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Restaurant Success and a Book Review

When I got home on Friday, after yet another good workout (5k in 26:30!), I was ready for a tasty dinner. We quickly changed and headed to Dresner’s, which is a restaurant in our neighborhood that The Huz’s family adores. Armed with all of your wonderful suggestions about ordering dinner in a decided non-organic, non-vegetarian restaurant, I felt very comfortable while perusing the menu. Most of the appetizers were red meat or seafood, so I opted for a very nice mixed greens salad with a homemade dressing. It seemed similar to a caesar dressing but was much less creamy and significantly lighter. For dinner, I did end up ordering pasta, but I got a dish filled with vegetables – pasta shells with broccoli, eggplant and roasted tomatoes. The shells were served in a basic red sauce and it was sprinkled very lightly with cheese. Even though it wasn’t vegan, it was pleasantly vegetarian and I enjoyed every bite. Many thanks to everyone for your responses to my post about ordering modified restaurant meals!

Before going to bed, I covered a box of dried chick peas with water and baking soda to prepare for a delicious soup and then I curled up with a new book. I mentioned before that I just finished My Life in France, and can’t say enough about this book!

Even though the book was a joint effort between Julia Child and her husband’s grandnephew, I felt her voice really came through very well. I remember watching her show when I was little and loved her bubbly tone and cheerful spirit. The love she had for her husband, her work, and all of Paris, was so clear and so beautiful articulated that I must have read close to half of the book to The Huz in small portions. The descriptions she gave of her most memorable meals, the fantastic places she lived, and all the challenges she faced as an American living in Paris were so exquisite that I felt transported right into her kitchen and could almost smell the savory stock and loaves of bread she toiled over. (No joke, in her search for the perfect French bread recipe, she estimated that she and Paul went through almost 250 pounds of flour. Now THAT’s some serious carb love!)

My only issue with the book was really rather trivial. As I said, her accounts of many luxurious, decadent meals was so detailed and so in tune with my senses that it sometimes seemed like I could actually smell or taste the food she was describing. While this was pure heaven for much of the book, many of her meals did center around a meat of some variety and her descriptions of those dishes were just as impressive. As someone who hasn’t eaten much meat of late, I wasn’t thrilled to read about the specifics of meat preparation and so on. I’m not going to go into this further, but I’m sure you understand what I suggesting.

My complaint aside, I can highly recommend this book to almost any foodie, though cause-driven vegans might want to pass, or skim some section with a bit more haste.

Now I’m reading Once a Runner by John L. Parker, Jr. and I’ll be sure to let you know what I think!

I think I’m going to spend the rest of the day relaxing, reading and writing up my soup recipe so check back soon. I hope you’ve had a nice weekend!


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16 Responses

  1. LOL wow, that IS a lot of flour! Dr. Atkins would flip out!

  2. You should read “Born to Run” if you haven’t – I suggest it to everyone who runs! It’s TOTALLY fascinating!

  3. Super fast 5K! Thats great.

  4. oooooohhhh I think I want to read the new book that you are reading!

  5. I’ll have to try Dresner’s! I’m going to look it up. And you may have just possibly inspired me to make some soup today – it sounds so yummy on this cold, cold day. I’ll email you tomorrow so we can figure out our schedule for our run tomorrow night! Have a great Sunday!

  6. based on your insightful review of “My Life in France,” I’m going to add that book to my reserve list at the NYPL. I agree, Julia Child had a charm that remains unmatched and genuine. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Enjoy your relaxation! Also, great job on the run!

  7. Glad you were able to get a great meal!

  8. I love good book reviews – thanks so much for this! I’m always on the lookout…

  9. I just started Once A Runner too!! I can’t wait to see what you think!!

  10. I must have blocked out the part of the meat preparation! I did enjoy that book too – much more so than Julie & Julia.

  11. I loved Once a Runner! So glad it’s back in print 🙂

  12. Love Julia Child. Mostly I wanted to move into her country house in France. HJ and I spent an afternoon in the fall wandering around Cambridge to find her house on Irving Street. I just always appreciated the fact that she insisted on doing things her way. Counters too short? Build new ones! Don’t have the right kind of flour? Use this other kind! Women aren’t professional chefs? Think again, buster! That and the fact that she didn’t start becoming “Julia Child” as the world knew her until she was 37, proving that it’s never too late to be who you want to be. It’s inspiring.

    • Yes to all of your points. How amazing that she made her name at 37? It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s too late to chase your dream once you’re out of college and have been working for a few years. Perhaps there’s still hope 🙂

  13. Now that I’ve seen Julie & Julia (and researched Julie Powell who I do NOT like), I’d love to read this book.

    Plus I read your latest post and as someone who cried over Marley & Me, I don’t know if I can handle a dog story right now. I’ll stick to food! 🙂

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