Right before summer ended I dragged Big Daddy to see the movie, Julie and Julia. We enjoyed it very much. The movie made me cry and think back on all of the wonderful memories I have of Cremaldi’s.
Julia Child was a friend of my mother and father. We have a 20 x 24 Polaroid picture, taken by photographer, (and friend extraordinaire) Elsa Dorfman, hanging in our kitchen. It was one of many Elsa Dorfman’s 20 x 24 photos, that hung on the walls at Cremaldi’s, for over a decade. In the photo dated, October 18, 1988, Julia’s husband Paul, my father Cosmo, my mother Catherine and Julia (towering over all of them) stand, smiling with their arms crossed, in typical Julia style.
I remember one story my mother tells about the night my parents were invited to the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University for a special tribute to Julia. They started off the evening at Julia’s house, where they were served goldfish crackers and cocktails. Then they were of to the library where my parents were seated on either side of Julia in the front row. Half way through the tribute Julia fell into a deep sleep. Everyone started whispering and staring at the sleeping icon. The evening continued without interruption even though it was obvious that the honoree was not listening! The night was over and many people clambered around Julia offering to take her back home to Irving Street. She insisted that my dad Cosmo escort her home. In the car, Julia fell back into a deep sleep in the front seat, and my mother started snoring from the back seat.
Another time Julia invited my parents to a new Italian restaurant. The chef/owner was Danish. He had super blonde hair and a thick Danish accent. Julia asked my parents to accompany her into the kitchen to meet the owner and to try to figure out why a Danish man owned an Italian restaurant! Not noticing the large “OUT” letters on the swinging kitchen door, Julia casually walked through and in her unique high pitched tone, asked the man “What qualifies you to be an Italian cook?” He responded “I took a two week course in Italy.” In her usual pleasant yet blasé manner, Julia smiled, accepted the answer and went back to the dining room.
We have lots of Julia stories. I remember one of the first times I met her. For some reason it was decided that Julia would sign thousands of copies of her new book, Baking with Julia, at Cremaldi’s??? No body filled me in on the plan and I went down to my dad’s office to grab something. When I opened the door there she was, Julia Child, surrounded by stacks of her own cookbook. She looked up and said “well hello!” I was so nervous. I am sure my mouth was hanging open. She very kindly signed one of the books to me with a big heart and arrow and her famous words “Bon Appetite!”
I decided that I wanted to honor our friend Julia and the movie. Julia’s traditional Quiche Lorraine in Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is one of my favorites. In the United States we have morphed quiche into all kinds of shapes and styles. Some are thin and have pretty fluted edges, some are made with puff pastry dough, and some are even free form. The fillings in quiche have become as far out as cupcake flavors in trendy cupcake bakeries.
I want to honor tradition… the multiple sticks of butter, the numerous eggs, large amounts of heavy cream, and pounds of bacon. Characteristics that have made Lorraine the first word to pop out when conducting word association with Quiche. I want to make Julia proud! Bon Appetite!
Pâte Brisée Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking:
3 tbsp chilled vegetable shortening
2 pinches of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and place in pastry shell/ring. You can do this one of two ways…fold circle of dough into quarters and place in ring. Unfold dough carefully (method I used) or you can pick up dough using your rolling pin and lay over ring carefully fit down into bottom of shell.
6-8 slices bacon
1 quart of water
8 inch partially cooked pastry shell placed on baking sheet
1 1/2 to 2 cups whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of Pepper
Pinch of Nutmeg
1-2 Tbsp butter cut into pea sized dots
I added Emmenthaler Cheese to my Quiche Lorraine making it Quiche Lorraine au Fromage de Gruyere. I also decided to add sliced onions
2 onions – light coat the bottom of a saute pan with canola oil. Cover onions low flame and let onions release water. Uncover and sweat for 30 mins until tender
Cut bacon into pieces about an inch long. Simmer for 5 minutes in the water Rinse in cold water, dry on paper towels and brown lightly in a skillet
(this step is optional)
Layer bacon on bottom of par baked pastry shell
At this point I covered bacon with 1/2 cup of grated Emmenthaler and the onions
Beat eggs, cream, milk and seasonings in mixing bowl until blended. Pour into shell.
I covered the top with another 1/2 cup of grated Emmenthaler
Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until quiche has puffed and browned. Remove ring. Let cool before slicing.