Sunday, November 6, 2011

All's Right With the World When Beef Stew is in the Oven

According to Julia Child, "When beef stew is in the oven, all's right with the world, and beef Bourguignon is the best beef stew known to man." I just finished reading Julia's book, My Life in France, and felt inspired. I'm not moving to France, nor do I intend to cook my way through her entire cookbook, but I did feel inspired to become a little more adventurous with my cooking. I would describe myself as a timid cook. I can follow a recipe, but cooking anything beyond chicken breasts or pasta dishes usually intimidates me. I'm just afraid of ruining the food and having to throw it away. But Julia, was not naturally a great cook. She tested her recipes over and over and over, until she had them just right to her high standards. She inspired me to cook outside the box, and try some foods that I don't normally feel at ease cooking. I went to the library and checked out, The French Chef Cookbook and decided to cook beef Bourguignon....for my in-laws. Double pressure. I mean, not that they would ever judge my cooking, they are wonderful wonderful people, but for my own level of comfort, generally if I'm going to screw up dinner I'd rather just screw it up for myself and my husband. But if I'm going to live by Julia's mantra I need to step out of my comfort zone a little bit, so beef Bourguignon for the in-laws it is!

It was a delicious, beefy, confidence boost. Thanks Julia. I know I still have a lot of work to do but I think I've learned to trust myself a little bit more and take some more risks with my menu planning!

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