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Aug 16, 2010 09:08 AM

Julia Child The Way to Cook

Do you have this book? Is it good, instructive and basic? It seems interesting. I just got it as a gift.

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  1. I LOVE this book; my copy is battered and besmirched. The layout -- with many photos from the cook's point of view -- was very innovative for the time. And I like the lower-fat renditions of some of the dishes, without the "preachiness" we'd get from lesser lights than Julia.

    Very good book. Where I turn when I need to know how to do something fast.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jmckee

      Me too. I taught myself to cook using it, and almost 20 years later, still use it quite often.

      1. re: MMRuth

        Same here! Instruction and inspiration in one highly accessible package. Got it through a book club for some ridiculously low price (in hardcover, no less), and it has paid for itself a hundred times over.

      2. re: jmckee

        I'm Asian so I'm not very familiar with French/American cuisine. I love all of her shows, but wonder if the book is accessible for me?

        1. re: pearlyriver

          It is very clearly written and not at all like "haut"--the emphasis is on what she really likes, and that's down-to-earth. It's a different perspective from the very first two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

          1. re: penthouse pup

            Plus there are a lot of photos to go along with the clear directions on the techniques.

          2. re: pearlyriver

            It's cooking -- not necessarily French, except for the emphasis on technique. I think you'd do just fine with it.

        2. I gave it to all my kids and to my grandson's wife. I use mine all the time, even now. The recipe for caramel sauce is simply outstanding. It is my basic how-to book.

          1. Excellent book. Wonderful for learning a new technique, thanks to detailed instructions and photos, and then recipe adaptations to expand your abilities once the basic technique is mastered. Enjoy!

            1. Have this book but don't know where to start. Any recommendations on fav recipes from TWTC?


              2 Replies
              1. re: lulou23

                This book was her post-French take on cooking--more from an "American" perspective, and often with simplifications over the older (but obviously invaluable) "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."
                Why not pick the kind of meal you like generally, and then see her take: is it chicken you're after? Her recipes for stews are easy and excellent...Fish? Her advice about sole is flawless, her insights about lobster are helpful, her chapter on red meat reflects her tastes in cooking things without fuss. Don't expect anything about Italian cuisine or "ethnic" (Indian, Thai, etc)...It's all rather "down-home" and not in any way intimidating (at least that's how I look at it, having used the book since its publication twenty years ago.)

                1. re: lulou23

                  I recently made her split pea soup again and it was easy and tasty. (I was given a bone-in ham, already thawed).

                2. Have never used it much, but everything I've tried has been quite good.

                  @lulou23: the zinfandel of beef is an old favorite and a good place to long as you have some time to spend in the kitchen. Definitely a weekend dish. IIRC, it's best if you go a little short on the tomatoes to really focus the wine. And the variation is even better...mushrooms and pearl onions?

                  I think I usually do it on some mashed potatoes with a few roasted garlic cloves worked into them. A side of green beans sauteed with minced shallots and ground almonds pairs well.