Julia Child's Lost Recipe? Maine Baked Haddock
I remember watching “The French Chef” on our old black and white television in the 60’s. I wasn’t much older than 4 or 5 at the time I had no idea what an impact this awkward looking lady with the high pitched voice would have on my life.
As I matured, my passion for cooking became evident - from warming “Chips Ahoy” Cookies in my “Easy Bake Oven” and telling everyone I made them myself, to becoming a personal chef, caterer and soon host and producer of my own Cooking Show, “Get Fresh with Sue Chef”.
Dinner with Julia
I loved Julia’s relaxed style and her ability to make the viewer feel they were actually sitting as a guest at Julia’s table and having a conversation. Her success no doubt is due to her talent in the kitchen, but perhaps more with her delivery and ability to engage the viewer. I tried to reflect her style in my own cooking and feel I have the same passion for involving others.
Although I have never met Julia Child or eaten any of her foods, I feel that I knew her. I’m convinced if I were ever to taste one of her dishes, I would be in heaven, but for all I know, she was a hack, a showboat and never cooked a day in her life outside of her show - but instinct tell me this is impossible. Her passion seemed to pour from the screen. She made you feel like you could actually smell the Coq au Vin and taste theSauce Mornay.
Cooking With Julia's Knife
The closest I ever came to meeting Julia Child's was when I met her knife. During a summer vacation in Maine I learned that the cottage I was renting happened to be the property of Julia Child’s brother in law. As we scanned the old family photo albums strewn around the cottage there were black and white photos of Julia cooking in the small kitchen, on the Maine beaches and knee deep in mud digging for clams. It was then that it hit me. Oh my gosh! Julia Child actually used this knife!!! Julia Child actually stood over this sink! Julia Child actually touched the same cutting board! I could feel her presences and had this overwhelming urge to cook.
During the one week stay I spent much of my time in the kitchen cooking for friends and family. Somehow I felt that I was channeling Julia through the knives and whisks that were hung all over this primitive Kitchen. I whipped up soufflés, seafood chowders, marinades and pies. I even found a baked haddock recipe hand written and tucked behind a pile of cookbooks in the kitchen. Judging by the amount of butter in the ingredients list, I had to assume it was written by none other than the late great Julia - and as any great chef would, I stole it! (Okay I didn’t actually steal it, I copied it on a separate piece of paper and gave it my own special healthy Sue Chef spin.)
Meaning no disrespect to Julia by changing her recipe, I removed the butter and saved over 100 calories. I don’t think she would be offended as her philosophy on cooking was always an approach of reckless abandon. And if I were to predict her response I would quote her as saying “If you're afraid of butter, use cream.”