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Julia's Kitchen Wisdom:
Essential Techniques and Recipes from a Lifetime of Cooking
By Julia Child
ISBN: 0375711856
Publisher: Knopf
Publication date: June 2009
Format: Paperback; Additional formats: Hardcover
Number of recipes: 100+ with variations
List price: $14.95
Type: General; American; French
Sample recipe: Cole Slaw; Salad Niçoise
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive encyclopedia coffee-table
Meal part: breakfast brunch lunch dinner dessert
Competition: outclassed a bit behind in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Variety: too little too much unusual nice mix just right
Practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% ≥80%
# of ingredients: ≤4 ≤7 ≤10 ≤12 >12
Ingredient hunt: airfare required online specialty store supermarket pantry
Recipe complexity: too hard simple medium challenging professional
Instructions: inadequate verbose minimal complete educational
Time conscious: not conscious bald lies white lies realistic scout's honor
Cooking time: weekend project takes all day takes time ≥30 minutes <30 minutes
Added info: zip overwhelming scant ample generous
Photos/drawings: none drawings b&w photos occasional color all color
Art contribution: disappointing distracting decorative beautiful glorious
Recipe results: ≤dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
Nutritional info: none overwhelming hit or miss adequate comprehensive
Format/Ease of Use
Layout: ugh cluttered fine kind work of art
Legibility: unpleasant challenging ok clear brilliant
Production quality: cheesy delicate years of service gift quality stunning
Page numbers: hard-to-find spotty sufficient most pages every page
Table of contents: missing frustrating minimal helpful excellent
Index: none confusing adequate nice a treasure
Page flipping: upsetting tedious acceptable rare never
Writing history: beginner writer/journalist food writer writing cook personality
Cooking heritage: unknown self-taught teacher chef celebrity
Fulfills ambitions: falls short satisfactory successful exceeds home run
Flavor delivered: sad inconsistent tasty delicious exceptional
Overall tone: sterile trying too hard straightforward good friend mom
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it good very good excellent Ochef Top 100

Comments: Julia's Kitchen Wisdom is the next best thing to having a mom (or dad) who can really cook on call to answer every cooking question – which is to say, it's the best thing for most of us. It is essentially Julia Child's notebook from 50 years' of cooking.

It has been released in paperback to roughly coincide with the launch of the film Julie & Julia, based on Julie Powell's book of the same name and Childs's My Life in France.

Not everyone makes Fillets of Sole Meunière or Crêpes Suzette these days, but nearly everyone needs to know how to prep and cook vegetables and how to roast a chicken or leg of lamb. This modest book covers that and a lot more – including soups and sauces; salads and dressings; vegetables; meats, poultry, and fish; eggs, breads, crêpes and tarts; cakes and cookies; as well as sections on essential equipment and culinary definitions (especially French).

Because it involves a certain amount of shorthand, we debated whether this would really be useful for novice cooks, but there's so much useful information, we've decided to recommend it to everyone. Novices will just grow into it. Is that such a bad thing?


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