Apr 4, 2010

Julia Child visits my house

I thought I was embarrassingly obsessive about Iceland. But now that I'm familiar with Julie Powell's insane goal of cooking 536 recipes in 365 days, my obsessions seem very tame. As those of you who have read Julie's blog or her book, or saw the movie know, she worked her way through the entire 1960 edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child--in one year!

I'm on a bit of a Julia Child binge myself. After enjoying the movie thoroughly--especially the Julia parts--I was motivated to read Julia Child's My Life in France. (If you are thinking of reading it, don't get the movie tie-in version by Random House, because it is lacking all the charming photographs. Get the delightful Knopf edition.) After reading My Life In France, Antonia said, "I want to be Julia Child's best friend!" I felt the same way. I found the book totally engrossing, and loved every minute I spent with Julia. Each page of the book conveys to perfection her personality, and her relationship with food, with her husband Paul, and with France.

I've pulled out my 1961 edition (nineteenth printing--1970) of Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume One, which I inherited it from my Mom--some of the recipes have her notes. Back in the early 70's I remember making Stuffed Mushrooms, Cheese Soufflé, Sautéed Ham Slices-Fresh Cream Sauce, and Chocolate Mousse from this book. I made the mousse again recently, and it was just as delicious as ever

As I wrote this, my family was busy in the kitchen preparing a birthday dinner for me (we celebrated a week early as everyone could be here today). I had requested a simple meal, but got overruled.  ("Ha!" they said, "we scoff at your simplemindedness...") They were busily cooking up a surprise menu, which in an amazing coincidence featured a Julia Child recipe (Filetes de Poisson a la Bretonne) and other Frenchie Foods. The menu card says it all. Julia would have been proud.

Next up: The French Chef is on my Netflix queue. And I hope to revisit Julia Child's kitchen at the Smithsonian, where it will hold increased fascination for me.


Professor Batty said...

What a great family! Happy birthday!

Rose said...


sapphire said...

julia child rocks! her recipes do at least, she herself is so tall that scared me when i would watch her tv show.

and happy birthday!