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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom: Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime in Cooking

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Lovingly penned recipes, from a lifetime of cooking!

After 40 years of cooking with fellow chefs and friends, Julia Child has developed a refined method for cooking her master recipes. In this cute little cookbook, she has also included variations to many of the recipes to show us all how creative cooking can be, yet how ...
After 40 years of cooking with fellow chefs and friends, Julia Child has developed a refined method for cooking her master recipes. In this cute little cookbook, she has also included variations to many of the recipes to show us all how creative cooking can be, yet how essential it is to follow the basic cooking truths. Julia was born in Pasadena, California. She then moved to Paris with her husband Paul and studied at the Cordon Bleu. After writing her first cookbook 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking,' in 1961, she appeared on many public television cooking shows. Judith Jones can be credited for discovering Julia Child, she is the best editor Julia Child could have ever found. She is very wise and once wrote me a nice letter to explain why my instructions in my own cookbook were too truncated. She loves the cookbooks she edits to have a personality and an easy flowing writing style. I took her advice very seriously and she has in fact improved my writing by her one small comment. It is with that said, that I can say that her influence on this book has only made Julia's writing even more wonderful. I love the fact that Julia gives her editor so much credit in the Acknowledgments section. Without great editors, most cookbooks would never make it to the publishing stage. David Nussbaum was also very influential in the writing of this particular cookbook as he was with 'Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.' He helped to gather information needed for this book from Julia's books and shows. He also spent time with Julia in Judith Jones's Vermont kitchen, working out the details of some recipes. The book I am reviewing is only 127 pages, but there is also a 288 page large print edition which I applaud Julia for considering and publishing. In both books, Julia presents soups, sauces, salads, dressings, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, breads, crepes, tarts, cakes and cookies. The index is delightfully easy to use and I love the headings, e.g., Almond(s) is in a different color than the list following it. In that way, you can find the basic categories of Apples, Crab, Soup, Cookies, etc. When you read the text in this cookbook, you will almost feel that Julia Child is reading to you. I can hear her voice and that is what makes this book so wonderful. Each chapter begins with a fun note (or what you might call a headnote) from Julia. The first chapter is 'Soups and Two Mother Sauces.' There is a recipe for 'Leek and Potato Soup.' Julia explains the master recipe and then gives variations of 'Onion and Potato Soup,' 'Cream of Leek and Potato,' and 'Watercress Soup.' What you will learn from this book is 'techniques.' This allows you to create your own recipes. In cooking there are certain proven cooking methods and that is what I believe Julia is trying to show you. You learn to make a white sauce and a hollandaise sauce in the first chapter. The style of the master recipes is similar throughout the book. Each one has a nice heading of a different color, ingredients are listed in the order they will be used and the instructions are easy-to-read, yet do not have numbers. The Variations for the recipes are in a paragraph style, but also have nice headings in a different color. Each page has two columns of text. In the second chapter, you will enjoy learning to make a 'Basic Vinaigrette Dressing.' The variations sound just delicious and there is also advice in a small block which explains how to keep your vinaigrette fresh for several days. Throughout the book you will find little blocks of text with a pink background. These must be some of Julia's secrets. This is a book you will want to read and absorb. In the third chapter, Julia has charts for blanching and boiling vegetables. She says: 'When you serve fine, fresh green vegetables, you want them to show off their color.' She gives some sage advice on how to accomplish this. The chapter on 'Meats, Poultry and Fish' is an introduction into sautéing, broilin

posted by Anonymous on March 14, 2001

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

good rainy day book

enjoyed for fun

posted by mommydelbear on September 12, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    Lovingly penned recipes, from a lifetime of cooking!

    After 40 years of cooking with fellow chefs and friends, Julia Child has developed a refined method for cooking her master recipes. In this cute little cookbook, she has also included variations to many of the recipes to show us all how creative cooking can be, yet how essential it is to follow the basic cooking truths. Julia was born in Pasadena, California. She then moved to Paris with her husband Paul and studied at the Cordon Bleu. After writing her first cookbook 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking,' in 1961, she appeared on many public television cooking shows. Judith Jones can be credited for discovering Julia Child, she is the best editor Julia Child could have ever found. She is very wise and once wrote me a nice letter to explain why my instructions in my own cookbook were too truncated. She loves the cookbooks she edits to have a personality and an easy flowing writing style. I took her advice very seriously and she has in fact improved my writing by her one small comment. It is with that said, that I can say that her influence on this book has only made Julia's writing even more wonderful. I love the fact that Julia gives her editor so much credit in the Acknowledgments section. Without great editors, most cookbooks would never make it to the publishing stage. David Nussbaum was also very influential in the writing of this particular cookbook as he was with 'Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.' He helped to gather information needed for this book from Julia's books and shows. He also spent time with Julia in Judith Jones's Vermont kitchen, working out the details of some recipes. The book I am reviewing is only 127 pages, but there is also a 288 page large print edition which I applaud Julia for considering and publishing. In both books, Julia presents soups, sauces, salads, dressings, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, breads, crepes, tarts, cakes and cookies. The index is delightfully easy to use and I love the headings, e.g., Almond(s) is in a different color than the list following it. In that way, you can find the basic categories of Apples, Crab, Soup, Cookies, etc. When you read the text in this cookbook, you will almost feel that Julia Child is reading to you. I can hear her voice and that is what makes this book so wonderful. Each chapter begins with a fun note (or what you might call a headnote) from Julia. The first chapter is 'Soups and Two Mother Sauces.' There is a recipe for 'Leek and Potato Soup.' Julia explains the master recipe and then gives variations of 'Onion and Potato Soup,' 'Cream of Leek and Potato,' and 'Watercress Soup.' What you will learn from this book is 'techniques.' This allows you to create your own recipes. In cooking there are certain proven cooking methods and that is what I believe Julia is trying to show you. You learn to make a white sauce and a hollandaise sauce in the first chapter. The style of the master recipes is similar throughout the book. Each one has a nice heading of a different color, ingredients are listed in the order they will be used and the instructions are easy-to-read, yet do not have numbers. The Variations for the recipes are in a paragraph style, but also have nice headings in a different color. Each page has two columns of text. In the second chapter, you will enjoy learning to make a 'Basic Vinaigrette Dressing.' The variations sound just delicious and there is also advice in a small block which explains how to keep your vinaigrette fresh for several days. Throughout the book you will find little blocks of text with a pink background. These must be some of Julia's secrets. This is a book you will want to read and absorb. In the third chapter, Julia has charts for blanching and boiling vegetables. She says: 'When you serve fine, fresh green vegetables, you want them to show off their color.' She gives some sage advice on how to accomplish this. The chapter on 'Meats, Poultry and Fish' is an introduction into sautéing, broilin

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Just what I needed

    This is just what I needed for quick reference on most topics

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Great Resource & Gift

    This book is chock full of information on basic techniques. It is a great bridal shower gift for a young bride with limited cooking skills or an experienced cook looking to expand her horizons. You will refer to this often.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Helpful for the serious cook

    Collected here are many, many tips and recipes for the sort of people who make their own meat broths, pastries, and other complex foods. It is more a reference than a cook book, although it contains many recipes.

    One warning: although some of the reviews I have seen call this an introduction, it will not be of much help to those who buy, for example, the introductory Betty Crocker cookbooks that explain such things as how to boil an egg.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    good rainy day book

    enjoyed for fun

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Highly Recommended--you must check it out.

    Have a granddaughter who is going to culinery school and Julia Childs was my favorite cook. I learned alot from her T.V. program long ago.
    I gave my gran-daughter some of my books and decided to get a few new ones of her own. Julia"s Kitchen Wisdom has great idea"s for a new person learning to cook with good idea's. The stock was and is always a first thing to learn. I did it and now her too.
    I give this book a 10 star.

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  • Posted October 1, 2012

    A true piece of wisdom

    I agree with most of what previous reviewers have expressed so I'll keep it short.

    This is, indeed, an extraordinary book. It shows it was written after a lifetime of cooking in the sense that Mrs. Child was evidently aware of the changes in available ingredients, equipment and food trends, and deftly avoided dating herself and concentrated in what was tried and true. This book is probably be as useful 20 years from now as it was when it was first published, about a decade ago.

    I am not sure this book will be helpful for the very new and inexperienced cooks (another reviewer suggested Betty Crocker and I may agree with that). A couple of years finding your way around your kitchen, defining your own personal values and getting acquainted with your equipment and knowing the ingredients you can buy will certainly help appreciate this book better, as it contains the answers to many questions you may have (I personally found the list of tips to brown meat definitely revealing).

    In all, I would say this book is an essential addition to the thoughtful home cook's personal library and will surely pass the test of time with honors.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    love this book

    such a good book and movie

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2011

    I love this book!

    Whether you are just learning or an experience cook, this book is a wonderful reference. Great basic recipes with variations.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    A Little Boring.

    My wife is a cook (chef) and she found the book boring. It is in her cookbook collection, and will probably stay there. There is nothing like her original book for a read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    After the movie

    Saw the movie, thought this the perfect gift for daughter-in-law Julie.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 16, 2010

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    Posted March 10, 2010

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