aka “Lessons Learned”
We’re ONE recipe from finishing Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie but we’re taking a break this week because it’s FOOD REVOLUTION DAY!
As a Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Canada, I know a lot of people want to take part but are perhaps not able to participate in an “in person” event so once again, I thought it might be fun to get some global participation with the Doristas taking part virtually, just like we did in 2013 and last year. This year, I asked the Doristas to choose a recipe or a technique they have learned from Around my French Table that they think is a “must know”. I want to know “What did Dorie teach you over the past four years?”
I’ve a confession to make, as well. I actually didn’t plan on making anything for this post – partly because I have been crazy busy over the past couple of weeks leading up to my Food Revolution week activities at school but mainly because I actually really just wanted to sit down and reflect on this journey we’ve been on for the past four and a half years, working our way through this book and really think about what I have learned.
It would be much too hard to talk about every single technique that I have learned over the course of working my way through this book – there are simply far too many… and when it came down to it, every single technique that I started listing came back to one thing. Yes, I can.
Before starting this project, I had not had much luck making my own pastry. Two weeks into the book, I did. successfully for the first time, with Gérard’s mustard tart:
Whilst I’d made choux pastry before, it was making Dorie’s éclairs that got me hooked on choux.
Yup, choux really is easy! Heck, I’ve even taught my boys’ cooking club how to make profiteroles because – psst – they are SO easy!
Make my own pastry? Yes, I can.
Prior to embarking on Around my French Table, I was not very confident cooking duck. Dorie’s not only taught me to master it but also, to appreciate it a little more…
It would be remiss of me to not point out the extraordinary amount of seafood and fish dishes I have cooked from this book. Many longtime readers will know that I am not the biggest seafood or fish fan but I’ve boldly worked my way though every single recipe…
Onto tastier, but not easier things –
Bubble-top brioche? Why, yes, I can make that.
And speaking of bread… Dorie’s taught me to make a meal out of “nothing” (you know, when you have nothing in your fridge). It’s called a tartine…
Dorie’s taught me so much over the course of the past four years. Would I say she’s taught me to cook? Not exactly, but she’s taught me to be confident in the kitchen. She’s taught me to
go rogue experiment (well, there ARE “Bonnes Idées” – or suggestions for changing the dish up – for nearly every recipe!). From the first day of French Fridays with Dorie, when we made gougères, Dorie has been very encouraging and not at all cross when we mess with experiment with her recipes…
And Dorie thought it was brilliant 😉
Interestingly, feeling empowered and having fun are two of the key messages Jamie Oliver‘s trying to get across this Food Revolution Day. This day of global action was created by Jamie Oliver and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it. Jamie passionately believes that by educating children about food and cooking in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves and their future families.
Dorie and the Doristas have given me the confidence to get in the kitchen and just do it. Get cooking, have a go, make mistakes (learn from them) and learn a ton about foods and dishes I never would have tried othewise. This group has inspired me like no other “cook along” group I have been a part of. I’ve had so much fun and learned so much. I know Dorie is proud of us. I bet Jamie would be too…
Let’s inspire governments to do the right thing: Sign It. Share It. Let’s fight for food education for every child #FoodRevolutionDay change.org/jamieoliver
Food Revolution Day is TODAY Friday May 15th – find out how you can get involved right here!