Tonight we are having Quiche au Fruits de Mer for dinner in honor of Julia Child's birthday.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit I used a frozen deep dish pie shell instead of making that from scratch, but the rest of it took less than 15 minutes to throw together and 30 minutes to bake.)
The first two cookbooks I ever bought were The French Chef Cookbook, the companion book for the early Julia Child series on WGBH years and years ago, and one of the many, many versions of the Fannie Farmer cookbook. Later, I gave myself Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and this quiche recipe is the first thing I ever made from it. It was a roaring success and has stayed in my repertoire ever since.
While there have been many versions of the Fannie Farmer cookbook and The Joy of Cooking and the Better Homes & Garden red plaid book (and I have a lot of them), there has been only one Mastering, volumes I and II. That alone speaks to its success--after all, why mess with perfection? And I love the fact that if you do exactly what the book says to do, you will be successful on this day, in this kitchen, when nothing else is going well.
Several years ago, several compilations of the French Chef series came out on DVD, and they came to live with me. On days when nothing seems to be going as it should, when the world seems off-kilter I can plug in one of Julia's episodes and feel that all is well, or will be, with just a few hours of slicing and chopping and stirring and mixing. With Julia at my side, I do believe I could present a roast suckling pig to my household! (I doubt I would, but I think I could.)
From Julia I learned you can do anything if you have the strength of your convictions (even flip an omelet), that what happens in the kitchen stays in the kitchen, and that finding your passion, no matter what it is and when it appears, will enrich your life immeasurably.
So, Happy Birthday, Julia!! Thank you for sharing your passion and your gusto. And thank you for your crab quiche recipe that makes a Monday-after-work meal a pleasure.