I like watching Jacques Pepin on PBS. I like the way he talks in a reassuring country Frenchy way. I like the way he signs off: “Happy Cooking” with no special inflection. “Appy cucking “ I like the reruns of old episodes of Jacques cooking while Julia Child, who was in her nineties, makes little moaning sounds in appreciation. She digs into the food and starts eating it as if they were alone. I love their familiarity - two distinguished veterans no longer caring how they appear to the audience but appearing perfect.
Today Jacques made Braised Sweetbreads and Tongue with Lentils. In the early preparation of the sweetbreads he identified one piece as the pancreas. He instructed that sweetbreads had to be blanched before the real cooking began. The wrinkled pale pieces of organs looked like the stuff Dr. Oz dangles when he wants us to change our diets and get more exercise. When Jacques prepared the tongue, he had to peel off the tough brown outer skin before the “tender inner part” was revealed.
Despite my respect, loyalty and affection for Jacques and the clever garnishes and soft lighting, these two dishes were revolting.