I found picture book about the life of Julia Child, “Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child,” and couldn’t wait to share it, plus an easy Julia recipe, with my little chef.
I think, for all of us, Julia formed a part of who we are in the kitchen. I love Julia’s kitchen mistakes even more than her kitchen triumphs. Maybe it’s because I can identify with the mistakes, or maybe it’s because of her kooky, nerdy, try-and-try-again personality.
Maybe the biggest thing Julia did was translate. All communication is an act in translation, and the way we think of French food is so different than the way the French themselves think of it. Julia most admirably translated the spirit, essence and culture of French food, not just the recipe. Only a woman who’s made every imaginable wrong turn could blaze the clear path for everyone else.
Sharing Child with my child is just like sharing my favorite book, movie or willow tree . I get to newly discover through my son’s eyes. I get to fall in love all over again. I hope this recipe brings him the comfort of home when he’s gone to college (yes, I know he’s only three, for now).
The book, written by Jessie Hartland, is adorably illustrated and fun for kids and kids at heart. In his foreword, Jessie explains that he got started on finding his inner Child when his mother fabricated a French cafe dollhouse complete with miniature food and menus in French. What an adorable idea–I’ll be borrowing that one for a future rainy day!
Here’s our family recipe for crepes, which is eggier than Julia’s and has a pretty yellow color as a result:
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
Whisk all ingredients until combined. There will be lumps. Don’t worry, just run it through a sieve. Put the batter in a pourable container and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pour a small amount of batter — 2 to 3 tablespoons — into a non-stick, buttered pan. Tilt the pan in all directions so that the batter spreads evenly, generally in a circular shape. After about 30 seconds, flip the crepe. Cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until done. It should look completely set with golden-brown spots.
Leave out the sugar and vanilla if you’re doing savory crepes. Fill them with literally anything you can imagine. Classic Parisian street crepe fillings are Nutella and banana, whipped cream and fruit, or cheese and ham.