Although the great JC is usually associated with traditional French cooking--time-consuming and exacting--she does have a frugal side that emerges in the books after the chef d'oeuvre for which she is known.
In From Julia Child's Kitchen (1975), she has this gem. (And PLEASE: Don't buy the book--apparently out of print--for such a ridiculous sum. Get it from the library or via interlibrary loan!).
Julia recounts a conversation she had with a fan during the "1972 Meat Boycott." I have no recollection of this event, since I was in college and too poor to buy meat anyway. I suppose meat went up dramatically during the inflationary 70s (?). A man told her that he and his wife had moved to cheaper meat cuts and that, instead of just broiling steak, they were having stews or stuffed cabbage and even . . . more fresh vegetables. Maybe, he said, they were getting to be gourmets.
Julia opines (and what a wonderful writer she is): Certainly the road to gourmetude is not paved with steaks and chops, nor with mountains of foie gras and truffles, nor even with great wads of cash, though there is nothing wrong with any of these, particularly the cash. Wonders can be done with the simplest of ingredients, and indeed the genius shows forth his true qualities when faced with humble means.
She follows with a recipe, based on one by Richard Olney, for a ragout made of whatever veggies are at hand (she uses onions, garlic, artichoke, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, potato, Plus others--all optional except the first two), plus--if you have them--chicken hearts and gizzards.
She says "proportions are of little importance," which is good, since I don't feel like typing out the whole recipe! Did you all get a squeam attack when you got to the chicken hearts and gizzards?
I admit to a bit of squeam myself. Last time I looked, chicken gizzards and hearts were around a dollar for 20 oz. Humble, indeed. Tomorrow, another recipe using this ingredient.
Olney, by the way, is a rather over-the-top writer, whose style and persona do not appeal to me. I do own some of his cookbooks nonetheless.