Cuisson avec le Capitaine

Saturday, August 08, 2009
This afternoon, I headed out with the Admiral to catch part of the Cariwest parade. In all my years here in Edmonton, I'd never been so I thought it would be fun. Plus, a friend of mine from Trinidad was dancing in the parade so I had a reason to go. Well, I sat on the curb for 1/2 an hour after it was supposed to start and we hadn't seen a single dancer or float and didn't hear any music whatsoever. Considering we were only 6 blocks from the starting point of the parade, I didn't take this as a good sign. Unfortunately, I had misjudged how long it would take for the parade to get underway and make it's way to our spot and had made plans to meet up with another friend at 1:00. Crap. I left the Admiral armed with my camera and headed off. Turns out she got some lovely shots (which I'll post later) and my friend's group was one of the first. However, according to her watch it was 1:15ish by the time they shook their bumpas on by where we had been sitting (apparently "bumpa" or perhaps simply "bumper" is Trinidadian slang for booty...who knew?).

I met up with Ms. Pooh Pooh Pants (not her real name) to go to a movie. We originally wanted to see District 9 but it wasn't playing yet so we grabbed tickets to Julie & Julia. Now, I'm not a "chick flick" sort of gal. I prefer action, adventure, guns, and stuff blowing up. Occasionally though I enjoy a nice, feel good sort of film. I'm not going to review the movie other than to say I quite enjoyed it, much to my surprise. It was light hearted, funny, and hunger-inducing. Go see it, you'll like it.

French cooking has been something I've been wanting to try, both eating and preparing myself, for some time. Inspired by the movie, Ms. PPP and I decided to hit the nearest bookstore immediately following the movie. We were pretty sure we weren't going to buy Ms. Child's magnum opus but wanted to give it a look. They had one copy which we thumbed through. Not a single picture. I just can't buy a cookbook without knowing what the finished products are supposed to look like. Plus it was almost 700 pages, weighed more than my cast-iron dutch oven, and cost almost as much. Ms. PPP though did find a copy of Child's cookbook from her television show which goes through all the recipes from the program, episode by episode. We were both very curious to try the beef bourguignon and at a fraction of the cost (and size/weight) of the other book, how could my friend resist?

As for me, I did end up purchasing a french cookbook, Laura Calder's French Taste. Plenty of pictures and a number of recipes I glanced at briefly that sounded delicious. I've caught her program on the Food Network a few times and almost everything has looked and sounded fabulous. Don't worry, I'm not about to copycat Julia Powell's idea and blog my way through an entire cookbook (there are definately some recipes I WON'T eat) but I am going to try Calder's recipes, hopefully at least once a month, and will take plenty of pictures and offer my opinions. Who knows, I might even get a review from the Admiral.

This leads to yet another two-part question for you, my readers. What cookbook can you currently not live without and what is your favourite cookbook/cooking related memory from years past?

I don't have a current fave but my cooking/recipe related memories all focus around my mother's old beatup (it was beat up and falling apart even back in the 70s) Five Roses Flour Cookbook. Mostly pies, cookies and cakes around the holidays...covered in flour and icing from our fingers. When the Admiral and I moved in together, she pulled it out of a box of books she was unpacking and I almost started to cry. Sigh...good times.


Wandering Coyote said...

What cookbook can I not live without? That is an impossible question for me to answer!

I do have a fave cookbook memory, though: like you, it revolves around a cookbook belonging to my mother. In this case, it was her 1970s Betty Crocker (my mom called her Betty Crackpot!) cookbook and I loved looking at all the cool cakes in the cake section. I wonder where that book is now??

Milla said...

I do have some cookbooks, but I never open them, so I hold no memories. The women in my family never used a cookbook actually, it was all 'a bit of this', 'a bit of that' and it was all quite relaxed, so i don't hold memories even from when I was living in my village...

Captain Karen said...

Ha ha, WC, I figured you would have trouble narrowing it down to just one! It's funny but everyone I knew growing up had a copy of the Joy of Cooking and Betty Crocker's cookbook except us. We weren't big recipe folks. You should check with your mom to see if she still has it!

Milla, that sounds like a fabulous way of cooking. I apparently have some sort of disorder that doesn't allow me to follow recipes... I tend to use them as guidelines and then do my own thing. I'm guessing though that that might be why many of my "creations" fail! I'm just not a great cook.

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