Eat Your Potage


A potato can be so much more, with a little love and a lot of time.

I’ve encouraged you to try new things from time to time.  Take up a hobby, read a book, try a new adventure:  It challenges your senses and gives you confidence.  It breaks the routine and opens your mind to new ideas.

In that spirit, I cooked a potato.

But, before you laugh, I’ll have you know that I also cooked pearl onions and baby bell mushrooms and burgundy wine and leaks and carrots and three pounds of stewing beef.  Over the course of seven hours of cooking, I whisked, stirred, chopped, and tasted.  I even pealed oranges with a potato pealer or all things.

It was my daughter’s 20th birthday and we celebrated with a most successful candlelit meal.  We aren’t usually high-class folks; pizza and coke will serve our needs most of the time.  But last night we pulled out all the stops and ate like the French:  No Italian Pizza for us!  Each course of the dinner was made from Julia Child and her wonderful book, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  Julia didn’t let us down.

For the Appetizer we had Potage Parmentier with Asiago Cheese Bread.  This beautiful, creamy potato and leak soup was topped with freshly chopped parsley and provided the perfect beginning to the meal.  We enjoyed small bowls of the soup along with a crisp glass of Chardonnay.  After the slurping stopped, our appetites were primed and ready.

The Salad was a tossed green salad with Julia’s perfect Red Wine Vinaigrette.  We enjoyed various cheeses to compliment the salad, including Goat Cheese, Parmesan and Gouda along with a fresh loaf of crackling French Bread.

The Main Course was a huge success:  Beef Bourguignon, Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce served with a nice Burgundy wine.  This was the richest, most wonderful food I’ve ever tasted.  The meat was tender and full of flavor.  The Hollandaise sauce was buttery, lemony and smooth.  The asparagus was tender and crisp.  The house is still filled with the aroma of the beef and my mouth waters even as I describe the plate.

We ended the evening with the Candy-Glazed Oranges, a Port wine and coffee.

Emily was most pleased with her birthday dinner.

If you ever tire of the routine you’ve created, the rut you are in, the daily grind that awaits you, I implore you to try something new:  Grab a cook book and spend some time in front of the stove.  But be warned, you’d better have Julia at your elbow helping you along the way because it is a challenge not intended for the faint of heart…but worth every minute and every amazing bite.

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