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Julia Child

Wondered if anyone other than myself tapes Julia Child's show. I do every day. I love to see the old version of how she used to cook, her antics, and her humor and stumbling. It's so new and fresh compared to how things are done on TV cooking shows these days. So many outtakes and do overs, while she is fresh and funny. If she makes a mistake or can't think of a phrase or word, she just stops to let it come to her the natural way.

Just finished watching her show from yesterday about Breakfast:
Home made English muffins and poached eggs.
She made a mess of trying to split her English muffins with an old fashioned wire hair pic, the remnants were everywhere, crumbs galore. Piling the sticky pastey dough into the buttered cat food tins was pretty funny cause she over filled and the dough went over the sides and in the pan out of the shaper. Plus she burned them on one day, I love it.

The other day I watched her make baguettes and that was hysterical watching the dry flour in her stand mixer go everywhere also < it just flew. Watching her try to form cigarettes from chocolate was another funny moment because she just couldn't quite get it.

I think what I'm trying to say is she's so enjoyable because she's just like you and me. In the kitchen she isn't perfect, who is? The cooking shows these days try to make you think they are perfect when we've already discussed how imperfect we view them.

I must rewind her show and get the ingredients for the English muffins so I can make them today. < Odd thing called for which I don't think I have: instant mashed potato flakes or powder, 2 T I think went in there which makes sense due to the slight tang a real English muffin has.
Also want to make a tuna casserole for dinner as I need those tuna tins [don't have a cat] for my molds for the muffins. In case you missed the show, you may want to find it and tivo if you can because she had so much trouble with the burners of the stove, she couldn't get them to work, couldn't see if they were on or not, and kept switching back and forth to this pan or that, hoping that one of them would work so she could show the various methods of making poached eggs. < Hers resulted in humorous disasters which I loved and appreciated. She is truly genius. I'll be doing her poached eggs [which she used the pricking method and dropping in boiling water for 10 seconds, she counted twice, priceless, as she did two batches] the swirl method too, which she called something else, like whirlpool, and the free form was priceless, ugliest egg ever. Try to catch this episode if you can.

Opinions of her and her show, cooking techniques and methods [if you have one] appreciated. My opinion of her is that there will never be another one as wonderfully delightful as Julia Child.

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  1. I miss her. I like her show called "Elegance with Eggs."
    Here is a link to the PBS Julia webpage: http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/

    4 Replies
    1. re: Sensuous

      thank you for that. I used to watch all sorts of cooking shows from the UK but they've all gone away, pitty, loved them

      1. re: iL Divo

        My PBS channels from Washington, D.C. are of such low quality on DirectTV that they are not worth recording, only one of them is worth watching; so I have bought every Julia DVD there is on the market -- that goes for all seasons of America's Test Kitchen. So sad, particularly when I pay close to $90+/- for HD TV.

        I'm no longer interested in much on Food Network Channel, so the Cooking Channel has been a blessing for me. Even though the quality is not up to HD standards, the shows have been watchable and recordable.

        Thanks Cooking Channel for bring back some of the shows of the past.

      2. re: Sensuous

        oh Sensuous, thank you again for that.
        I watched with glee today.
        watched the entire thing.
        she is incredible.
        the way she did what I call scrambled eggs she calls omelet making.
        the show I'd watched probably 30 years ago with her making her scrambled eggs was perfection, who knew it'd be that easy. it only takes finesse.

      3. Oh, yes. I particularly love Baking with Julia and dvr'd episodes for over a year waiting for the two Martha Stewart episodes. Usually Julia disarms her guests with questions, but Martha Stewart is so well prepared that she anticipates all Julia's questions. Cooking television gold.

        1. It's been years since I've seen tuna cans with bottoms that can be removed with a can opener. Now they have either an indented rim or none at all.

          3 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            I think there are other small cans out there other than tuna that will do the trick. I have some small cans of pineapple that are roughly the same size as tuna cans that have the same top and bottom that can be easily removed with a can opener.

            1. re: John E.

              The non-openable bottoms are so that cans can be stacked without toppling. I've noticed that imported products are less likely to have them than American-produced items. The trend is more an more toward the stackable cans, which are a trade-off, recycling-wise. The stack stability is nice, but I used to remove both can ends and flatten, with lids inside, to take up less room in the recycling bin.

            2. re: greygarious

              Hi GG........
              I found this today talking to my husband about trying to see if rings for such things as English muffins could be found. I've bid on one of them, we'll see.

              http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=engl...

              I like the addition of instant mashed potato flakes/buds in the mixture for the dough [on her show] because I do agree that there is a tart [on the back side of your tongue] taste that English muffins impart. I have a pkg of Cheddar Cheese/Garlic instant mashed potato flakes, anxious to try that flavor. here's a link for her English Muffin recipe:

              http://oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/20...

            3. I watched her shows as a youngster and am thoroughly enjoying again them now. The difference in my perception is amazing. I always thought her shows were very instructional...almost to the point of intimidation.....with exotic ingredients and expensive kitchen tools. Now I see them for how she intended her shows; she wanted everyone to see that you could cook wonderful food for different occasions (lo cal buffet anyone???)without being classically trained.

              I like how she admits her shortcomings (forgot to sharpen knives (lo call buffet show), etc) and really enjoy how she always comments about "when you do it at home, you'll of course, do it much better than I!". She was never one to be all arrogant about herself and her knowledge. She wanted to share her love of food and it is so refreshing to see someone cook on TV like we cook at home! She finds the time to laugh at herself (which everyone should, BTW) and admits freely to mistakes. Honestly, she was just being herself on the show. These shows are treasures.

              There was one show on recently (pastry??) where she scooped her mess onto the floor with a comment similar to "just scoop your mess onto the magically self cleaning floor....because everyone has those at home", followed by a chortle. That was hysterical!

              Ever notice how her menus have some type of adult beverage? Sweet!

              1. I'm recording too and am really enjoying those old shows! I especially like how she always has alternatives for kitchen utensils or ingredients. I watched a Julia and Jacques (love the minor bickering) where they did souffles a couple weeks ago and made my first cheese souffle last Saturday-it was so good, I'm making it again this week.

                3 Replies
                1. re: BubblyOne

                  The strawberry soufflé of a couple of weeks ago looked good enough to not erase.
                  Thinking more about it though, I did erase. The pink went very brown, which was not really eye appealing.

                  1. re: iL Divo

                    This ep was the one where they did cheese (Julia used a collar, Jacques did not and she razzed him) and a scallop souffle.
                    I really enjoyed the english muffin one as well, although don't want to make the effort with those. Do post on how they turn out if you make them.

                    1. re: BubblyOne

                      well the poster that said they'd not seen a tuna can that has two removeable ends was correct. who knew, I hadn't noticed. I wonder if other cans are the same, meaning an indented "not come off able" part too? I know, I made that phrase up *)

                      haven't tried them yet, but will, just a matter of time and getting the molds.
                      first though I may try arepas from Colombia/Venezuela, brought back 6 with me this morning to dine on with sheer joy during down time, can't wait to heat those little puppy's up

                2. Yes. I tape the shows and watch at leisure. When they were in their first runs, I used to watch Julia and The Galloping Gourmet, which now come on consecutively in that order. I only taped Graham Kerr once. WHAT did I see in him!?!

                  The thing I enjoy most about The French Chef is seeing so much of my now-only-memories kitchen gear. MY turqoise exterior Le Creuset often makes an appearance. MY Pyrex glass double boiler/sauce pans. MY French olive oil can. Tons of things! It's like digging through the attic of my mind!

                  There are prolably a lot who watch her on the Coocking Channel who have no idea how "primitive" the cameras and sound equipment were back then compared to what is available today. They did a remarkable job. There were NO prompt screens that Julia could read a script from and look as if she was "just talking." She *WAS* "just talking." Much of it ad lib because she knew her recipes and the traditional tried and true techniques.

                  When she first started her broadcast, or rather when her broadcasts were first carried nationally on PBS, I was living in Dayton, Ohio, and my Air Force husband and I were recently back from four years in Turkey, where I had three years of private training by a master chef in French and Ottoman//Byzantine cuisine. I watched every cooking show I could find, mostly to see if the "cooks" (aka chefs, whether they really were or not) were doing things right. Julia cooked classic. About the only thing I can recall she did that was like fingernails on a blackboard for me was omelets. She makes those thin, limp, nearly colorless rolled things that look, for all the world, like a wimpy under-filled enchilada. I prefer an omelet made in an 8 inch well cured omelet pan (NOT nonstick!) that is turned out in a fold and a bit browned for color. And filled. I would just turn off the TV any time she made an omelet. At the time, I had two girlfriends, both from France, and one made omelets my way, the other like Julia. We made fun of her! '-)

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Caroline1

                    I enjoy her cookware... a motley crue. She mismatches tops and bottoms and often the top doesn't even fit. And when she is making something and then switches to the pre-made version, it is often in a completely different sized / colored vessel.

                    I get a little messed up when I see her using a 1 cup measuring cup. All my cups are 2 cup measuring cups and when she fills it up I think to myself "2 cups" and she says, "1 cup".

                    I like to look for differences in foods availability and non-availability. Some things for her are extravagent which we take for granted, and others you just can't find anymore. I can't think of any examples, can you?

                    1. re: GraydonCarter

                      The first thing that leaps to mind is dry aged beef! Even today's grass fed dry aged beef doesn't taste like beef tasted forty or fifty years ago. I have today's Julia episode taped. I'm going to go watch and have a little nappy poo. It's been an extremely stressful day. I'll let you know if I find out anything new. '-)

                    2. re: Caroline1

                      Ah, geez. Graham Kerr loved to cook, and he loved playing to the audience. Maybe he wasn't the greatest chef out there, but look at his audience, dressed in yards of printed polyester; do you think they would have been receptive to classic french techniques?

                      I enjoyed watching him for his sheer ebullience (however ethanol assisted it may have been..), and delight in what he was doing. Unlike,say, Emeril, whose "Bam" and 'happy happy" seemed increasingly forced as his show continued, Kerr always seemed natural and genuine. When he changed to promote lighter eating, he was equally genuine but the didacticism detracted from the entertainment value.

                      1. re: FrankD

                        Whatever turns your crank, Frank! '-)

                        Caroline
                        Who remains unswayed

                      2. re: Caroline1

                        hi Caroline1 - i'm surprised graham kerr doesn't impress you too much. i strongly believe that he and keith floyd defined the male celebrity chef. graham with the suave sean connery vibe and keith as the jack nicholson with culinary genius. elizabeth david still reigns supreme as my female food deity with julia and delia smith tied at second place.

                        1. re: epabella

                          Well, the thing that wore very thin with me about Graham Kerr, then and now, was his total disregard for accuracy and frequent misleading of viewers. For example, in one of the recent shows that was rebroadcast, he went on and on about a trip someplace -- I forget exactly where, but it absolutely was not France! -- with slides or film and all sorts of goings on about how great the food was and typical of that city/town/region/country, and then he made a Gateau St Honore...! Just about the most French dessert you can make, and considered the de rigueur French birthday cake by many.

                          He did such things often. It may be my shortcoming, but I am very intolerant of gross misinformation. He slung it around by the bucketsful! It's not all that difficult to pass on accuate information.

                          Caroline

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            hahaha - i know what you mean. there's this episode where he's about to pop a gorgeous butter drenched mouthful and proudly announces that it's NOT fattening at all - and the butter could be seen running in rivulets down his sleeve - which makes him more endearing in a father-knows-best gone wrong way.

                            but one thing he shares with julia is that when they're 'showing-off', they don't come across as proud braggarts, instead they seem just as amused as the viewer. very unlike todays celebrity cooks who just can't seem to bear not being able to wax poetic what little tidbits they've accumulated from their relatively short travels.

                            1. re: epabella

                              True, but I also think it's a sign of our ultra status conscious times. We teach it to our kids from birth and allow others to endorse it. Consequently I think all food show hosts, chefs or otherwise, are hard pressed to name-drop their worth. Or however they can manage to flash a little prestige.

                              The GREAT advantage Julia had was that she was educating a nation full of neophytes who knew little to nothing about cooking well. She was her very own status symbol. She was Julia Child! '-)

                      3. I've been enjoying her "Baking with Julia" segments lately, on Create here in NY. Great guest baker lineup, and a real variety of items, from breads to pastry to simple quickbreads and more. Wonderful show.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          The book based on that show -- actually written by Dorie Greenspan -- is well worth the investment, bushwick girl. I bake so many things from that book I'd never have attempted without it.

                          1. re: jmckee

                            second the rec for Baking with Julia.

                              1. re: buttertart

                                Ok folks, it's now on my list...thanks!

                        2. There's a hysterical video of Julia on David Letterman over on Facebook. If you get the opportunity to see it, it's a huge guffaw. ;)

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: LindaWhit

                              That is such fun. Thanks! Happy belated birthday, Julia.

                          1. watched her make a boiled sort of meal the other day using carrots and celery hearts.
                            what she did with the carrots as in her prep since it was already done, was grab them and toss them on the back counter. I had to rewind it several times to see where those carrots ended up, never could figure it out.
                            husband was watching and said, "what??????????????????"

                            1. I hope everyone can see that they should aspire to her omelet technique as one of the pinnacles of your personal chefdom.

                              Some people are just really really cool. And she was one of them.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: FoodFuser

                                Ah yes. I thought of her when I read on another thread that someone uses an immersion blender to emulsify their eggs before making an omelette. I pictured her spinning in her grave. A true, classic omelette is heaven, isn't it?

                                ETA: youtube video

                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWmvfU...

                                1. re: FoodFuser

                                  I've made her way of doing scrambled eggs for years and years now. Far and away the best texture and tasting that scramblers can be

                                  1. re: iL Divo

                                    There's just something about omelets that is totally mollifying. The effort, the attention, then the gentle ingestion.

                                    1. re: FoodFuser

                                      my post was about scrambled eggs though.
                                      an omelet, well, they are good, but not my favorite thing.

                                      let me ask you something Foodfuser.
                                      where'd that post go where you were either jabbing me or complimenting me? I answered you back and now poof, both gone [???]

                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        got my answer.

                                        just finished watching Julia do her salad nicoise show.
                                        pretty funny.
                                        love how she is always aware to put her left arm behind her back.
                                        something she learned in cooking school, I wonder.
                                        I also catch her checking out the monitors to no doubt see how she appears. love her

                                        1. re: iL Divo

                                          I also watched the Salad Nicoise show. Interesting that we never saw her add the anchovies during the construction of the salad, but she did mention them in her summation. Watching her shows makes my sweet bird of youth fly by... Then keep on flying., Oh, well... <sigh>

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            I think that's so she doesn't appear to be flailing about (the arm thing). The one time I worked for a trained cook she was on me every second until I learned to use both hands at once.

                                            1. re: iL Divo

                                              I noticed she places her arm(s) behind her back when presenting food. Not certain if that's a cooking school thing or simply a way to showcase the food.

                                              I don't think she's checking the monitors to see how she appears; she's checking to see which camera is on and/or to ensure the food appears as intended. The show was unrehearsed and very spur of the moment. She always tried to ensure the food appeared in such a way the viewer was able to see the finished product. Part of the teaching experience, I guess.

                                              I think the only overhead camera in some of the earlier shows was over the cooktop. She tends to fuss with dishes presented on her workspace (or not on the cooktop), using other utensils to place them at a better viewing angle. I always get a kick out of what she uses to prop something up.

                                    2. am watching her HB egg show right now.
                                      she is so cute, she's fiddling as much as I do taking the shells off an egg after cracking immediately upon coming out of hot water, then running under cold water, until cool enough to handle, then thin stream of water while you take shells off. It did me good to see she's having trouble too, took a chunk of the white off and exposed the yellow underneath. I'm convinced there is not a perfect way to peel hard boiled eggs, they are always problematic for me.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: iL Divo

                                        Interesting. For many years I've used her method wherein the just boiled egg is submerged in ice water as part of the process prior to peeling.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          and see this show wasn't using 'ice' water, just ran it under cool water from the tap, after cracking them all once drained from hot water. I am one confused person

                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            I guess she was like the rest of the world. Over time we try different things. My Way to Cook is probably 20 years old (oh yes, and inscribed to us by her!).

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              must report on my 5 jumbo eggs that I just HB.
                                              exactly the way she said except that I did put ice in my water after first using just cold tap water and letting them sit in that for 3 minutes. then ice went in the water, when they were cold, I popped their heads, the top of the fat part of the egg shell, with wooden spoon just as she had, and with perfect cool slow light stream of water running, I held them under and voila.
                                              I had perfectly cooked, light and bright cream yellow in the center, no ring and the shells came off perfectly. what a wonderful egg salad sandwich it made..........YEAH! I should take a photo of my egg salad in the bowl, it is gorgeous.

                                              To me, Julia really genuinely cared that we'd get her message and know the how to's of what she'd just done. As best as we could anyway. In other words, I truly think her heart was in it. She did the schooling so we could learn from her, the Master, and she taught us well.

                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                Well said. I've laughed for years that she spent two pages teaching me how to HB an egg...and I do it :)

                                      2. Watching these new competitive cooking shows (Top Chef, Next Food Network Star) make me appreciate Julia so much more. First, she doesn't pretend that a previously prepared ingredient was magic; she often just stops making something, having shown us the important part of the preparation, and leaving the rest for us to finish on our own (or as my math teacher would say, "the proof is trivial") and just showing us the finished product.

                                        I understand that modern cooking shows will run through the show three to five times with different camera setups each time, so they need a prep chef just to help prepare all the ingredients!

                                        1. Watching JC now do her show on the boiled dinner with home made noodles.
                                          Love her pronunciation of "menu" and often notice it again watching her show.
                                          ........"may-new".............

                                          Tonight I'm doing her noodles.
                                          Breaking out my new pasta rolling machine.
                                          So far the noodles it's:
                                          1 3/4 c flour
                                          2 lg eggs
                                          1-4 c water

                                          I'll use them under the stroganoff that's starting to brown up with it's onion & garlic.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: iL Divo

                                            I think I have to stop watching her for a while. She has a paring knife, a very small triangular bladed paring knife, that is exactly like one I USED to have. It was lost in a move. Or maybe somebody "borrowed" it. It had a blade that was a long triangle, and the great advantage was that when cutting, the entire blade made contact with the cutting board when I was chopping something. GREAT for chopping chives!! Anyway, Julia Child has MY knife, and I want it back! <sigh> I have been to every cutlery site on the web and they just don't make them like that any more. She has a LOT of my stuff on her show! '-)

                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                              have you tried looking it up online? maybe there's a duplicate out there somewhere....

                                              1. re: iL Divo

                                                If there is, its on some rare and exotic website my computer can't access. I spent the better part of two days searching for one like it last week and was finally forced to the conclusion that the only way to get one is to time travel back to about 1963. <sigh> As far as I know, I can't get there from here. Caroline's luck!

                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                  I would keep checking eBay. They have stuff showing up there that people get from their family estates all the time. I have noticed an odd assortment of knives on magnets on the walls behind her on her Cooking with Master Chefs show from the 90s. On the later shows where she cooks with Jacques Pepin, the kitchen has been remodeld and they are no longer there.

                                            2. re: iL Divo

                                              One day I'll learn how to proof read.
                                              The above meant So "for" the noodles it's.

                                              Ok, so made them, rain and all, lightening and all, thunder and all, dog scared and all...........
                                              the dough was too wet. I had to add more flour but then on her show Julia said she was adding more water than usual due to the flour being very dry. I just started with 1/4 cup water which for my flour, being a very rainy day, was too much. Added extra flour, and rest of seasoned flour I'd made for the beef crusting. Let the dough rest as per JO, and got out my machine. How fun was that? Plus, husband said, best noodles he's ever eaten, the stroganoff was really excellent too and that apple cake, O M L
                                              So word to the smart cookers out there, make JC's noodles, they're wonderful.
                                              Great texture and did not fall apart in the boiling water either, which I was afraid they'd do.