Julia Child Died For All of Our Sins
Choosing me to answer all of your cooking questions in a cooking column should make everyone ask what kind of shitshow they’re running over here at MUNCHIES, but let’s give this a shot.
Editor's Note: MUNCHIES receives an avalanche of questions about food and cooking every week, so we've rolled up our sleeves and enlisted the help of the mysterious Internet food blogger, Shit Food Blogger, to give us a helping hand. Twice a month, Shit Food Blogger is here to answer all of your culinary questions in his brand new column, Shitty Food, from the totally tasteless to the most thoughtful that would make Alain Ducasse blush. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Shit Food Blogger" for a chance for him to respond to your earth-shattering kitchen queries.
Choosing me to answer all of your cooking questions in a cooking column should make everyone ask what kind of shitshow they're running over here at MUNCHIES, but let's give this a shot.
Here's what you should know about me:
- I have lots of strong opinions about food despite having no formal training. I am deeply aware of my own incompetence, but I don't let it stop me.
- I know the perfect recipes for carrot cake and pie crust.
- I almost never eat at restaurants, so when I do, I expect that shit to be tight.
- I am needy as fuck.
- I am also DTF.
I'm grouping questions by topic. To kick things off, the questions below are all about Julia Child. People fucking love Julia Child. If you're unfamiliar with her, she's like Jesus, but with a cleaver and some killer techniques for sauces. She's a looming presence in the minds of many home cooks, and since her death in 2004, her role as food saint has become even stronger. And people have questions.
MUNCHIES Reader: I love Julia Child. I have seen that Julie & Julia movie with Meryl Streep and an upsetting Amy Adams. I've never read her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Do you think I should buy it? Shit Food Blogger: Never buy a cookbook you haven't taken on a test drive from the library. Most cookbooks are garbage—heavy garbage that collects dust and weigh us down. And most recipes are meaningless wastes of our time and money. None of this is to say that Mastering the Art of French Cooking isn't worth purchasing. But I've never read it. I'm not ready to make room for it in my life. And until I'm ready to move a book or two off the shelf, I don't deserve to read it. Neither do you.
I should also point out that movies are not cookbooks, and Amy Adams is wonderful in everything, so fuck off.
I made Julia's recipe for puff pastry dough. It required me to spend a stupid amount of time making something that was not at all better than the frozen stuff. What should I do? You should go to Trader Joe's and buy all of their frozen puff pastry around Thanksgiving. It's a seasonal product, so stock up for the year. I have a chest freezer at home and one side is dedicated to puff pastry and the other side is full of TJ's chocolate croissants. Aim lower in life, and you'll be much happier. And you won't spend so much time on bullshit.
Following Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I prepared bisque with whole shrimp, using heads and shells for the stock. Watching their black eyes whirl around in the blender turned my stomach against trying it, so I basically made it for my cats. I know all the shell fragments were removed when I pressed the blender contents through a sieve, but I expect the eyes got through in some form. Was it foolish of me to forego sampling the result of my cooking lesson? Yes, you were foolish. Certainly negligent. But not for the reasons you think.
Before we go any further, I need to state that I'm worried about your cats. Bisque of any sort for them is a terrible idea (so much cream). These shrimp brutalized the intestinal systems of your cats. And in your moment of repulsion with hundreds of eyes watching you, you thought to yourself, I lack moral fortitude. I need acceptance. This pureed shrimp smells like something my cats will love because I feel bad about myself. You are treating your cats as an emotional dumping ground. And I think you're doing the same with the shrimp.
If you were dumping those shrimp into a blender without their horrible eyes staring at you, do you think for one goddamn second you wouldn't have eaten the fuck out of that bisque? You would have. In the US, we remove all indicators that we've paid someone to enact violence on our food. We want to be good. We want to be nice. Those shrimp don't give two fucks about you. They never did. Eating is an act of aggression. Every time I open a bag of hot wing pretzel bites, I'm asserting dominance over wheat, hot sauce, and a lot of bad personal choices. But all you're asserting is your neediness.
The next time you visit your therapist or your mom, I want you to unpack what is driving this need for acceptance by your cats, so much so that you're willing to jeopardize their intestinal health. You are willing to hurt others in attempts to draw them closer to you. That's some sociopathic shit you're dealing out to those around you.
Be thankful for these shrimp, these little bugs of sadness and self-loathing. Go through the swirl of hundreds of eyes and be better.