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Channeling our inner Julia Child's

by Janet Carson March 5, 2020 at 2:10 p.m.

I purchased a two-night stay at Mountain Harbor at a silent auction last fall and we decided this was the perfect girls get-away to rest, relax and cook. We decided to make all our meals ala Julia Child. We met in advance to plan our meals and we chose her most iconic dishes, coq au vin and beef bourguignon for our dinner choices and a breakfast souffle with oatmeal and fresh fruit for our first breakfast. Everyone bought the ingredients for their dish and of course, added a few extra things in, so my car looked like it was packed for a months stay instead of 3 days and 2 nights. We will not go hungry.

We made some fun stops on our drive down (and bought more stuff) and finally arrived mid-afternoon. We had a lovely condo and we unpacked and settled in.

As dinnertime got closer, we put on our pearls and aprons and channeled our inner Julia Child and Bon Appetit!

We rocked coq a vin!

Chris and I had never cut up a whole chicken before---I buy parts, pre-cut usually and Chris buys boneless. But since Julie specified a whole chicken, a whole chicken we had---and it was a big one.

Luckily for us, Margaret grew up on a farm and could have even plucked the chicken, but we got it at a grocery store and not fresh from the farm, so she just had cutting instructions this time. Once the chicken was cut, I was seasoning it with fresh peppercorns and salt. I had brought a small pepper grinder, and when I ground it, the lid fell off and a whole host of peppercorns flowed in.

We took it in Julia stride and said Bon Appetit. We are fairly certain that they may want to issue a change in the original recipe to add in extra peppercorns and take out a few extra bones--it was that good.

We first boiled then browned some lardons (big pieces of bacon), then browned the chicken in with the lardons and peppercorns. Did I mention we had quite a few peppercorns? Once we had the chicken browned we transferred it to the dutch oven, and flamed it with cognac.

Then we added in some vegetables, bouquet garni (we made our own),

brought it to a boil, then covered it and let it simmer. At the end we added in a roux, pearled onions and mushrooms.

While that was cooking we roasted some fingerling potatoes

and asparagus.

We had a feast!

We visited and enjoyed a fire for the rest of the evening.

When we arrived we had issues with our hot water in the kitchen, but they came and fixed it as we were cooking. As I cleaned up and loaded the dishwasher, I found the dishwasher didn't have any power. We called this morning and they came and decided our unit needed a new dishwasher, so they moved us and upgraded us to a lovely cottage. Before we left, we had our breakfast souffle.

It was outstanding. Margaret separated the eggs and beat the whites into stiff peaks.

She cooked the oatmeal and added in the egg yolks and some brown sugar, then folded in the egg whites.

She put it into a souffle dish with fresh berries in the middle,

then baked it. It was light and fluffy and oh so good.

We cleaned up and reloaded the car (still pretty full) and moved.

After settling in, Margaret and I went on a hike.

It is a spectacular day.

We went for a drive and lunch out, and now are relaxing before tackling beef bourguignon tonight. I think Julia would be proud!


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