Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sur La Table




...is also the name of a store. But that's not what this post is about.

When not traveling, moving, or raising a spirited (read: obstinate) puppy, I've spent the past year cultivating a new book project. Though new is a bit of a misnomer, since it was cooking in my head well before Jayne made an appearance.

But it's been what I like to call a slow-cooker idea, requiring a lot of time to develop. In between, it has changed tremendously in the best way.

One key component of the book has been the same, however - it has always been about the food.

Well, that and two people who find each other. But they eat well.

The two specific kinds of cuisine found in the book are French and Italian. Now, I'm fairly conversant in Italian food. It's really pretty straight-forward and very accessible. Versions of it can be found in Olive Gardens, Macaroni Grills, and in every restaurant where someone boils pasta and tops it with sauce.

French food...it's a bit trickier.

There is often some technique involved in French cookery, and if not, there's the appearance of technique. You don't find Coq au vin in pizzerias, or cassoulet at buffets. Shari's does not have tarte tatin month. Here in Tri-cities, the likelihood of my finding a little French bistro is well below nil.

But I need it for the book, so I popped onto Amazon and picked out a small selection of books, as well as a blue steel crepe pan that I'm really quite in love with.  But along with the crepe pan, it's obvious that I'll also need a proper Dutch Oven soon, as well as a roasting pan and a tart pan (had one, but the bottom is missing and that's a somewhat crucial piece). Oh, and ramekins.
"Lodge" Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6-Quart
After flipping through the books - which look amazing - it's very clear that I will have to get over my dislike of whole roasted chicken specifically, and my inexperience when it comes to roasting meats in general.

(I've roasted vegetables - does that count for anything?)

But it's been a good year for expanding my repertoire, since I'm now quite proficient with cutlets, sauces, and roux making. Oh, and custard.

This is Walter. He likes custard.
Well, off to contemplate making potato leek soup.  Will post later as the food adventures continue...

2 comments:

  1. OH, yeah, I do love that store and we have one here in Monterey...but yes, to the topic of your post, I think your book project sounds interesting. I need to get a Dutch Oven, too. I haven't tried roasting much of anything. I bake, steam and grill....a LOT :) :)Have a great week. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather ;)

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  2. Looking forward to a new story! Cant help but read this without Julia Child's voice in my head. Your hubby must be loving all the yummies!

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