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My mother always thinks I’m the one who likes leftover turkey “a la king.” That would be my brother—I can’t stand the little pimento thingies she puts in there. If only she tossed in a little tarragon, served it in a patty shell, and called it salpicon de volaille. Julia Child, at least one of whose books sat on every self-respecting midcentury housewife’s shelf, could tell her how. Child, just turning 90, also knows how to lend a Continental gloss to instant mashed potatoes (load on the heavy cream, drop ’em in a mold, and call ’em tambour parmentier), captivate a TV audience (The French Chef alone went on for 200-some episodes), and promote the guilt-free good life (“[Make the high-fat dish] as directed at first…so that you will know how it is supposed to taste,” she admonishes). Pick up a copy of The French Chef Cookbook and thank her as she signs it at 10:30 a.m. at Sur La Table, 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington. Free. (703) 414-3580. (Caroline Schweiter)