A book and movie a few years back documented a woman’s odyssey through all the recipes in Julia Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I’m not much of a cook, though I sometimes reach for my own copy of Julia’s encyclopedic tome when I feel ambitious. Recently I felt like a quiche, and only homemade crust would do, so naturally I looked up Julia’s recipe. I find her recipes similar to my mother’s and grandmother’s, who were fabulous cooks, and who wrote obliquely, assuming a basic knowledge of baking, roasting, and other methods in an experienced cook’s toolkit. Coming to cooking only when well into adulthood, I find these recipes like many things in life: simple but not easy.