Friday, May 29, 2015

Sepia Saturday: Julia's Kitchen



This week's prompt suggests kitchens, pies, colour slides. Pardon the Canadian spelling.

I thought about this photo of Julia Child in her kitchen in "La Pitchoune", her house in France in Provence, not far from Grasse. The room as described in Travel and Leisure: "The walls are covered with Peg-Board, upon which hangs an armory of cooking equipment: saucepans and frying pans of all sizes, ladles, spoons, sieves, and springform cake pans, whisks, mallets, can openers, corkscrews, and measuring cups, knives, scissors, colanders, potato ricers, and a hand-cranked meat grinder. Each object is outlined in black, so when you take something down, you know exactly where to put it back."



La Pitchoune - you can rent it!
And here's my nephew last year in the very same Julia's kitchen in the south of France. The family rented the house next door to "La Pitchoune" for a summer vacation. Little could have pleased my nephew more than wandering around this hallowed ground for cooks. Things have changed from the days when a self-respecting man wouldn't set foot in the kitchen.


Ah....the good old days.
What a great guy!




And finally, here's my nephew's mother and me at a cooking school in Bali earlier this year. Zuzu has an enormous repertoire of chicken recipes she perfected when her kids were growing up. Now she cooks mostly for pleasure or when it's a novelty, or a cultural experience as it is in Bali. Or when the recipes involve plenty of wine and the conviviality of chopping away with your good friends and people you love.  





Debra taking the second chopping shift.
After our delicious Balinese lunch, we escaped with no dish washing duty. I shudder to think of how the kitchen might have looked after preparing meals in 1896 when this dishwasher was offered for sale. 

And an added bonus - the modern woman's guide to roasting chicken, 

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Shallots, and Potatoes
6 servings
Drive to Costco. Park and enter store, showing membership card at door. Walk to deli department and purchase perfectly roasted chicken for $4.99. Drive home and portion onto paper plates. If possible select a modern craft beer to serve with the chicken. Perhaps a pleasant feminine brew like My Asis. 


  • 1 3½ to 4 pound chicken
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • olive oil
  • 1½ pounds small red potatoes, washed
  • 2 heads garlic, cut in half, crosswise
  • 6 large shallots, root ends trimmed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Season the inside cavity of the chicken and tuck in a few sprigs or thyme or rosemary and a bay leaf. Rub the outside with olive oil and season with more salt and pepper. Transfer to a roasting pan, large enough to hold the chicken, potatoes, garlic and shallots.
Scatter the potatoes, shallots, garlic and a few sprigs of fresh herbs, around the chicken, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the chicken broth and about 1/4 cup olive oil over the vegetables. Bake for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, turning the vegetables half way through the cooking time. Bake until the juices in the thigh run yellow when tested with the tip of a knife.

19 comments:

  1. Oh, you truly are my kind of gal. Love your recipe for roast chicken with garlic, shallots, & potatoes - especially the part where you included the actual recipe all crossed out. Very clever & fun!

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    1. Who among us with a Costco within 50 miles would roast a chicken at home? I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe.

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  2. Great to find Julia Child's kitchen here, her place is so organized that I wish I could have a similar one for my home! I loved the nice touch to this post of featuring the vintage adverts - especially the PEP vitamins for the busy housewife. Had fun with your post here. Happy blogging!

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    1. I'd love to have the peg board too, but dusting all that stuff would be a nightmare where I live. You have to using the items all the time and I'm afraid I'm down to using a wooden spoon, a non-stick frying pan and a sharp knife!!! Retired, in every sense of the word.

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  3. Oh my gosh, how fun this was, your pictures are great too, and my favorite of course is the chef and his wife!

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  4. Well you had me there for a second. I'm off to find Costco!

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  5. What sexist ads they were. It's good that men cook more now, but male chefs do rather tend to be prima donnas, and are a bit overrated by the media, in my humble opinion.

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  6. I love the retro ads. The coffee oatmeal stout sounds good--I wonder whether they sell it here.

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  7. I loved the movie Julie and Julia...I think that was the title. So fun. The ads are so retro and sexist (as Jo said). That's neat your nephew got to go in Julia's kitchen. I've got a small pegboard in my kitchen (no outlines for me) and love how I get so much storage in the tiny room.

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    1. Julia led a fascinating life and lived in great places. She ended up in Santa Barbara for her last years.

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  8. Wow, that was a post that had everything in it but the kitchen sink --- so they say. Love Julia's house, what a treat to have been in that kitchen. Also gave a few snarky giggles to the ads --- especially the one about not burning the beer.

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    1. She had a tiny stove that barely came up to her hips...a couple of tiny burners..and she did all the recipe testing there. Some of her recipes took as any as 60 times before she was satisfied.

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  9. All those kitchens. There have been so many TV cooking shows over the years but the one that sprang to mind was Delia's kitchen All that lovely white.

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  10. That peg board with outlines of all the tools in black reminds me very much of the workshop at my Dad's work when I was growing up. What vivid images that brings back - nothing to do with cooking, though, more about carpentry and making carts, etc.

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    1. I installed a mechanics tool chest in my kitchen for all the small tools...knives and gadgets.
      Works very well and men love it.

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  11. How wonderful to stand in Julia’s kitchen. I’d never heard of the lady until I saw the film: she was quite a character. Do tell me those ads are a spoof!

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  12. I remember watching Julia Child on tv. I hope the "Julie and Julia" movie is accurate because it made me appreciate her contributions. I'm not a great cook, but I do like chopping. I watch the chefs on tv for my education on how to hold the knife and chop away.

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  13. Oh, you use the same chicken recipe I use! Small world.

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  14. You know I would love the roast chicken recipe!
    Zuzu's son is so handsome! What a treat it must have been for him to go to Julia's house!
    Loved the ads.
    Barbara

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