Beef Bourguignon with Egg Yolk Ravioli
Today I made Beef Bourguignon. It reminded me of something I haven’t mentioned. A movie. A woman named Julie cooks her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and the first recipe she makes is Beef Bourguignon. My version of it turned out good. My chef instructor said, “it’s really good”. I will forever and always refer to Julia Childs when I make this dish. Whenever I read the dish’s name, I can’t help but hear Julia’s voice in my mind…saying, Beef Bourguignon.
So, a couple of weekends ago I finally watched the movie Julie & Julia with my mom. Besides Julia’s muffled voice, we enjoyed the movie very much and laughed throughout. I am very close to my mom and talk to her every day. Our topics normally include food, school/work, love, and life. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly with her and she seems to be entertained every time. We were both entertained by the movie because Julie and Julia’s experiences reminded us of myself – my life today in so many ways.
Julie, the main character, that blogs about learning to cook Julia’s French recipes, was 30 in the film. I am also 30 and I also started a blog about food even before knowing about the film. Other striking resemblances are our love of food and cooking, but especially the meltdowns in our small, sometimes dysfunctional kitchens. I’d experienced quite a few meltdowns weeks before we watched the movie.
About 2 months ago, our sink backed up and overflowed onto the floor, into the living room, under the carpets – everywhere. It wouldn’t have overflowed if maintenance answered a work order ticket. It was horrendous and still is – the apartment management still hasn’t replaced the carpet, but only removed the carpet padding under the carpet, leaving half of our livingroom/dining room floor hard and uneven. If you know me, you know how immaculate I like my home and how terrible a germaphobe I can be. Living conditions like these can transform me into what Peyman calls, “a bizniotch”. It took me a while to stop being so itchy and scratchy, and it took more than a week for me to get back into the kitchen.
One of the first dishes I made was a delicious Coq au Vin. It’s not easy to make because it takes 2 days to come together. I consider it a labor of love. Coq au vin is marinaded overnight with a bunch of ingredients, including the best red wine you can afford. It’s then braised for a long time the next day. The apartment was filled with such an amazing aroma the day I braised the Coq au Vin and it made our mouths water. Peyman and I were looking forward to this special dinner. Here is what led to my meltdown. I start every dinner with a salad or soup, and being in such a small kitchen, I was running out of counter top space. I have spices, tupperware, oils, vinegars, mixing bowls overflowing out of the cupboards and onto the counterop. As I was about to plate one of the most delicious foods I’ve ever made, I placed the pot on the counter, not realizing a little less than half of the pot was not on the counter. Due to the weight of the meat, I sadly watched it slowly fall to the ground, next to where we press our feet to open the garbage can. Right then, I had a meltdown. I yelled, “I hate this apartment!”, “I hate this kitchen!”..and I yelled out a few other not so nice things. Peyman, looked surprised. Being a very loving, understanding, and supportive boyfriend, he was upset too because it smelled so good, he wanted to taste it…but he calmed me down by just giving me some space and by eating something else in the fridge. Watching the movie reminded me a lot of myself, my silliness, kookieness, and that I am very blessed to have such understanding people in my life, especially my mom, sisters and boyfriend- they are the most loving and patient people I know…they have to put up with a lot of my… idiosyncracies.
While we’re on the topic of idiosyncracies, I want to bring up Julia. Julia Child. She was an interesting woman with a distinctive, peculiar voice and laugh. I always thought she was a giant and came from a different country. I was surprised to learn that she was actually American, and from Pasadena. I have a few things in common with her too. We both are Le Cordon Bleu culinary school educated… of course, her Le Cordon Bleu school is better, being the original campus in Paris. She and I also have very similar dinnerware. In 2001, I purchased my first blue and white Spode-style plate set, made in England, that resembles Julia Child’s. I keep it at my mom’s house and she actually uses it for everyday use. I may leave them there forever since I grew accustomed to my plain and simple white, Anna plates from Crate and Barrel. Another thing that I have in common with Julie and Julia is the first piece of houseware Peyman ever gave me as a gift, 3 or 4 years ago- my first red Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I love it and will keep it in my family always.
The greatest thing we all have in common- Julie, Julia, and I is our love for life, food, good relationships, and making great food, especially for our loved ones. Speaking of which, I must get our pasta dough started. I’m making Peyman and myself some spaghetti for dinner tonight. As Julia Child would say, “Good bye and Bon Appetite”.
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