I grew up with Julia Child, not literally mind you, but I credit much of my passion for good food to her. I am joined by a nation of foodies in this, of course.
I remember hearing that voice on TV on PBS back in the day when there was no FoodNetwork. Rachel Ray may not have been out of diapers yet. Emeril was still a cook in Fall River. I'd found a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking under the stairs in that closet that contained all sorts of things we couldn't figure out where else to put. This book occasionally got pulled out when my father, a curious and good, if occasional cook, decided to make something.
I found Julia Child so much more interesting than The Brady Bunch or game shows, that she was soon my regular afternoon company. She made cooking seem "do-able" even for a kid. French food back then was totally inaccessible and for experts only. I loved how down-to-earth she was. She delighted in talking to us - and she really made it seem as though she were talking to you. Not only did she describe the proper techniques, but she also demonstrated how one could actually do this at home, achieving the same or nearly the same results.
It was such a low-tech kitchen, too. Who can forget spun sugar over a broomstick? One didn't need to be a French Chef at le Cordon Blue to make an omelette.
I suppose this story is commonplace now, and that speaks to the power of Julia. It is because of her that we have people interested in food and cooking in such great numbers. It was she who first told me to get a good fishmonger and that if my butcher didn't like or answer my questions, then I should simply get a different butcher.
It is largely because of Julia Child that I became a decent home cook, that I feel passionate about bringing that joy to more people.
Julie Powell is one of the first bloggers I recall gaining recognition on a national level. She's also one of the most natural voices writing. Not affected, not trying to hard to be precious, Powell just writes like a girlfriend telling you about her day. This movie Julie and Julia is based on Julia Child's "My Life in France" and on Powell's cooking her way through MTAoFC experience which she chronicled in the Juile/Julia blog.
Her book has now been made into a movie, Click here to view a trailer.
I'm off to NYC shortly on a top secret assignment involving some of my favorite things in the world. I will be telling you about the weekend's adventure soon. It may involve some famous names or famous foods, or maybe I'm just making it all up so that you'll bookmark my blog or sign up for my newsletter.
Is there a serendipitous connection between this post about Julie and Julia and my Secret Squirrel assignment?
Tune in next week as we reveal the answer...for now I leave you with a few Julia tidbits:
- This link takes you to a PBS site based on one of Child's more recent shows. It's full of recipes and tips and well-worth bookmarking.
- Julie Powell's Blog
Some favorite Julia Child quotes:
“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook”
“Life itself is the proper binge.”
“It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it.”
“Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”