It's the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child, the American who learned how to cook like a French chef while living abroad and brought those skills home with "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," published in 1961. Later, Child became a wonderful, batty television host, cooking on the fly for PBS and sipping as much sherry as she liked.
Child's cookbook was a success, of course, but it ran counter to midcentury America's enthusiasm for prepared, packaged foods. Boning a duck on your own was about as far as you could get from putting a TV dinner in the oven.
These days, epicureans have re-embraced the do-it-yourself, close-to-nature, old-fashioned artisanal food aesthetic. Many gladly will bone their own fowl. This is charming, yes.
But just because something is old-style doesn't mean it is entirely appetizing. In fact -- according to this subjective reader and eater's perspective -- "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" includes a number of positively gross dishes. What number? 15.