Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the first dish!

Once upon a time I wanted to go through my glorious cookbook recipe by recipe but sadly it was not to be... yet.

Now I am glad to report that I am ready to begin. Now first I won't be making the seafood recipes not until I have um... mastered... cooking some of the other dishes. There are three reasons:
First, I have yet to make fish that doesn't taste like a rubber band.
second: I can not tolerate the smell which means it will need to be cooked out side on my grill and grilling is not an art I'm adept at.
Third: boiling things alive is a serious problem for me who can barely handle bug killing. That and I don't like the fact that the intestinal veins stay in them as they cook that to me is just gross.

A word about how my wonderful masterpiece is laid out.
When you lift the cover and are greeted by the aroma of ancient tome there meets your eye a list of herbs and the dishes they are used in. Familiars like Basil, Dill, and Cumin are listed next to Chervil, Sorrel, and Cardamom. each with a dash and a short one liner about the soups or salads or meats they go with.Turning the page a blank landscape filled with possibilities is next with "Merry Christmas 1966" written by some former owner. By the title page I'm too excited to go slow and quickly read the greeting written by Vincent  before the book opens to reveal the introductions. In the table of contents the the sections are by country starting with France.

Bonne France is then separated into categories by the restaurant from which the recipes were collected. The first is the Restaurant de la Pyramide in Vienne. The way Vincent writes about the country side you feel as if he is speaking to you in his amazing movie voice. About France he says that "...they are serious about their cooking, and that's what makes it such fun to eat there." After his description of the Pyramide being a country house I couldn't help but look it up. Either Vincent and I have two very different versions of country houses or thing have changed a great deal!

The hotel and restaurant look lavish and the gardens beautiful. The dishes you can glimpse in the intro video have me drooling. I can only hope that the recipes I make from their bygone days are as wonderful.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Vincent Price

Few people know who Vincent Price is anymore, which is a shame. Vincent Price was the King of Terror in my mother's era. He was to acting what Hitchcock was to directing. Tall and gaunt with a voice made for causing chills. However even the vast number of fans knew he was also interested in Haute Cuisine.

For three Christmases mom and her two brothers exchanged gifts from their past. One Christmas I found a DVD copy of The Tingler. The Tingler was a Vincent Price movie my mother and her older brother had begged to stay up and watch and the story of that night was one I loved mom to tell. In the middle of the film the Tingler gets loose and the only was to weaken it was to scream. So Vincent stands up and commands "Scream! Scream for your lives!" at which point mom and her brother jumped over the back of the couch and peeking around the corner did whisper screams because if they woke the folks they would REALLY have something to scream about. When mom opened the gift she was stunned.

Now folks these days usually need films dripping with blood, murder and mayhem but I'm here to say the old ones work just as well even if they need a little help from the outside world. Mom and I sat watching the Tingler and even though the hoke puppet on  a string didn't scare us the thump thump of the music and the black out in the theater did cause a little tension. However when the Tingler dropped from the box that was when the mouse ( a recent and unwelcome addition) chose to shoot across the wires of the computer and off under the shelves. We jumped so badly that we were several feet away from the screen when mom let loose a string of profanities at the mouse. After our hearts stopped pounding we laughed. We now had our own story concerning the Tingler.

Some might wonder why I mention these stories in a FOOD blog but the reason is simple. Christmas 2008 brought a surprise in the form of a book. This book was written by Vincent and his wife Mary and it cataloged recipes from five star restaurants from all over the world. This book moved my passing fancy with food into a full blown obsession upon the making of a mushroom soup recipe that my brother (who has a very picky palate) ate not one but two bowls of.

I intend to make recipes from THE BOOK and catalog them here with pictures.
I hope you enjoy.