Friday, November 7, 2014

Julia Child Night Through the Years

'Tis the eve of Julia Child Night #6!  This year, more than any year, I feel like Julia Child Night snuck up on me.  The celebration came fast, but we've actually been in the process of planning it since I arrived back in Minnesota in late May, so it has been in the works for many months.  I stayed with my Julia Child aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks before moving into my apartment so in the evenings we would page through recipes books and ponder the right combination of dishes.  I think we've got an excellent menu planned and tomorrow night is sure to be the most delicious night of the year!

I thought it would be fun to share photos from the last 5 Julia Child Nights!

Year 1

We made paella the first year which is obviously not French but it was a Julia Child recipe and it was delicious!
Voila!  You can see that apron-wearing was part of the tradition from year 1.

In the early years, the kids got pizza.  Now they (mostly) eat what the adults eat with the exception of maybe 1 course.  We are raising young foodies!

I can't get over how young my nephews look in these photos!  This is Matthew, who is now 6 but was about 18 months in this photo!

Year 2
Some of my favorite courses through the years have been the salad courses.  The salad from year 2 had roasted butternut squash on top!  Yum!

We made Beef Bourguignon that year.

The kids are cheersing with their milk.  Love it.

Year 3
My aunt and I

The year 3 salad featured a roasted pear.  It was so good!

The end-of-the-night apron photo started to occur during year 3.

Year 4
In year 4, we really elevated the meal by starting with an amuse bouche of ratatouille, which was so delicious!  We'll use these spoons again this year as we are bringing back the amuse bouche!

There is so much attention to detail, down to the garnish on the soup!

And the apron photo grows as now every lady comes in a pretty apron. I'm partial to ones from Anthropologie!
 Year 5
The year 5 entree was pot au feu which was also a pretty labor intensive but delicious.

We are an equal opportunity kitchen and accept help from the men, some of which don aprons!
The Nicoise salad was the perfect, light salad to offset the heavier main dish

The main course all plated up!  No one goes hungry on JC Night.

My nephews aren't so little anymore.  Soon enough Andrew will be taller than me!
Obligatory end-of-the-night apron photo!

It's crazy to think that all of this was born of a comment I made to my aunt about my desire to learn to cook more difficult recipes.  I love this tradition so much and am glad we've kept it going through the years.  The food is amazing but it's the people that really make the event.  I am extremely thankful for my aunt and uncle - they host it each year and do the heavy lifting and lots of behind the scenes work! 

I also have to pause and say how thankful I am that I am once again a local participant in this tradition instead of having to fly in from Charlotte.  The memories of returning to Charlotte last year after a fun and family-filled weekend are vivid as I had the hardest time and cried the entire flight home (all 2.5 hours)...  I'm so thankful that my life is so vastly different this year and that I'm back where I'm meant to be. 

I'll be back next week to share photos from Julia Child Night #6!!  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Also - on an unrelated note, I will be starting my 10 Days of Thanksgiving post series next week.  If you are looking for a structured way to practice more of an attitude of gratitude, I encourage you to play along!  This is my 7th consecutive year of doing this and I can't wait to kick it off next week!


Emilie said...

This is honestly one of the most awesome traditions I've ever seen! I love that your family shares a love of cooking and spending time together and I have no doubts that the younger generation will grow up with such fond memories of JC night!

I think I might join in on the 10 Days of Thanksgiving series! I love anything structured :) Have a fabulous time this weekend!

Marlys said...

I love the memories and can't wait to partake tomorrow evening! You will have to snap pictures of the apps as they are delicious, too! It is such a fun event! See you tomorrow! Thanks Barb & Paul for all you do!

missris said...

This is such a fun idea, and I LOVE the apron pictures!!

A said...

Seriously I might need to steal this tradition. The closest my family comes is Pie Night, which is Thanksgiving Eve -- all of my cousins come to my mom and dad's house and we bake a ridiculous number of pies. And do a lot of dancing. We wear aprons, but they aren't nearly as cute!

Leigh said...

What a fun tradition! Can't wait to hear about what you are cooking up this year :)

Nora said...

Have so much fun tomorrow! Can't wait to see/read about it (and salivate as I look at the pictures). I love that your back in Minneapolis for this, this year. I know how much it means to you! <3

katielookingforward said...

Love this!!! My high school friends and I get together once a year and cook a full meal (including the grocery shopping together) and it is such a blast. I love how it brings everyone together.

Carolina John said...

ah yea! It's JC time again! Have fun, I can't wait to see how everything turns out.

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Yay, I can't wait to see the photos from this year!

Gracie said...

What an adorable tradition. So many memories!

Amber said...

Can't wait to hear how year 6 goes! I recognize all of these photos too because I have also been reading along ever since year 1!! Crazy how time flies. Have the best time tomorrow :)

Stephany said...

I can't believe it's time for another Julia Child Night! I love this tradition that you guys have so much... it's so neat how it has grown and now your whole family gets involved.

Can't wait to see pictures and hear more how the night went! Enjoy!

Shoshanah said...

I always look forward to your Julia Child night posts! The food always looks so delicious, and it looks like such a fun night. I just wish I lived closer so I could partake in it!

brookem said...

This sounds like such a wonderful tradition! So much fun! And I just love cooking with people I love- it's a great activity!
(Also, hi! I'm finally back to blogging after a few year hiatus! Looking forward to catching back up here :))

Becky said...

LOVE these photos, and can't wait to see the ones from this year!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

What a wonderful tradition, and it's so nice that your aunt and uncle host it every year!! Also, I'm so happy for you that you are back where you are meant to be this year, and that you and Phil are together, and happy, and that everything sounds like it's going really, really well for you!!

CharisFaith said...

It's amazing how fast time goes!!! Love this recap! Y'all have done some good eating :)

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

Love all the cute aprons!

Jeanie said...

I loved looking back at the past events -- you've all stayed remarkably the same! Just a few more people in the pix! What a terrific event!

Abby said...

I can't believe this is year 6!! These look so fun!!!!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I love all of your end of night apron shots! And now, thanks to you, I have one of my own too! I always wear it when I do my holiday cookie baking!