Cooks and Notebooks

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About two years ago I got an email from the props manager of the production company for “Julie and Julia.” The movie was based on the best-selling book, “365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” written by Julie Powell about her year-long attempt to cook all the 524 recipes   in Julia Child’s masterpiece, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”

“I am specifically looking for the notebooks,” the email began, “that would have been used by Julia as she pursued her culinary studies at the Cordon Bleu. She as a voracious student and note taker. Paul, her husband, was also an artist. He kept a sketchbook, probably a Clairefontaine notebook, in his pocket at all times.   Both Paul and Julia kept daily journals.”

The props manager asked if Clairefontaine could supply her with vintage notebooks–using the type of covers on Clairefontaine notebooks when Julia Child was in Paris in the 1950s.   The   Clairefontaine archivist did supply some period notebooks, and we were all excited about the prospect of seeing Meryl Streep writing in our notebooks. But alas, the footage ended up on the cutting room floor.

J. D. Eames, good friend and playwright, recommended Clairefontaine and Habana notebooks to Maggie Green, a chef, culinary arts expert and owner of The Green Apron Company, a consulting firm specializing in culinary nutrition and cookbook development.

I heard back from Maggie that she liked the notebooks a lot, and very kindly sent me a copy of her new book, “The Kentucky Fresh Cookbook.”   A native Kentuckian, she loves her beautiful Bluegrass state with its rich culinary traditions and regional foods. The 200+ recipes in the cookbook are grouped by month – January through December – with different foods based on the seasonal ingredients, holidays and special family occasions.

For the month of May, I’m planning to try “Burgoo,” which I heard growing up was a Scots-Irish dish; and “Split Grilled Chicken” on Memorial Day Weekend.

You can read more about the cookbook here.

Is there a link between paper and food? Do people who enjoy the sensual experience of using paper also appreciate cooking and eating good food more than someone who is less tactile? I think so – what do you think?

One thought on “Cooks and Notebooks

  1. Mollie Katzen’s The Moosewood Cookbook was based on her early journal/sketchbook about vegetarian cooking and has charming sketches and hand lettering.

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