Monday, March 05, 2007

More on Julie & Julia

If reading Julie & Julia has taught me one thing it's that I don't need to own Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And maybe that I don't feel any particular interest in either Julie or Julia. Although of the two, I like Julie a good bit better despite her constant shots at Republicans. Hey, I'm a Democrat too, and I'm not particularly tolerant of conservative politics in all their various guises, but I'm not about to label half the country with the Bad Person brush solely because of their political affiliation, nor do I think that some people are nice folks despite their political affiliation. I would prefer politics to be left out of light books about cooking dated French cuisine.

What the book doesn't acknowledge--and what put's me right off the cookbook itself--is the undeniable snobbery of French cooking. Or at least of the kind of French cooking in this cookbook (after all I'm sure there's another, simpler, sort of French cooking). It's without a doubt something that is not accessible to just anyone. The dishes are time-consuming and expensive so unless you have both the desire and financial wherewithal to devote so much time and money to your food you're pretty much out of luck. I don't actually have a problem with expensive or time-consuming food. But I'd damn well prefer that it be served to me in a nice restaurant. And to be honest, even then, it wouldn't be my first choice.

The real problem, however, is that I just don't like most of the food described. Eating things loaded with butter makes me imagine my arteries closing up. I don't like organ meats and would be a happy camper if I could go through life without eating brains. I won't eat veal. I don't like mustard, or mayonnaise. Even if I did like seafood, the idea of vivisecting a lobster (Homard à L'Americaine) is not for me. So the book was pretty much a constant gross-out for me. Between that and my roommate showing me photos of various diseases in advances states it was a vaguely disgusting day for me.

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