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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking (Paperback)


Amazon.com Review
What would you give to see the notes Julia Child keeps in her handwritten loose-leaf kitchen reference guide? Your wish is granted! This clever little volume was inspired by Child's notebook, compiled from her own "trials, remedies, and errors."
Organized by large category and technique, it's a very handy reference guide for anyone reasonably comfortable in the kitchen. Each section contains a master recipe followed by variations. The emphasis is on technique, so if you occasionally find yourself trying to remember at what temperature to best roast a duck, the best way to cook green beans and keep them green, or how to save your hollandaise, then this is the book for you. And what good is a reference guide without an index? As always, Child comes to our rescue with a fantastic, comprehensive index, 19 pages long for 107 pages of text, so we can find the answers to life's burning questions in a flash.

Part of what makes Julia Child such an icon is that she can describe a complicated dish, and in the next breath convince us to make it. Classic Chocolate Mousse, Sabayon, Scalloped Potatoes Savoyarde, and Butterflied Leg of Lamb sound manageable when they follow recipes for Roast Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Scrambled Eggs. And with Child's help, they are. "Quick, snappy answers" for both basic and complicated cooking questions make this a work we'll never outgrow. And if Julia can use a cheat sheet, so can we! Fans of Child will love that her personality shows through in comments like, "Don't crowd the pan... or you'll be sorry," and, to introduce her Basic Vinaigrette Dressing, "I use the proportions of a very dry martini." Eight pages of photos taken by her husband, Paul, including one of Child with the famous dancing goose, make this even more of a treasure.

If there is anyone qualified to offer kitchen wisdom, it must be Julia Child. After a lifetime of cooking and teaching, her knowledge is a perfect gift for fans, novices, or anyone responsible for putting dinner on the table every night. --Leora Y. Bloom --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers WeeklyThis slender book from the doyenne of gourmet cooking is a boon for those who need a refresher course in, or a handy source for, basics. These notes come from Child's own kitchen notebook, years in the making. Generally, each recipe is included in "master" form with numerous variations; for example, a section on potatoes explains the ins and outs of Mashed Potatoes, as well as provides a recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes. Child's voice is always welcome, and never more so than when she is providing no-muss-no-fuss advice like this. A quick section on dried beans covers soaking as well as cooking in a pressure cooker or Crock-Pot, and some more esoteric treats, such as homemade bread and souffl?s, have their place here. Helpful tips proliferate throughout: Sea Scallops Saut?ed with Garlic and Herbs are followed by a paragraph on scallops that exude too much juice, and a section on tarts explains how to prebake a shell. Even Hamburgers (plain and flavored) are covered here.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Useful Cooking Reference, September 28, 2001
By A Customer


I love cooking shows and often read cookbooks for pleasure, picking up tips from each author and pondering what recipes I'd like t try, but I have to admit that I've never been a part of the cooking cult that worships Julia Child. I do remember watching her shows as a child, with my mother, and know she pioneered the genre, but the meals she made rarely appealed to me--too time consuming, too "fussy" and just too "strange" for every day taste. (If I have to visit eight different shops and peruse three mail order catalogs to make a dish, I'm probably not going to try it.)
Recently, I picked up "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" at the library and was quickly sold. I am now ordering a copy to keep. The book is filled with useful basic recipes and techniques, as well as lots of helpful time-saving tips that Child has picked up over the years. It's not really a recipe book per se, though tried-and-true formulas for things like Hollandaise sauce and pastry dough do appear, it's more of a kitchen guide. It's full of ingredient substitutions, serving suggestions and definitions of terms you may come across. More useful to experienced cooks, it's also a helpful guide for the best technique, according to Child, for things like braising, searing, roasting and folding. Child's years in the kitchen have made here at master and I was pleasantly surprised to find many time-saving techniques and places were Child says the "easy" way is actually better.

This slim volume really packs a wallop of cooking information and I think it would make a nice addition to any cook's bookshelf.

Handy reference, March 7, 2001
By Lynn Harnett (Marathon, FL USA)


Packed with expertise, Julia Child's "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" began life as her personal kitchen reference, "a mini aide-memoire for general home cookery." It addresses the basics - making stock, master recipes and variations on basic sauces, soups, salad dressings, bread dough, cakes, omelets, rice and more. There are charts for steaming vegetables and tips for successful roasting, braising, sautéing, broiling and stewing.
In among the basic techniques and recipes are boxed tips - for herb bouquets, making clarified butter, buying and storing eggs, whipping cream, butterflying a chicken, etc.

Recipes range from earthy to elegant - French Fries, Pizza, Hamburgers, Pot au Feu Boiled Dinner, Cream of Mushroom Soup, French Style Risotto, Potato Galette, Genoise Cake, Country Pate, Beef Bourguignon, Creamed Lobster (or shrimp or crab).

The index is extensive and cross-referenced and the book is impeccably organized - a slim and efficient volume which answers most of the questions that arise in everyday cooking.

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