May is flying by me and what have I done with it? I have gardened, taken my yearly trip to Spokane, celebrated Mother’s Day with the women in my family and watched little girls run up and down soccer fields many times over. But I haven’t made much in the way of interesting, noteworthy food. Not every meal needs to be soul-shaking but still, one wants a thrill now and again. We had tacos on Cinco De Mayo, leftover tacos the next day (the traditional dish of Seis de Mayo) and by the end of that week, I made my husband take the girls out (for tacos). Enough with beans! I crave elegance.
I was browsing pbs.org for costume drama, when I saw this teaser for an article: “Was Audrey Hepburn a Good Cook?” Naturally I went straight to the piece, still, I was thinking, who cares? If I were Audrey Hepburn I would not have time to cook because I would be too busy pirouetting in front of a full length mirror and calling Gregory Peck “just to say hi.” My BFF got me to watch Roman Holiday in college, and I have been enchanted with Audrey ever since. I married a man who considers her the height of feminine charm.*
Could she cook? Of course she could. BECAUSE SHE IS PERFECT.
I always assumed she wasn’t an eater, and when I asked my husband what he thought she would make for dinner, he replied, “Not much.” She did have a remarkably wispy figure, but she also said, “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” The article provided her recipe for Spaghetti al Pomodoro. Yes, lovely, but what about dessert, darling? What would she want to have after spaghetti, with her cigarette held in that unspeakably elegant holder?
I have written previously about chocolate mousse, but I feel the “little black dress” of desserts suits my current mood, and at last I have lit upon the only recipe for chocolate mousse I will ever need. This is Julia Child’s, and if anyone knows how to make mousse, it’s her. I know she would consider this recipe easy, (she considers boning a duck easy, and that’s a live duck, Eaters) but I find mousse to be a fussy affair, fraught with nervous perspiration (further proof of how unlike Audrey Hepburn I am). But it’s all worth it. My friend Kirstin and I rhapsodized over this mousse between glutinous shovelfuls.
Some things have timeless appeal, like chocolate mousse, or the sight of Holly Golightly in that dress – you know the one. Here’s to Audrey Hepburn the actress, humanitarian and woman of unforgettable, frisky grace. Lest you think she is all tinkly laughter and chic chignons, watch Wait Until Dark. But beware: this film caused me to scream so loudly that I had to go tell the woman in the upstairs apartment that everything was alright. I had just been terrified out of my wits, I had to explain, by an Audrey Hepburn movie.
*His tastes are eclectic: Princess Leia, Sela Ward and Buffy the Vampire Slayer rank high, along with the other Hepburn, Katherine.