Saturday, March 1, 2014

National Peanut Butter Lover's Day - Mar. 1st; Chef Julia Child

For Women's History Month, as I did with African American History Month, I want to feature a female chef every day. And even though these women have achieved some level of acclaim, I also want to call out to every unsung heroine in our past. Cooking for the family has largely fallen to women. (If women should "get back in the kitchen where we belong" why are all the men taking "our" jobs? But that's a rant for another blog...) There are men in our families who cook, dads who take responsibility for feeding the troops, but historically this has been women's work. Celebrate all those women, who may not have been famous, or decorated war heroes, or what have you. They may not have been famous, but they made sure that the men who were were fed. During the Depression, they learned creative ways to stretch scarce resources. During wartime, they coped with rationing. That quiet sort of heroism is the foundation on which later generations grew. Celebrate it.

Why not make a point to seek out older female relatives this month especially and use the time not only for recipes but for history? You may learn amazing things, just by spending some time with them and asking. If you are one of those older women in your family, you don't have to wait for someone to ask you, you can start writing down memories to preserve them. I was too young and foolish to take the time to talk to the women in my family before I lost them, and none of them wrote their memories down. Now it's all gone.

Chef Julia Child
This iconic and award-winning chef, author and television host may be the First Lady of chefs. Her cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking is credited for bringing French cuisine to everyday Americans. She attended the Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris after falling in love with the local cuisine when she and her husband were stationed in France, and later hosted several cooking shows. She founded The Julia Child Foundationfor Gastronomy and Culinary Arts, which “honors her lifelong love of learning, her far-reaching impact as a teacher and mentor, and her passion for gastronomy and the culinary arts.”

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March 1st is Peanut Butter Lover's Day! Here's a recipe for Peanut Butter Pie that was in Grandma's recipe box. The instructions are frustratingly scanty, but that's par for the course. I really don't know if all those ingredients are mixed together, or if the Cool Whip goes on top. (My husband suggested that her recipes were incomplete because, to her, the omitted instructions were obvious. TIP: No matter how obvious to you the instructions might be for your recipes, don't leave steps out!)

Available at Amazon.

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