julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

Ma Cuisine est Votre Cuisine

 

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“I’m very happy if I can influence anyone to keep into the kitchen and make it a real family room and part of your life.” – Julia Child    

Julia Child's Kitchen

In the 1990’s, Julia Child’s home kitchen in Cambridge was fully transformed into a functional set for her television program In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs. The room was installed with TV-quality lighting, three cameras and a massive center island with a gas stovetop on one side and an electric stovetop on the other. Husband Paul designed the kitchen, choosing the blue and green color scheme in the ‘60s, and he built the maple countertops two inches higher than normal to make things easier for his 6’2″ wife. She welcomed family, friends, colleagues and all of America into that kitchen for 45 years – now, I’d like to welcome you into mine.  

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Ben and I recently became homeowners for the very first time. In our search for the perfect house, one of our top priorities was to have a big kitchen (not that I fully knew how to use it, mind you, but that could come later.) We wanted a place where people could gather, relax, and hang out while yummy smells wafted from the oven and pots simmered on the stove. 

Jessica's Kitchen

So when we walked into the cute red-brick house on the corner, we both knew this was the one as soon as we saw the kitchen. It was spacious (but then, anything would be more spacious than the kitchen in our apartment) with updated appliances (a gas stove and oven!) and lots of counter and cabinet space. We made an offer that day. 

The kitchen was the first part of the house we painted, the first room we moved into, and the first area that was completely finished – even before our own bedroom. I knew that kitchen would be the heart of our house, and I was right – when people come over, it’s the natural gathering place. I’m excited that in just one week, I’ll really get to put it to the test. Since we’ll be spending so much time there over the next 365 days, I thought it  might be nice to give you a tour… 

Pot Rack

One of my favorite things about this kitchen is our pot rack. We scored this from the previous owners – they weren’t willing to part with their refrigerator (we didn’t really want it anyway), but they were happy to leave this behind. 

Gas Stove/Oven

Next – the appliances. I’ve never had a gas stove/oven before, so it took a little getting used to. Unfortunately for me, in MtAoFC, Julia explains that a modern electric stove is much better than weak domestic gas burners, and that electric ovens are better for pastry baking while gas ovens are desirable for broiling. “One of each is ideal!” she says. Ha! I suppose we’ll just have to make do with what we’ve got, eh? 

Our refrigerator was our first major purchase for the house. The bummer was that because of the height of our cabinets, we were limited in what size refrigerator we could purchase. In the end, we love what we got and are continually amazed by how much we can fit in this French door style. The in-door ice/water feature is especially luxurious (since before we had ice trays). We love this thing. 

Kitchenaid Mixer

Here is one of the star attractions in our kitchen: this superfly Kitchenaid mixer. Julia used one on The French Chef in the episode titled “Pain de Mie”. She first made bread dough by hand, kneading it with great effort; then she did a version in the mixer and the ease with which it was done was a significant improvement from the hand method. Hooray for technology! Can’t wait to put this baby to work.

I love how much countertop space we have here – this should definitely come in handy as we get into these 524 recipes. I also like how we have so many electrical outlets along the counters – great for mixers and other small appliances.

I can see from Julia’s book that I’ll need to pick up a few little things before we get started – her section titled “Kitchen Equipment” is helpful and suggests finding a restaurant-supply store for some reasonably priced kitchen objects. There just so happens to be one not far from my house, so I may check it out and report my findings. 

Overall, I think we’re in good shape. Starting next week we’ll be hanging out here a lot, so make yourself at home! Like I’ve said before, I love how food brings people together…and here we are! Together in my kitchen, the very heart of my house. Feel free to kick off your shoes and stay awhile. We’re all friends here. (Just please don’t drink from the milk carton.)

My kitchen is your kitchen!
-Jessica

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3 Responses to “Ma Cuisine est Votre Cuisine”

  1. Stella says:

    I wouldn’t be worried about your stove – while Julia may have preferred an electric, the common preference among chefs today is gas. Electric gets too hot too quickly and cools too slowly. It is very difficult to control your temperature on an electric stove top – which would be disastrous on this endeavor! A gas stove will definitely help you accomplish your goal of all dishes being edible.

    Also, I LONG for the day my future husband and I can get a house, with a large kitchen (we constantly bump into one another in our current apartment) and a gas stove!

    Lots of luck – Here’s to Paris!

  2. Good blog! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and also the info is well written. I am wondering how I may be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

    • Jessica says:

      Thank you, reader! If you visit the home page of the site, you’ll see a gray side bar on the right-hand side – at the top of this bar is a Subscribe button. Either this or the rss feed should do the trick. So glad you’re following along! Thanks for the comment, and happy cooking!

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