8 Jun 2010

Last night we watched 'Julie and Julia' .
I was a little late to the party as I'm sure you have all seen it months ago. 
I loved it.
Loved the enthusiasm that Julia Child's showed for the things she loved, her husband, her sister, food, eating.
Also loved the little insights into blogging, I wasn't late to that party.
You know you can read the original blog that the book was based on here, just click on the next date or the next month when you want to read another entry.

I don't have any of Julia's cookbooks but I do have 'The Pleasure of the Table' by Wivine de Stoop.
I have a feeling I have told you about this book before but I can't be bothered going back to look.

This book came out in 1981 and I bought it in 1984. 
It gave me instantly accessible French cooking, cooking suitable for home cooks not restaurant chefs and though it was written by a Belgian who had learned tradition French cooking in her home she had lived in Australia for nearly 30 years so she knew the kinds of ingredients we could easily get, the kind of seafood available and so on.
Wivine had been teaching French cooking to Australians since 1960, giving classes in her own home, cooking on her AGA in her house surrounded by beautiful flower and vegetable gardens.
Wivine believed in using the best possible ingredients and so kept large vegetable and fruit gardens at her home. 
She stressed, much like Julia, that the cook must be confident or she will not be successful.

My favourite Chocolate Mousse recipe

I have a number of favourites in this book but I realise now as I slowly look through it that there are many recipes I have not ever  tried.
Maybe I should do a Julie Powell and cook Wivine everyday until I run out of recipes.

I have googled Wivine and can find very little about her. 
I don't know if she is still alive.
I did find a reference to her in the papers of Simone Beck ( the co author with Julia Childs and Louisette Bertholle of Mastering the Art of French Cooking ) and an article about Wivine in the Melbourne Age in 1981 just before her book came out.
 You can find copies of her book through ABE Books.

5 Responses to “ ”

  1. Well you've beaten me, I still haven't seen the movie. It's on my list to watch so maybe some day...
    cheers Kate

  2. I really enjoyed that movie too. Love the look of your cookbook -- the sketches, the coloured illustrations and the "around the table" recipes.

  3. Oh the movie is just so amazing...
    I am sad to say I have watched it 3 times already...
    When I feel a little low or even a little lost...
    I pop it on and it makes me smile...

  4. Will you please share some of the recipes you try - if they turn out good, that is. I got both volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas, but will NOT be working my way through them all! Speaking of Christmas, I knitted your little drawstring tea cozy for all the women in my family last year, and they were a big hit. The year before I sewed Amy Butler totes for them all. Can't think of a thing for this year! Got any ideas?

  5. i only watched it a couple of months ago, i was surprised by how much i liked it. inspires me to want to try something similar. i've noticed the books are everywhere now.


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