Some posts are better late than never, and even though August 15 has come and gone, I want to pay homage to Julia Child who would have turned 100 on the 15th.
Somehow I feel that if I would have known Julia I would have liked her. She embodies the quirkiness and boldness that I love in people. A number of years ago I read My Life in France and loved it. It is her story of coming to France and finding her “true calling.” She didn’t speak any French, couldn’t cook to save her life, and worked in an entirely different career before becoming known as a French chef. I admire her resolute spirit to learn something new and to stick with it even when it was difficult (i.e. a new language and how to cook).
My Life in France also shows the depth of her love for her husband Paul and how the two of them cared for one another. It is touching to read. They were never able to have children, and I think this was a sadness for them throughout their married life.
Julia seemed to enjoy waves of success throughout her career as a chef. She wrote the classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and went on to write and co-author numerous cookbooks. She was also a TV personality. Recently, posthumously, she enjoyed success in the novel and movie, Julie and Julia. Meryl Streep made Julia come to life!
I don’t do a lot of French cooking, but in many of my cookbooks, when I read through the author’s acknowledgements, I see how many of them were influenced by Julia Child. I also know that if I am ever inspired to try a French recipe I want to use one that Julia put in one of her cookbooks. She was known for rigorously testing her recipes so that a novice (that would be me) could understand the terminology and hopefully achieve the same results.
In the meantime, my thoughts turn toward Boeuf Bourguignon, Coeur a la Crème, and cheese platters as I dream about savoring these dishes in France someday. Bon appetite!