Shut Out of the French Laundry

First it was Julie & Julia author Julie Powell, working her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Now another writer has taken a similar journey. Unable to get a reservation at the French Laundry, Carol has decided to conquer Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook, one recipe at a time. You can follow the adventure on her blog, French Laundry at Home.

As Carol explains, “Anyone can cook from any cookbook out there, but it takes a special kind of nutjob to attempt every recipe in The French Laundry Cookbook.”

Happily for us, she’s a funny nutjob. Witness her comments on the following recipes:

Purée of English Pea Soup with White Truffle Oil and Parmesan Crisps

English Peas are only available for about 6 minutes in April … so when I saw them at Balducci’s, I knew I had to slide this dish into the schedule sooner rather than later. ‘Carol,’ you may ask, ‘do I really have to use English peas to make this soup, or can I just use regular peas instead?’

Don’t make me smack you.

“Candied Apple”: Crème de Farine with Poached Apples and Ice Cream

A little advice from me to you: do NOT try this dish if you are busy. Or not busy. Or have a life … you may look at the recipe, scrutinize the three pages it takes up in the book, and think, ‘well of course I can do this over three days, with just doing a little bit here and there like the book suggests.’ Yeah, I dare you.

Carol’s moving through the book at a good clip. Having originally planned for two years to complete the 100-recipe cookbook, she may now finish in 12 to 18 months. Maybe by then she’ll have been able to procure a reservation. Surely a celebratory dinner is in order for all her hard work.