Posts tagged: julia child

Wilted Cucumbers? Bake Them!

By , October 3, 2010

Ever wonder what to do with cucumbers that have begun to wilt and lose their crunch? Obviously the first thing you’d think of is to make a Loch Ness monster like the one below, right?

The Loch Ness Cucumber

I thought so.

And although that’s fun — yes — the thing that really uses up those cukes is to bake them. This was originally a Julia Child recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I’ve tweaked it somewhat to be simpler, with bolder flavors. I never thought to bake a cucumber until my mom made them last year; delicious! And a real bonus is that they freeze pretty well after baking. Thawed, they’re a little softer than the original out-of-the-oven ones, but that doesn’t bother you, right?

Try them out…I think they’re absolutely delicious! They have kind of a pickle-y flavor, yet gentle and buttery. This recipe makes a fair amount, but they do cook down to about half their original volume; and of course, feel free to cut the recipe in half.

Baked Cucumbers

3 lbs cucumbers

1/2 cup finely minced onion

1/4 – 1/3 cup wine vinegar (to your liking)

1/4 tsp sugar

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp dry basil

1 Tbsp dry dill weed

4 Tbsp butter, melted

1/4 cup minced parsley (optional, for serving)

Preheat oven to 375*. Peel cucumbers if the skin is bitter. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into lengthwise strips 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide. Cut the strips into pieces that are 2″ long.

Mix all ingredients together, stirring well to evenly coat the cucumber pieces. Divide into two baking pans (I use two 9″x13″ glass pans) and bake, uncovered, for about an hour, tossing every 20-30 minutes. They should be tender, but still have a little crunch. Sprinkle with minced parsley (if desired), and serve. Mmmm!

Philosophy Friday: Appreciating Julia Child

By , September 25, 2009

Julia Child in Her Kitchen

Julia Child sure is all the rage of late, but that’s a really great thing. I still haven’t seen the movie Julie & Julia, but hubby and I recently watched old episodes of The French Chef (her cooking show from the 60s and 70s) on 3 DVDs. They were great! If you want a good laugh, I highly recommend them. One thing I love about Julia Child is that she’s REAL. None of her pots and pans match — not even all of them have lids, in fact! She improvises and substitutes, and tells her audience how they can, too. (Click below to continue reading…)

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Back from Vacation, and Rejuvenated!

By , September 3, 2009

Beach visit East Coast 2009

We got back from our wonderful summer vacation to the East Coast…not really rested, but very rejuvenated! It was just the break we needed! We had a great time, and are sad to be back to our full-time jobs. One of my favorite things about our trip was how much time I got to spend with my hubby. All day, every day, we were together…exploring our surroundings, taking pictures, laughing together. A far cry from our daily lives which seem to be eaten almost entirely by our jobs. In the few evening hours between job and bedtime, we squeeze in together-time, cooking, reading, computer time, pursuing hobbies, housecleaning, laundry, dishes, visiting family, gardening, etc! Time together — with those you love most — is so precious. Being on vacation reminded me how precious it is, and how much I miss having more of that quality time as part of our daily life. Something to work on, indeed!!

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Philosophy Friday: Even Julia Child Made Mistakes in the Kitchen

By , August 21, 2009

I was recently watching a Julia Child episode on DVD, when she launched into this little sermon about peoples’ irrational fear of failure while learning to cook. I liked it so much that I recorded it and posted it so you could see it, too:

Julia Child – “Don’t be afraid of failure in the kitchen” from The Herbangardener on Vimeo.

We must not be deterred if our cooking flops, because that’s how we best learn the quirks of the ingredients we cook with, and how to combine things for the best results. I sometimes get pretty frustrated when my cooking doesn’t work out, especially when I waste good ingredients (and precious time!). But I also know that mistakes can be very good teachers…

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