One of my Facebook friends posted in a dither today. She'd asked her children to make tuna salad for lunch and was horrified to discover they'd opened every single can of tuna fish in the house. A supply, she added, intended to feed the family for an entire month! She was beside herself. Can you blame her!?!
Having food (and other stuff) is all fine and good but the tuna cautionary tale reminds us that it's not much good unless we can stretch them. It's easier to stretch food now when we have plenty than to start stretching when things get tight.
So butter your hands and let's start stretching!
Even as I read Michel Roux OBE's autobiography, Life Is A Menu, last month, the thought crossed my mind:
"He won't be here much longer."
But you're never quite prepared for that day. That day was today, March 12th, 2020.
Now the angels are eating three-Michelin star food prepared by one of my culinary heroes, Michel Roux OBE, father of Alain Roux of the Waterside Inn, uncle to Michel Roux Jr of Le Gavroche and beloved brother (though they loved to argue) of the legendary Albert Roux OBE.
Requiem For a Boeuf Bourguignon
Please tell me I'm not the only person who keeps lists of recipes To Make. I choose recipes not so much by what they are but by who recommends them. Some of my To Make recipes come from Ruth Reichl, some from Julia Child and some from Edward.
You see, I just finished reading Dinner With Edward. By the time I'd finished, I'd fallen a little in love with nonagenarian Edward with his charming, Old World manners and flair for making delicious dinners for author Isabel Vincent.
So when I finished the book, I immediately circled back to the beginning, carefully typing all of Edward's wonderful menus into a Dinners by Edward To Make column of my menu spreadsheet.
NOT My Mother-In-Law's Banana Bread
Heirloom family recipes are always so precious. The cheeseball recipe card all greasy from spilled mayo and "illustrated" with dried cheese. The much dog-eared cookie recipe. I just love old, much-loved recipes so I was quite touched when my brand new mother-in-law gave me a short stack of Family Recipes in 2013.
That is until she'd left and I really looked at them.
It was one of those "Ummmmmmmm" moments when you've got to say something negative...but you're not sure how your spouse will take it.
Oh, I know what you're thinking. Ramen? Dried ramen!?! That's not cooking! That's 30¢, broke-as-a-joke, college dorm food that insults dedicated ramen chefs making it fresh in Kyoto every day.
Hey! Stick with me here. I wanna go to Hokkaido for the fresh ramen as much as the next gal but even dried American ramen is better than no ramen.
Would you believe that I'd never had ramen until my husband, Michael Thompson, introduced me to it last year!? Yes, at the ripe old age of thirty-eight, I fell madly in love with Maruchan Ramen. It became my default, never-let-me-down comfort food for a quick breakfast, lunch, supper or a midnight snack.
But...something was missing. Even with the Oriental flavor packet, it hinted at greater things and I was determined that our ramen would be not just a quick, easy and cheap meal, but delicious, nutritious and satisfying as well.
You know you're onto something when your local cropduster pilot can't say enough about your homemade Amish-recipe bread. "It is truly some of the best bread I have ever had," he wrote after tasting the bread I sold from my little roadside stand in 2017.
We don't fight about much in the Thompson household...except scrambled eggs. I know, right!?! A scrambled egg is a scrambled egg is a scrambled egg. How could there be room for disagreement?
Oh, but there is, Dear Friend. There is!
Michael loves biscuits.
I suck at making biscuits.
You see the problem.
Actually, biscuits and Michael go way back. He first learned to love them in the military where the best breakfast at Fort Benning was what Charles Emerson Winchester III so delicately called "Chateaubriand on a Shingle."
What is life without sauces? It would be a very sad, bland thing indeed to go through life without the rich, savory goodnesses we pour over our food or dip our food into.
I'd like to say this article is about the French Mother Sauces but it isn't. Not yet. That article is still en route.
No, this is about two dipping sauces that go spectacularly with the eggrolls we learned how to make in my article Eggrolls for Alysse.
In the Thompson household, an eggroll feed requires the making of no less than two sauces. I love Vietnamese fish while Michael is partial to homemade hot sweet-and-sour sauce.
Of French Fries and Name Dropping
When my favorite two Michelin star celebrity chef, Michel Roux Jr, was asked what he would choose for his last meal on Planet Earth, he included French Fries ("chips") in the menu.
Yeah. Me too.
But not just any ol' French Fries. Non, non, non mon cher! Properly made French Fries. (Hint: Tearing open a plastic bag doesn't appear anywhere in this recipe!)
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