Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grand Diplome Cooking Course!!!

OK, I'm dancing a jig. If you read my introductory post, you'll remember the central role that the 20-volume Grand Diplome Cooking Course played in my development as a cook. My mother used it as a guide to help me navigate the intricacies of various skills such as: making flaky dough; properly folding in egg whites; making souffle; and braising meats correctly. As I wrote that post, images of the colorful pages of the cookbooks danced in my mind's eye, accompanied by a rush of happy, fragrant memories.

I felt so nostalgic about that 20-volume set that I looked online for it. What on Earth did we do before eBay? I typed Grand Diplome Cooking Courseinto the magical search engine and lo and behold, several auctions came up for it!!! After taking a deep breath, I put in my bid. I fully expected that at least 100 other cooking fanatics would be cutthroat bidders, determined to keep me from my beloved cookbooks.

Um, it didn't happen that way. I bid the minimum and much to my shock (and slight disappointment that other people weren't breaking their necks as I was to get their hot, grubby hands on these fabulous cookbooks), I won! I secured the 20-volume collection-- in excellent shape -- for a mere $40 (about)including shipping and handling.

They arrived yesterday and I raced to the post office to pick them up. The heft of the box put a smile on my face as I schlepped them to my car. I had to focus on driving under the speed limit; I was super excited to get home! Fortunately, I didn't crash into anything or anyone. As soon as I walked in the house, I raced to the kitchen, snatched the kitchen shears and quickly cut the thick tape off the box.

I saw those book spines with the volume numbers on them. I double-checked to make sure all 20 volumes were there. I breathed a sigh of relief after ensuring that the full collection was there. Volumes 1-4 found their way into my hands first. I looked at the covers, which are basically food pornography. Those covers sell those cookbooks very effectively. Who can resist knowing how to make food look that good? Obviously my mother and I couldn't. Many of the recipes for her semi-formal dinners came from those volumes.

My commitment is to make the recipes in those cookbooks. I never made all of them, but maybe that would be an interesting goal. We'll see.


  1. We recently moved and all my books are still packed in storage. I really want a recipe that I believe is in the grande diplome cookbook series. I think it is in volume 1. It is for a rock cornish hen with a fruit stuffing. I really want to make this for Christmas. Can you check to see if the recipe is in this volume and if so please please post the recipe.

  2. Did you ever get your recipe? I have the set and I will be happy to share. Perhaps you can do it for this Christmas.