The Cuisinart, which would have considerably cut the painstaking hand work of mincing, chopping, slicing, and pureeing, had not yet invaded the kitchen, and the Robot-Coupe, its predecessor, was used primarily in restaurants. This dinner was all manual labor.
Dessert continued apace: Chocolate Charlotte Malakoff (I've never been able to identify her), ladyfingers dipped one by one into diluted Cointreau, carefully drained, then placed in a mold that was filled with several cups of whipped cream into which had been stirred chocolate melted in espresso coffee and a bit more Cointreau. It was spectacular to behold as it emerged, the top covered with slivers of dark chocolate. Once more a never-forgotten experience representing more time--and the consumption of another industrial-size vat of cream.
Eager to stretch my legs after hours of lingering over every glorious taste, I wandered into the kitchen. There as far the as the eye could see were dirty dishes stacked on counter spaces, in piles, on the floor--more, many more, than even that all-consuming dinner could have required. My incredulous look elicited the secret of the accumulation: these young men did not believe in doing dishes. Instead they bought them at the Salvation Army for five cents each, and when the kitchen reached a bursting point and there was no room to begin the next go-around of Julia's recipes, they threw them away.
Talk about a consciousness-expanding experience--it was wild, way beyond the wild mushrooms and research that Andy and my late husband, Norman Zinberg, were conducting on marijuana. I had wandered into a new world.
So more than 40 years ago, Julie Powell had her antecedents. And what became of them? Andy grew up to be Dr. Andrew T. Weil, the major force in integrative medicine and healthy-lifestyle guru to millions, a brilliant cook, for decades a vegetarian (eats fish), a self-sustaining gardener, and the author of many books that have had a profound impact on the way we live. His twelfth,
Why Our Health Matters
, arrived today.
Throughout his life Woody--Woodward Adams Wickham, Jr.--gardened and cooked with equal skill at his conservation-based home in Montana and at the homes of his multitudes of friends, including, frequently, Andy (whose philanthropic foundation he chaired). He spent seven years in Mexico and became--not surprisingly, being an anthropologist and later a professor at Puebla University--an expert on every aspect of Mexican farming and cooking. As the vice president of the MacArthur Foundation he oversaw the production of
and many other independent films, and worked tirelessly for public broadcasting. Sadly, he died early this year, but his commitment to nature and the environment has been memorialized in the creation of an outdoor butterfly museum at the Botanical Museum in Chicago.