September 10, 2007

Inspirational Moment: Julia Child

I have been to France a couple of times. It was fine. My travels and experiences there were interesting and mostly enjoyable however, I wish I had read this book before I ever stepped foot in the country. I loved this book! It is such a great retelling of her life, her outlook and just one of the best reads ever. Julia is hilarious. She is independent. She is smart. She gives any of us who have lived overseas, a sense of adventure and solidarity. She is courageous and resourceful. I loved her even more after reading this story. My friends are still circulating my copy of the book. Thank goodness I had the hardback...

My Life in France, was written by Julia's grandnephew with her detailed storytelling

With Julia Child's death in 2004 at age 91, her grandnephew Prud'homme (The Cell Game) completed this playful memoir of the famous chef's first, formative sojourn in France with her new husband, Paul Child, in 1949. The couple met during WWII in Ceylon, working for the OSS, and soon after moved to Paris, where Paul worked for the U.S. Information Service. Child describes herself as a "rather loud and unserious Californian," 36, six-foot-two and without a word of French, while Paul was 10 years older, an urbane, well-traveled Bostonian. Startled to find the French amenable and the food delicious, Child enrolled at the Cordon Bleu and toiled with increasing zeal under the rigorous tutelage of √©minence grise Chef Bugnard. "Jackdaw Julie," as Paul called her, collected every manner of culinary tool and perfected the recipes in her little kitchen on rue de l'Universit√© ("Roo de Loo"). She went on to start an informal school with sister gourmandes Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, who were already at work on a French cookbook for American readers, although it took Child's know-how to transform the tome—after nine years, many title changes and three publishers—into the bestselling Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). This is a valuable record of gorgeous meals in bygone Parisian restaurants, and the secret arts of a culinary genius.

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