The following is from DoryD. The thread is http://www.cheftalk.com/t/37770/my-grandfather-vs-escoffier
From This Week Magazine, July 16, 1950:
Man Vs. Cookbook
by (My grandpa, lol)
Subscript: When a man tries to be friends with Escoffier on short notice, he needs a wife with foresight...
"I wish I knew what to have for dinner tomorrow night when the Smiths come," said my wife.
At this moment I was hungrily reading the newspaper account of the annual dinner of the Friends of Escoffier.
"Why don't you have Poulet Saute Chasseur?" I inquired.
"What's that in English?" she asked suspiciously. "New England boiled dinner?"
"It's something the Friends of Escoffier had last night," I said.
"Who is Escoffier and what kind of friends did he have?"
"Don't scoff at Escoffier. He is the world's greatest authority on cooking, and the Friends of Escoffier is a club. Every man in it is an expert cook."
His Pride Aroused
"That's ridiculous," she snapped. "Men can't cook. You, for instance. You can't make a liverwurst sandwich."
"Oh, is that so?" I rejoined warmly, my masculine pride aroused. "Just for that I will prepare dinner tomorrow night. And guess what we'll have."
"A mess," she said.
"Poulet Saute Chasseur," I replied coldly.
Later, when she wasn't looking, I got out my college French book. Poulet, as nearly as I could make out, was either a chicken or a mistress. I decided it would be wiser to bring home the former.
Next day I stopped in a bookstore and bought a copy of the Escoffier Cook Book. Poulet Saute Chasseur, as a hasty glance reassured me, was a simple dish involving barely three sentences of instructions.
I arrived home, strode to the kitchen, donned an apron and opened Escoffier.
What, No Sauce?
"Let's see," I said, reading, "Swirl the saucepan with a few tablespoons of white wine...H'mm, I'll have to run out to the liquor store."
I was back in ten minutes with a bottle of Chateau Pasternak Sauterne. Pouring two fingers into the pan, I turned to the recipe again. "Ah, a quarter pint of Chasseur sauce. Where do you keep the Chasseur sauce?"
"Guess again, Escoffier. All I've got is ketchup," my wife answered sardonically.
Glancing at the book I discovered that Chasseur sauce was explained in Recipe No. 33. I leafed quickly back. "Six medium-sized mushrooms," I mused, "a teaspoonful of minced shallots, a half pint of white wine and a glass of liqueur brandy --" I broke off. "I'll have to run back to the liquor store. And what's a shallot, anyway?"
"A kind of onion," she explained with a trace of contempt.
"Then I'll have to stop in the grocer's too," I said, dashing out.
In fifteen minutes I was back, with brandy and shallots. "All set now," I said cheerfully.
"Not quite," she informed me. "This Chasseur sauce recipe calls for a half pint of half-glaze, a quarter-pint of tomato sauce, a tablespoon of meat glaze and a teaspoon of chopped parsley. All I've got is the parsley."
I stared at the recipe. She was right. To make a Chasseur sauce, I had to make three other things first. Escoffier supplied recipes for all three. I looked up the half-glaze.
Boon for Liquor Business
"Half-glaze," I read, "is obtained by reducing a quart of Espagnole sauce and a quart of brown stock... It is finished with a tenth of a quart of excellent sherry."
"This is the greatest thing that's happened to the liquor business since Repeal," said my wife. "But how do you make Espagnole sauce?"
Espagnole sauce, I discovered, was made with a pound of brown roux -- Recipe No. 19 -- six quarts of brown stock, two pounds of tomatoes and a pound of Mirepoix -- Recipe 228. And brown stock took four pounds of beef, four pounds of veal, plus ham, port, carrots, onions..."Seems like quite a few ingredients to fry a chicken, " I muttered. "But if the Friends of Escoffier can do it, so can I."
A half hour later I staggered back from the store with two huge bags of delicacies which I dumped on the kitchen table. "Guess I'd better hurry," I said, fastening my apron again.
"Yes," agreed my wife, "because I see that brown stock is supposed to cook gently for twelve hours."
I snatched the book from her. "Twelve hours! That means dinner won't be ready til nine o'clock tomorrow morning," I clutched my forehead. "And I think I hear the Smiths driving up!" I turned an appealing look on her.
"Come, come," she coaxed. "What's a little delay to a Friend of Escoffier? You still have to make the Mirepoix, the tomato sauce and the meat glaze. For the Mirepoix you'll need, let's see -- two tablespoons of Madeira. Back to the liquor store."
"No, No!" I begged. "not that. Not again!"
"And for the tomato sauce, you need two quarts of white stock -- Recipe No. 10."
"Stop!" I cried. "No more recipes! I give up! I surrender. I quit."
"Then get out of the way," she said, "and let me get the lamb chops out of the broiler. I put them in the last time you went to the liquor store. And go answer the door."
I picked up the Escoffier Cook Book and dropped it gently in the waste basket. "Escoffier," I said, "you have just lost a friend."