Today is my husband's birthday. It's been a "sucky" year; our youngest daughter Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy in March, my husband left is job the end of July and a relocation is in our future, and our oldest daughter and her husband have had a set back in adopting their daughter, Maddie, from Taiwan. My mother would say, "God never gives you more than you can handle..." but, come on!! So today had to be special and the start of good things to come. Kelly is cancer-free and Erin and Michael heard today that their case has been appealed. After seeing the movie "Julie & Julia" for the second time on Sunday, I realized both those women dealt with disappointments and heartache, but cooking got them through it. I decided to turn to Julia to make this day memorable. I've had "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" since the early 80s, but had only made "Le Potiron Tout Rond", translated, Pumpkin Soup, which by the way is delicious. In the movie, Julie Powell makes the "Reine de Saba" [Chocolate and Almond Cake] and she and her husband dig in with their forks and literally go into esctasy. The cake is so easy to make, with few ingredients, but the result, well...unbelieveable to say the least. I don't think I've ever tasted anything like it and with every bite, we all kept saying, "Oh my God!"
Feeling quite pleased with my accomplishment, I also made the "Beurre Blanc" [White Butter Sauce] to accompany fish I made for my husband; his favorite. Butter does make everything better and it certainly made this day a great one; from the entree to the dessert. But, moreover, realizing all the blessings we do have in our lives: family and friends who care about us, is what made this day special.
I have to add, that the directions in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" are so easy to follow. Julia Child was a genius in writing a cookbook "for the servantless American cook who can be unconcerned on occasion with budgets, waistlines, time schedules..." This cake took less than 20 minutes to prepare and baked in 25 minutes and would be a grand finale to any dinner.