today, since there are leftovers from the last two nights, I'm spending today making a couple things from European Peasant Cookery.  I'm going to attempt a Danish Applecake and perhaps Country Bread from Spain.

So far, in this journey to cook more passionately, I've made things that went way out of my comfort zone. However, the knowledge that so many housewives and busy moms, before me have made the same things in their own humble kitchens, has made me feel more confident and more excited about what's ahead, more than ever.  And I'm having the best time sharing it with you. 

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