After I turned 25, I had a midlife crisis. Much like Amy Adams in Julie and Julia, I decided to counter my anxiety by having big dreams -- dreams about food and cooking in particular. Julie's Mastering the Art of French Cooking is my The French Laundry Cookbook.
I was at Border's one day, just browsing, when I saw the giant tome sticking out, too large for the shelf that was supposed to house it snugly. Curiosity piqued, I strolled over and flipped through it. It was a wonderful book, decorated with brilliant, lively pictures of Thomas Keller's creations. My mouth salivated. My hands and knees began to shake. My head spun! It was food porn indeed...
The book was pricey, but I shelled out the $50 for it and rushed home to devour its contents. Closing and locking my door, pulling down the blinds, and pulling the bed covers over my head, I read through the book with a flashlight. It felt sinful, like I was discovering porn or masturbation for the first time. After a while, I realized that it was a beautiful thing and brought it out in the open. Today, the book sits proudly on my shelf.
A few weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at cooking every recipe in the book. This achievement, by no means, is something that is new -- Carol Blymire, a home cook, has already accomplished this at the time of this posting and is currently cooking her way through the Alinea Cookbook. You can see her blogs here:
French Laundry At Home
Alinea At Home
So with little cooking experience and only a mammoth tome to guide me, I embark on this great endeavor. Wish me luck!