Okay, we admit the idea for this new blog theme isn’t original; in fact,it was while watching Julie and Julia that we first pondered it. Working our way through a cookbook,with the proviso that every dish served be given a fair taste test by each and everyone – no pikers allowed, seemed like a great way to revitalise the Homestead dining table while revelling in the joy of a (nearly) finished kitchen. Who knows what new tastes we may discover! But whose cookbook to use? Actually, this decision proved a bit of a no-brainer.
Tui Flower, just like Julia Child, braved the male dominated Paris kitchens of the 1950’s to learn her art but then, unlike her American counterpart, she brought it home to all of us. For nineteen years, she was the Food Editor running the test kitchen at The New Zealand Women’s Weekly and both The Bean Counter and Milk Maid remember thumbing through their Mum’s copy (because back then, everyone got The Weekly) marvelling that people actually ate that sort of stuff: garlic and wine, cumin and blade mace, tomato paste and cream sauces…it was a whole different world!
The Sous Chef was rather taken with the bouquet garni
Via Trade Me, we managed to locate a second hand copy of her first book, Tui Flower’s Cookbook published in 1968, and then a great deal of debate ensued before the first meal was decided: Boeuf Bourguignon with creamy mashed potatoes as recommended.
followed by French Fruit Tart.
The verdict: all seven of us (yes, seven, because it’s not a party without Princess Nikita) loved the first course, made obvious by the casserole dish being scraped clean. The combination of red wine, garlic, good beef stock and a hint of bacon is such a winner that it will definitely be integrated into our menu.
The Tart was not Farm Girl’s idea of wonderful (she opted for ice cream after a valiant three spoonfuls), but the undignified squabble that arose over her shunned portion spoke for itself. The cream caramel filling was so easy to make and so utterly delicious it could (and will) stand alone as a pud when the cook can’t be bothered mucking around with pastry and meticulous fruit placement.
So, here we sit, tummies full and eyes slightly glazed from contents of the bottle of Merlot it seemed only right to open. Tui Flower’s Friday: it’s definitely a winner with us.