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Beard, On cooking


highchef
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In the copy of Beards, 'On Cooking'..w/forward by Julia Child.

I read a real diatribe from him about how foul, awful etc. garlic powder was. I cannot find the damn book to quote from, but he was adament about it. So for years I did not touch the stuff. Then I started with rubs, and bought new cook books that called for it and ...well, it has it's place.

Well, now I do use it for rubs, what rules would you break from the cooking Gods?? Maybe I should not be so harsh, but I didn't buy garlic powder for years after his advice, so if you have anything to vent about the "Gods" of cooking, here's your chance! The things you shouldn't do that have changed, the perfect way..that you've found better.. pray tell.

edit: better?

Edited by highchef (log)
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I have a huge amount of respect for Jimmy Beard and the role he played in the history of American cuisine and food culture. Without Beard and Child, this forum may not even exist. Everything I've heard about him shows him to be incredibly endearing and charismatic. If I could turn back the clock and have dinner with him, I think it would be an experience of a lifetime (if Orson Welles could join us that would be fun too!).

That being said, I've been fed Beard recipes and perusing his cookbooks since I was old enough to eat/read, and, I can say for certain... he's no Keller. Culinarily speaking, I would take a lot of what he says with a grain of salt.

Fresh garlic is almost always preferable to dried, but there are a few applications (dry rubs included) where garlic powder is ideal.

Edited by scott123 (log)
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Busboy uses garlic powder.

James Beard also didn't like muffins, but supplies a recipe in which he lets you know he doesn't like them. Born in the state of the Walla-Walla, he also enjoyed eating onions as if they were apples.

When I want to bake muffins, I turn to sources that are a bit more enthusiastic for inspiration. I'll pass on the onion snack, too, even though I am fond of the guy.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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In the copy of Beards, 'On Cooking'..w/forward by Julia Child.

I read a real diatribe from him about how fowl, awful etc. garlic powder was. I cannot find the damn book to quote from, but he was adament about it.

P.S. I do not believe there's any poultry in the stuff.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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James Beard also didn't like muffins, but supplies a recipe in which he lets you know he doesn't like them. 

In his Beard on Bread, he also states he doesn't like sourdough...

Now WHO doesn't like fresh, crusty sourdough bread?!?!? :wacko::wacko::wacko:

go figure.

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I think that the rules have changed enough that there really are only a handful of hard and fast rules left in cooking. The rest is just opinion and preference. If you are an accomplished home cook or a professionally trained chef you typically know what's right and what's wrong and can therefore form your own thoughts on the use of garlic powder and canned chicken broth.

Having said that...I do refer regularly to some of the classics, such as Larousse, Escoffier and Child to ensure authenticity when my cooking calls for it. Everyone needs a base of knowledge and skill to start from but individuality is what makes cooking fun!

Lefty Ruggiero to Donnie Brasco: "Anywhere you go, all around the world, all the best cooks are men."

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Busboy uses garlic powder.

And without apology!

Though not, generally, for "real" cooking.

I never view texbooks as religious texts --not even Kellers' -- and so have no problem disregarding advice I disagree with. I always thought that was the great thing about being the chef in the family -- everything tastes the way you think it should.

The only two professionals whose word I take as absolute gospel are Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.

I don't want to make your head explode or anything, but there's a great cookbook by Julia and Jacques called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home in which the dynamic duo present conflicting recipes for the same dishes, meaning you'll have to take either one as the gospel or the other -- but not both. It's kind of like when mommy and daddy fight, or when there's one pope in Avignon and another in Rome. Very troubling.

Not, perhaps, coincidentally, when cooking from the book my wife often chooses on approach while I choose the other. No gender correlation established yet.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I don't want to make your head explode or anything, but there's a great cookbook by Julia and Jacques called Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home in which the dynamic duo present conflicting recipes for the same dishes, meaning you'll have to take either one as the gospel or the other -- but not both.

I have Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, and it's one of my favorite cook books! I don't think their differences conflict with as much as compliment each other.

The Amazon.com review of the dvd companion to the book says it best:

"The complete Emmy Award-winning series. 10 hours, 22 Episodes and over 85 recipes. Julia Child and Jacques Pepin join together with fire, fun and culinary genius in what has become another classic hit for public television. Viewers are charmed by the special magic America’s favorite cooking duo conjures up in Julia’s legendary kitchen and enticed by the mouth-watering great food they prepare and enjoy. Julia’s and Jacques’ warmth and conviviality shine through the programs along with their spirit, whimsy and remarkable skills, as they offer techniques, tastes and recipes at the heart of today’s cooking. From Hamburgers and Halibut to Chicken Pot Pie and Artichokes, they reach the hearts of the audience who loves them for their easy camaraderie, step-by-step instructions and great talent."

SB (simply MUST get the dvd!)

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I never view texbooks as religious texts --not even Kellers' -- and so have no problem disregarding advice I disagree with.  I always thought that was the great thing about being the chef in the family -- everything tastes the way you think it should.

This is exactly what I love about cooking, and what can often be frustrating about eating food you haven't cooked. I have a really hard time relinquishing control in the kitchen because I want everything done MY way. Good thing my husband doesn't cook. But, I suspect this would make me a bad cooking instructor. It's great to have strong opinions about how food should be prepared and taste, but they're just opinions. Sometimes trying something someone else's way can be very enlightening.

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I think it all has to do with flavor. Garlic powder has a vastly different taste than fresh minced garlic, which is different than fresh pressed garlic, and sliced garlic is a whole 'nuther animal all together. Etc! :laugh: I normally HATE margarine of any sort, but one of my recipes just does NOT taste "right" made with anything else. It's all subjective, IMHO.

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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James Beard also didn't like muffins, but supplies a recipe in which he lets you know he doesn't like them. 

In his Beard on Bread, he also states he doesn't like sourdough...

Now WHO doesn't like fresh, crusty sourdough bread?!?!? :wacko::wacko::wacko:

go figure.

Carolyn,

He would have loved sourdough if it was soaked in bourbon!

Tim

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I really did not mean any disrespect to the man, but when I was learning to cook, I took the professionals that were published (way before FNW and their slew of cooks each wrote numerous books) very seriously. I only called them gods, well because back then they were the only way to learn 'the right way' of doing things. There really wasn't that much to choose from. Julia Child's French Chef, and the Joy of Cooking, the above mentioned Beard on Food. There was that crazy man who seemed half lit all the time, Galloping Gourmet??? And to top it off, all the cooking shows were on PBS, which was (is?) the educational channel. It was very weighty stuff for me to venture into. I actually had to leave the comfort of Betty Crocker! That said, please understand that It was not meant in a religious way at all..but then you all probably figured that out!

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James Beard also didn't like muffins, but supplies a recipe in which he lets you know he doesn't like them. 

In his Beard on Bread, he also states he doesn't like sourdough...

Now WHO doesn't like fresh, crusty sourdough bread?!?!? :wacko::wacko::wacko:

go figure.

But I love it that Beard comes right out and says he doesn't like something. It's refreshing in a perverse sort of way. I'd love to hear his voice as the Ghost of Food Trends Past ... :wink:

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