“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child
Last week it hit me: I’m 15 weeks from turning 30. Sigh. 30 is hard. Just saying “thirty” feels very serious and settled.
So I decided to make a list…a happy list to distract me. A PROJECT. I love a project. Lists, planning, errands, research…fulfillment. And, there is currently a project void in my life. Sadly, I am not allowed to plan my own wedding every year. (judge away)
So, the project list started as a list of things to do. I got to about #11. Ummm, it was boring. Really boring. Honestly…one of the items was “match white paint in the living room”. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Then, on the morning commute…I got it.
30 quintessential recipes. Pillars of cooking. Dishes you make and feel like you’ve accomplished something when you set them on a table…as if you’ve reached some sort of unwritten kitchen goal. You’ve created something unlike any other food…you can boldly proclaim to Facebook “_____ successfully made a croquembouche!”*
So here is my list. Some are easy, some are hard. Some are common, some fancy and French.** And I’ve made none of them…yet.
Yes, I realize the Julie/Julia parallels. I’m ok with that….I have my own spin. And I will use the “f” word much less than she did on her blog. You’re welcome, Mom.
So here it is: my list.
30 recipes in 15 weeks in no particular order:
2. Crown Roast/Standing Rib Roast
3. Gravy…seriously, it is harder than it seems
4. Homemade pasta and Bolognese sauce
5. Potato Latkes
6. Hollandaise Sauce
7. Duck l’Orange
8. Some kind of Curry
9. Red Velvet Cake
10. Real Fried Chicken
11. Salmon on a Plank
12. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
13. Soft pretzels
14. Lobster…as in, a live lobster
15. Soupe de poisson or similarly, bouillabaisse
16. Chicago Style pizza
17. Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
18. A “Turducken”- duck in a chicken in a turkey…to coincide with a friend’s special party
19. Sourdough Bread
20. Shepherd’s Pie
21. Coq au vin- fancy and french
22. A really, genuinely good casserole- This IS the Midwest after all
23. Pea Soup from Scratch (going to require a call to mom)
24. Souffle- cheese? chocolate?
25. Real Gumbo (another phone call…to sister in law)
27. Homemade Applesauce
28. Polenta- an Italian essential!
29. Beef Wellington
30. Last but not least: key lime pie.
And so I stand here at the foot of this culinary hill, ready to cook my way up. First up: homemade applesauce!! xoxo
* a mythical French dessert made of little pastries stacked in a pyramid and wrapped in spun sugar. Last seen on a Food Network challenge show with, undoubtedly, a tragic ending.
** does not refer to aforementioned croquembouche.