“After more than 50 years in publishing, Judith Jones has earned a reputation as a master of cookbooks. Among the many works that fill her dossier as an editor is Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1960), which gave post-war Americans something different from meatloaf and tuna casserole.
Jones confesses that she has always loved cooking, so it’s no surprise that much of her legacy as senior editor and vice president at Knopf fills millions of kitchen shelves around the world. But all of these cookbooks merely overshadow what is arguably her most important contribution to the world of literature–one that she made at the beginning of her career.
“It was around 1950, and I was in Paris working for Doubleday as an assistant to Frank Price, who the company had sent over to scout titles,” Jones recalls. “Our office was a rather beautiful apartment on the rue de la Faisanderie, and one afternoon, Frank went off to a lunch appointment and left me with a pile of manuscripts for rejection. He wanted me to write the letters and send them off.”
So, Jones began typing the letters for one manuscript after another, when the pile revealed something that caught her eye. A 12-year-old girl with thick, black hair, chestnut eyes, and a bright smile gazed back at her from the cover of a French translation entitled The Diary of a Young Girl.
Even in black and white, the girl’s face radiated a warmth and innocence that Jones could not ignore. Instead of reaching for another sheet of Doubleday letterhead, on which she had written the other rejections, she opened the book and began reading.
Jones soon found herself immersed in the world of Annelies Marie Frank, a Jewish girl living with her mother, father, and sister in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. For her 13th birthday, Anne’s father, Otto, gave her a plaid-covered journal in which she began her diary…”
Dinner for one tonight and I am making my favorite alone with a good bottle of wine meal, Judith Jones Cheese Soufflé. Love this soufflé recipe, I have posted this before but every time I make it I want to post again. It is so easy to make and you feel such a sense of accomplishment when this beauty comes out of the oven and it is delicious. The link has a video which I always find helpful.
2 tsp softened unsalted butter
1 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbs all-purpose flour
1/3 cup milk
Large pinch of coarse salt
Small pinch of paprika
1 large egg yolk
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup tightly packed grated cheddar cheese
Spray the inside of a 4x2¾ inch round baking dish (2 cups) with a non stick cooking spray, (I use Pam olive oil spray) coat bottom and sides with Parmesan cheese and set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven.
Melt 2 tsp butter in a small saucepan over low heat; whisk in flour. Let cook for 1 minute and remove from heat. Add milk and whisk vigorously to combine. Return to low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened; season with salt and paprika. Remove from heat and whisk in egg yolk.
Place egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk until they form soft peaks. Add a dollop of egg whites to saucepan along with half of the cheese; stir to combine. Fold in remaining egg whites and cheese and pour into prepared baking dish.
Transfer baking dish to oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Bake until top is lightly browned and soufflé has risen, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.
I had this soufflé with an arugula salad, shaved parmesan and lemon vinaigrette. A great meal just for me.
Judith Jones is one of my absolute fave presenters on the TV travel series Globetrekker on PBS. I saw her for the first time on the episode when she traveled to Argentina and fell in love with her! She’s been in many other travel and food programs and I definitely will be checking them out! She’s intelligent, passionate, sexy, entertaining and a big dork<3 *sigh* be still my beating heart…
“Marion Cunningham epitomized good American food. She was recommended to me by Jim Beard when we agreed to take over The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and update it from start to finish. She was someone who had an ability to take a dish, savor it in her mouth, and give it new life. At a time when Americans were embracing all kinds of foreign cuisine, Marion Cunningham’s love and respect for American food helped The Fannie Farmer Cookbook once again earn a place in kitchens across America.” —Judith Jones
To me, cooking is an art form, and like any art form, you first have to learn the fundamentals. And then, once they’re there, once they’re just part of you, and you get up and do a little dance or something, you don’t follow somebody else’s formula. You can take off on your own, and you learn through doing. Then you can let go of some of these strict rules, and make your own rules. I don’t even think level measurements are such a big deal these days.
A wonderful article profiling Judith Jones ‘45, a legendary book editor who published scores of books by Julia Child, James Beard, Marcella Hazan, among many others. Check out this lovely piece for advice from the accomplished Jones as well as a yummy recipe.
2⁄3-¾ cup flaked cooked fish 2⁄3-¾ cup mashed cooked potatoes 1 or 2 scallions, including tender green, chopped fine Grated fresh ginger to taste Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Butter and/or light olive oil for frying Mix the fish and the potatoes with a fork, then work in the other ingredients. You’ll probably want to start with about ¼ teaspoon of the grated ginger, which really lifts the flavors, but use more if you want. Form the mixture into two round patties. Heat a tablespoon of butter or oil (I always prefer a mixture of both, so the butter won’t burn), and when it is sizzling, lay in the fish cakes and cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side. Variations Vary the seasonings. Sorrel is particularly good with salmon, but you would need to sauté a small hand…
A recent simple pleasure I have been enjoying is something I picked up after reading Judith Jone’s The Pleasures of Cooking for One. With an entire page dedicated to cheese, she explains how she enjoys ending her evening meals with a taste of cheese.
As a way to cleanse the palette or to simply savor, I have found indulging in a slice or two of quality artisan cheese to be a delightful treat…
You may remember the scene inJulie & Juliawhen Julia is frustratingly working with her editor, Judith Jones at Knopf publishing to come up with the title for her first cookbook - Mastering the Art of French Cooking.And so it is that Judith Jones that continued to work with Julia and many other talented writers with the recipes they would share with the public. Now the vice president and…