French food has always seemed so exotic to me. Maybe it’s that I’ve only ever been to one French restaurant. Or maybe it’s all of the stories I’ve read about people finding themselves in France. But I’ve always associated French food with a distant, far-off land where butter, fresh bread, and sauces taste differently than anywhere else on earth.
For the last 5 years, my only window to French food has been through stories and cookbooks. I’ve put my faith in the recipes of Julia Child, Elizabeth David, Mimi Thorisson, Jean-Pierre Moullé and Denise Lurton Moullé—all in the name of understanding a cuisine that’s always been such a mystery to me.
So last Saturday I dove into my books and tackled a recipe I’d only ever read about: Julia Child’s coq au vin. My reason? Well, my husband (Ben) and I are getting ready to leave for our honeymoon in Paris!
To kick things off, he, his lovely Aunt Laura and I spent the day eating cheese and crackers while I tinkered away at this brand-new recipe—a recipe that reads:
Averting your face, ignite the cognac with a lighted match. Shake the casserole back and forth for several seconds until the flames subside.
But we’ll get there….