I’ll admit it. From the moment I saw the previews for the movie Julie & Julia, I wanted to see it. I cut my teeth on Julia Child’s PBS show. My grandfather was a fan and we rarely missed it. Years later, she did some shows with Jacques Pepin, another favorite chef of mine, and I was glued.
I loved the movie. It tells the story of Julie Powell, a blogger who set out to cook her way through Child’s The Art Of French Cooking in one year. She had a lot of ups and downs but eventually made it, blogging all the way about her experiences. They interspersed the modern day story with episodes from Child’s life in France starting in the 1940’s when she began to pursue cooking and attended the prestigious Cordon Bleu school.
It follows her life through the long road of writing the book with her collaborators, but more than this, it told the story of her life with her husband Paul. They led a close and touching life together, and a long one. And while I enjoyed the parts about Powell, I was far more drawn to the story of Julia’s life. She was strong-willed and determined and refused to give up her dream. Eventually she got exactly where she wanted. A great lesson in there for all of us.
I also greatly enjoyed all the food talk in this movie. Yes, I am a foodie. I freely admit it. I should get a t-shirt to warn people so they won’t wonder when I am in a restaurant and admire the sauce or swoon over the way my dinner is arranged on a plate. My husband is just as bad. He has a habit of arranging things on plates and never fails to delight. I asked him once why he never became a chef and he replied that it would then become a job and not as much fun. I, on the other hand, have been a restaurant manager in one of my former lives. I did it all from bartending, to overseeing wait staff, to paperwork, to filling in on the line when we were short a cook. It was a fun, chaotic, and exhausting time but I’m glad I did it. I learned a lot about food and cooking.
I suppose it hails back to my southern upbringing. Cooking was not something we did for utility purposes, it was a labor of love. We cooked in big batches, just in case anyone stopped in. We baked cakes and pies and delivered them to friends and neighbors ‘just because’. When tragedy struck, we were there with food so the family would be spared that job to focus on what was important. We believed that good food fed the soul.
I still do. So, I’ve since pulled out my copy of The Art Of French Cooking. Once my current work in Progress is done, and the rush is over, I’m digging in.