There are a number of saints who are considered the patrons of cooking, including San Lorenzo, San Pasqual, the baker's patron St. Honore, and others depending on the country. But any American knows that the patron saint of cooking is really Julia Child. Today, on her 99th birthday, I will do some reminiscing. Let me start by saying my relationship with Julia is by no means unique. Through her involvement through the International Association of Culinary Professionals and her appearances at many food writers conferences, she made herself available to other food professionals, and her generosity was unbounded.
Next weekend, we'll have houseguests. Like a true food lover, I am already planning the menu for the meals we'll have together. Houseguests give us the opportunity to stretch the usual bill of fare. I use weekends as an excuse for making a more leisurely breakfast than the rushed weekday version, so I plan to serve a relaxed morning meal on Saturday. And, with fresh sweet corn overflowing the bins at the market, I will certainly be making one of my favorites--these corn pancakes with a terrific berry maple sauce. Blackberries have a deep purple deliciousness that seems perfect for this time of year, but blueberries (or a mixture of the two) work well, as well. (PHOTO BY BEN FINK)