Happy 100th, Julia!

*photo courtesy of kitchensaremonkeybusiness.com

Today marks what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday!  As a child I spent many a weekend afternoon watching old PBS reruns of Julia Child’s cooking shows.  She had a zest for food that was contagious and everything she made always looked decadent and spectacular.  She lacked self-consciousness and bounded into her recipes with more authenticity than just about any TV personality chef I have seen on television (and I watch my fair share!).  I found her captivating, even in my elementary school years.

My mother was a fan, too.  Being a great cook herself, my mom  had several of her cookbooks in her kitchen bookcase.  She consulted them for a handful of favorites that she would make when entertaining.  One of the standouts was Julia’s Gateau de Crepes from her Julia Child and More Company book.  This gorgeous dish resembles a layer cake, only it’s bound with crepes and filled with savory things like swiss cheese and sautéed mushrooms.  It was Mom’s perennial favorite for Easter Brunch.  Many years ago her cookbook went missing, but I was fortunate to find a replacement on Ebay from a kind man in Hawaii.  It was my first Ebay experience and one I will never forget as I anxiously awaited this vintage book and hoped that this Ebay thing wasn’t a huge racket!  It arrived safe and sound and Easter Gateau resumed.

Gateau de Crepes

Ingredients

For the crepe batter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Vegetables and Cheese for Filling

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • I lb fresh mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons shallots
  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli (about a pound)
  • 2 cups shredded grated Swiss cheese

Custard Mixture for Filling

  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of fresh nutmeg to taste

Rosie from Kitchens are Monkey Business photographs and describes the process better than I ever could!  Click here to see her beautiful work!

http://www.kitchensaremonkeybusiness.com/2010/12/rosie-makes-julias-gateau-des-crepes.html

The thrill of the trade

I am not a fan of wastefulness.  I don’t like wasting food, wasting resources, and I definitely don’t like wasting money.  That’s why it was such a disappointment that the awesome, perfect laptop bag we bought turned out to be too tight of a fit for our equipment.  This pricey, sleek bag became a source of stress as we tried to jam our notebook, cords and folders within.  Not the end of the world, but for a person like me who really dislikes making bad purchasing decisions, it haunted me.  I found another great bag that would fit all our needs, but felt guilty about the other near-perfect bag I spent cash on and wanted to make sure it went to a good home!  The solution?  Investing 5 minutes of my time with my camera and Ebay, I was able to list and sell my smaller bag to someone who would appreciate it and I made more than a few bucks to help cover the cost of the new bag, too 🙂  You don’t have to be a career Ebay seller to do this.  It’s simple and safe, and Ebay walks you through all the details.  If I can do it – you can do it.  So, next time you run across an item that doesn’t live up to your needs, give it a try!

Here are a few tips:

1. Take a few great pictures, showing the item from multiple items.  Multiple photos cost extra money for your listing, but they give buyers confidence that they know what they are buying.

2. Don’t waste money on a bunch of upgrades.  In my opinion, it doesn’t pay off and it takes more of your precious time.

3. Have an idea of the shipping cost of an item.  Some items are so bulky and heavy the cost won’t be attractive to a buyer and it may end up being hassle for you, too.

4. Give a great description, include dimensions, etc.

5. Be HONEST.  If it’s not new, don’t say it is, and if it has a flaw of any sort, declare it.  Karma, people!!