Chasity Balusek's Genius Hour How can I prepare, cook and present a full day's worth of traditional French cooking?

Blog Post #1

For my Genius Hour Project this year I have decided to focus on ways to prepare and cook a modern, French family's full day of cooking. This will include the breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. This project topic is another way to learn the culture of a foreign country through food. Especially this culturally rich country that is known for its amazing artwork, landscapes and the classic cuisine. This Genius Hour will be a fun experience that will allow me to learn a little about the history of these dishes while doing something I enjoy greatly. My goals for this year’s Genius Hour Project is to be able to prepare and cook a few common dishes for my family without any help. I would also like to learn a little about the history of France and the cuisine. The measurement of my goals will be based on how professional I am able to make these dishes, as well as the taste and appearance of each dish as a keep making them. For example, if I make crepes, I will make them a second time to compare the way the look and taste to the previous time they were made.

Blog Post #2

I learned that with this topic that it is going to be a lot more difficult than I expected. I learned that it is a lot harder to learn a new French technique, like the technique I am currently working on is called flambe. Flambe is when you add alcohol to a hot pan to create a burst of flames. The word flambe means flames in french. I learned that I am not good at flambeing and I probably shouldn’t do it again or I might catch my house on fire.

Blog Post #3

This past week I focused mainly on researching the history of two techniques (flambe and braising) and a few popular recipes such as Crepes, Steak Diane and Tarte Tatin. When researching these, I would look into the cultural part and how it came to be popular. As I was looking through the history of these fine dishes I realized that reading about them really makes me want to visit France at least just once in my lifetime. Making the dishes is all fine and dandy but why would I just want to make them when I can possible go try them where they originated and I am slowly falling in love with the country and the enriched history behind it all. My sources of research were mainly foody type of websites, like when I was researching the history of crepes I was on a website that included videos of how to make the crepes, recipes and multiple pages of history behind the making of crepes and how they came to be. From this point of my project, I will continue to keep up with making recipes using the french techniques that are need, as well as indulge in the country's rich culture.

French Crepes

Steak Diane

named after Diane, the goddess of hunting

Tarte Tatin

Blog Post #4

This week I focused on the history of crepes and souffle. The crepes obviously originated from France. The word crepe is french for pancake and it originally derived from the latin word crispus meaning curled. Crepes were originally called galettes, meaning flat cakes. Now for the history of the famous souffle. Souffles have been known as one of the hardest desserts to make because one error can ruin the whole thing. Although the origin and time period which this was founded but it is believed that this recipe was dated back all the way to the 1700s. Very few restaurants serve this delicate dessert because of the difficulty of the meal, it is very hard to achieve this with amateur skill. I hope to be able to make a souffle by the end of this project, I also hope to be able to make crepes as well.

Blog Post #5

This week I aimed my focus more towards how to cook and prepare macarons and ratatouille. I also did a little research over the history of both of these dishes. Touiller means “ to stir up “ and rata means “ chunky stew” in french. The description of ratatouille is a vegetable stew of Provence, typically consisting of eggplant, zucchini, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, served hot or cold. Ratatouille is served more as a side dish, but it can also be a main meal when it is accompanied by pasta, rice, or bread. Now on to the history of the macarons. This desert was introduced in 1533. The term “macaron” has the same origin as “macaroni” , they both mean “fine dough”. The first macarons were just simple cookies, it wasn’t until the early 20th century when they became double - decker cookie with filling in between the two cookies. I learned that I should’ve listened to the instructions on how to make macarons and let the eggs sit out overnight. From here I will start making the recipe list and the Prezi that will be a time line over the evolution of the french cuisine.

Anatomy of a macaron

Macarons

Ratatouille

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