Sunday, March 7

#3 Julia Child : Lady of the ladle

I think of Julia Child often especially when I embark on new recipes. I am a late bloomer in the kitchen as she was, so I feel especially drawn to her and inspired by her appetite for not only food but life in her later years.
Julia Child was an American who through her career was able to travel and enjoy her life in ways that many women don't today or even yesterday. She was career focused and independent and waited until later in life to marry. Not having any children granted her a certain carefree freedom and lifestyle that many "family" women did not experience. Julia Child was born Julia McWilliams, on August 15, 1912, in Pasadena, California. She was a very tall girl, growing into a towering woman who stood over 6 foot tall. Julia, however, wasn't exactly what you would call fashion runway/ model material. It was her spirit, charm and her curious fun nature that captivated people wherever she went. Despite her physical awkwardness Julia Child was a real lady. Her fashions were elegant and tasteful for her age and the era she lived in. She is know for donning a simple strand of pearls, skirts and heels while in the kitchen.
(a vintage kitchen kitty , huh?)

She choose a career as an office worker in a government intelligence agency but soon they realized she was better suited for "other " duties. Julia was then granted a secret spy position for the Office of Strategic Services which later became the CIA. This shocking information was not leaked until 2007 when confidential government files were made public. Child, who died in 2004 at the age of 91 met Paul Child during her 30's through their work for for Office of Strategic Services. They fell in love and married. Paul was a loving and kind partner who encouraged Julia to " find her thing" and supported her in every endeavor from her hat making efforts to bridge playing. It was a trip to France that forever changed Julia's life. There she fell in love with French cuisine and sought after directions and French recipes in English. She was unable to find the sought after French/English recipe books but did enroll in cooking school gaining the skills she'd need to make it in the kitchen . Later she would fine-tune and share these same skills,eventually helping other chefs in their own kitchen as well . While living abroad ,offering cooking classes and enjoying French life Child was fortunate to meet two cook book authors who needed her help in editing their book. Editing and collaborating on the cook book was the beginning of Julia child's career. The trio worked heard and finally the book was finished with the help of Julia.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). Published in the U.S., the 800-page book became a standard guide for the culinary community and was considered a groundbreaking masterpiece. Once back in the US, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Julia promoted the book through Boston public broadcasting station. It was once when she cooked an omelet while on air that the cooking community embraced her and wanted more of her positive attitude, her wit, and her down to earth cooking approach. She was asked to return and was given her own air time for a radio series on cookery. (She was a pioneer pod caster !)
Julia did many shows for her growing radio audience in the late 60's. In the late 70's into the 80's Julia made many television appearances and met her audience in their living rooms with her very own cooking shows Julia Child and Company (1978), Julia Child and More Company (1980), and Dinner at Julia's (1983). She was not the first cook on TV , but was a brilliant pioneer in this field.

Before her death to kidney failure Julia Child, a self-made woman, won the love and respect for changing the cooking scene. She received several high honors, awards and recognition for her culinary contributions. Today she is remembered through her books,online videos and blogs, her syndicated talk shows and a movie. Yes, In 2007 a movie Julie & Julia was created and well received, earning nomination such as the Oscar and the Golden Globe. The movie is a cute depiction of Julia's Childs life told through the eyes of a cooking blogger who challenges her self to cook through life's drama, and blog about it
(bloggers will love this film for sure, even if you don't cook!)
Julia Child will forever live on. She is an inspiring lady who found her true calling in her later years, and by doing so assisted many cooks to walk back in the kitchen, strap on their aprons, grab a wooden ladle and shout " Bon Appetite! "

want more Julia ? Get ya cook on and enjoi!

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