Friday, January 21, 2011

Columbia Classics Recipe Challenge

Last summer, I watched the movie 'Julie and Julia' and was captivated.  It enticed me back to those 'thrilling days of yesteryear', to the day when the PBS tower went up and the number of tv channels we could receive doubled in one day!

'Julie and Julia' intersperses Julie Powell's personal challenge to recreate each of Julia Child's recipes in 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking' with scenes from Julia Child's life.  It is very funny, and especially evocative of the 60's.

When we had only one or two television channels,  we watched whatever was on when we were available; and that is the only reason I ever watched Julia Child's cooking shows. (Well, there was the hope that she'd drop something or make some horrific mistake that even I wouldn't do.)  Even so, her voice is indelibly imprinted in my memory.  Merlyn Streep's interpretation in 'Julie and Julia' evokes scenes from the 60's and early 70's (my grade school and high school years) and especially those endless summers of tv-watching.

I began my serious cooking career when Mom enrolled in a Thursday evening college course at Chadron State College to work on her teaching degree, and my first dish was memorable, to say the least.  It was blackened tuna casserole.  Not that I knew that term in elementary school. I was just beginning to learn how to cook noodles, open and drain a can of tuna, and open a can of mushroom soup.  I was already an expert at losing myself in a book, however, which is where the 'blackened' part came in (Dad and my siblings called it 'burned').

Today, I am something of a 'foodie', although not a great cook.  At work, we watch cooking shows during our lunch and afternoon breaks, discussing recipes and critiquing techniques.

Last week, I had my own 'Julie and Julia' moment. I was looking through 'Trophy Recipes from Columbia Classics Car Club 1992-2002,' Tri-Cities, WA (a gift from sister-in-law Karen in Prosser, WA) and it came to me, "I should cook my way through this cookbook!" The more I thougth about it, the more fitting it seemed - I married into the Hilmoe family nearly 32 years ago, and they are definitely a 'car family'. So it's appropriate that my 'Julie and Julia' cookbook be a car club cookbook.

 My coworker, Nadine, and my husband, Merlyn both said, when I mentioned this challenge, "and blog about it!"  I hadn't thought of that, but why not?

So, here's the challenge: I'm going to make each recipe in the cookbook, one recipe per section, and blog about it.  And then I'll go on to the next section.   The first recipe and section will be "Appetizer Vegetable Pizza" from the Appetizers, Snacks & Beverages. I'll be back after it's cooked.  Bon Appetit!

Julie and Julia - the original post (Julie Powell is pithier than I am, isn't she?)

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