Joyeux Anniversaire Julia Child! Today would have been Julia’s 105th birthday. It has been a tradition to celebrate her birthday here on Taste With The Eyes for the past 10 years.
Please join me as I re-create Julia Child’s very first meal in France, one that she experienced with her husband Paul Child. The story takes place in Rouen, France in November of 1948. I originally wrote this post back in 2007. I resurrect it every year in August, with some minor changes, to celebrate Julia Child’s birthday. This year I am including her recipe for Sole Meunière.
The text is as she describes her meal to us inMy Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme, published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006. The re-creation photographs are ones that I have taken on my travels; some are from France, others from California, a couple are shot in my own home. I use the sepia tone to give the images the feel of a single place almost 70 years ago.
Come, let’s travel back in time and enjoy French food and revel in its perfection via Julia…
Julia Child’s First Meal in France and Sole Meunière
Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce, Bacon, and Bleu Cheese
Are you ready for this? Grilled Oysters with BBQ Sauce and Bacon and Bleu Cheese? Crassostrea Gigas (Pacific Oysters) from Oregon’s Netarts Bay have plump tender meats with a clean-salty pronounced flavor, and a lingering finish.
Their deep cups makes them great for grilling. So fire up the grill and cook the oysters with the cup side down to retain the juices until they snap, crackle, and pop!
Carefully shuck these chubby bivalves then sprinkle with a generous mouthwatering portion of crumbled bacon and bleu cheese. A drizzle of smoky sweet tangy spicy BBQ Sauce will pull it all together for one big bold amazing mouthful. Let’s do it.
Oh how I wish I could ask my mother about the history of the beautiful vintage candy dish pedestals that I inherited. I don’t know their age but I vaguely remember them appearing on special occasions in my childhood, piled with individually wrapped little fruit candies…
Enamored of these pedestals, I’ve photographed them with two dessert recipes this week alone. Leaning much more to the savory side, this just might be the first time in ten years for back-to-back sweet recipes on Taste With The Eyes. Both the Pavlova and the Vegan Cheesecakes feature fresh fruit, are gluten-free, and couldn’t be more delightful for summer entertaining.
Pavlova is a charming meringue-based dessert named after prima ballerina Ánna Pávlova. It is typically filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I give the whipped cream extra pizzazz by blending the cream with tangy yogurt and flavoring it with coconut and lime. The synergistic colors and flavors of kiwifruit and strawberries result in a dessert almost as captivating as the ballerina herself.
I really like the idea of having an elegant little dessert on-hand. One that is homemade and ready to serve simply by thawing for 10 to 15 minutes. Beyond tasty, this recipe is also gluten-free and vegan so it appeals to all my guests!
The icy cold dessert would be great any time of year, but it is especially nice for summer entertaining topped with fresh berries that have been frozen to get that cool frosty look.
Chickpea and Red Lentil Penne
Littleneck Clams, Tomato, Fennel
Vermouth Garlic Butter Sauce
The old-world classic dish, linguine with clams, gets a gluten-free update thanks to my friends at Explore Cuisine. This irresistible pot of penne with tender briny fresh clams includes licorice-y fennel and bright cherry tomatoes in an aromatic sauce of vermouth, garlic, and butter.
Cauliflower Velvet Soup
Cheddar, Crispy Rice, Chili Oil, and Chive Garnish
The silky smooth texture is achieved by the addition of cannelini beans and the action of a high-performance blender. Tasty, oh yes, but it is that velvety texture that makes the soup so extraordinary. It could easily be served naked…
…but the cream-colored blank canvas begs for something jazzy, cheesy, toasty, spicy, crunchy, and green. Queue up cheddar, crispy rice, toasted sesame chili oil, and chives.