I Have a Burning Question for Julia Child About Pâté
I’m not quite sure how I ended up watching an episode of Julia Child’s The French Chef about pâté on YouTube at 11:47 on a Saturday night, but it happened, and I have one lingering question to ask her after finishing the whole thing. It doesn’t have to do with my social life — I’m aware that the winter froze it in an abandoned bird’s nest at the very top of a tall tree. My question instead is about the sorcery that's happening in the overhead camera.
Take a look at this: here is Julia mixing ground lean pork, pork fat, chicken fat, salt, pepper, thyme, allspice, garlic, cognac, and eggs (the ingredients for a pâté de campagne) with her right hand:
Nice. Go righties. Go cognac. Now let's cut to the matching overhead shot, shall we?
What now? What's this? WHY IS JULIA SUDDENLY STIRRING THIS MIXTURE WITH HER LEFT HAND?
Here is my hypothesis: Maybe the overhead shots for The French Chef were filmed in a mirror (see Method #3, here) as opposed to setting up a camera at a 90° angle above Julia's head. This would explain why the picture is a reflection of what it should be.
Ah, much better.
Barring this flummoxing detail, the pâté episode of The French Chef provides great information about spreadable meat x fat collaborations. For instance, we learn that the difference between a terrine and a pâté is that a terrine is cooked in a dish that’s called a terrine. Following this train of thought, I will now refer to all pasta that I make as “pot" and every Lean Cuisine that I cook for my mom as "microwave." I also now know that the fat-lined base of a terrine is exactly what I want in an accent sofa.
The little bit of egg shell that makes its way into the mixture at 5:56 gives away the "secret ingredient" that I've added into many past frittatas that I’ve made in a hurry, and learning that a cookie sheet with a rock on top doubles as a pressurized lid will be valuable knowledge if find a family of scorpions hanging out in my trash compactor.
Furthermore, Julia’s insight on boning a duck is certainly applicable to more than just butchery:
“I think boning is much easier if you realize that all animals and all people are made just about the same, though the things look different.” - julia child
And her reminder to not eat pâte like a meatloaf is warranted, especially when people like my poor, dear father might unknowingly poke a fork into the loaf, bite it, walk away, and then return with a salt shaker and bread to have some more. Oh, Julia. Where would Sexy Steve be without you?
Watch the episode in question right here:
*No she **didn't.