Remembering Julia

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The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite – toujours bon appétit!”
-Julia Child

This Wednesday, August 15, marks what would have been the incomparable Julia Child's 106th birthday. She taught us that:

        Great cooking doesn't have to be intimidating.
        Approach the kitchen-and life-with passion and a sense of humor.
        Sharing food you made with those you love creates the most special moments of all. 

In an era when women were supposed to marry and become housewives, Julia wanted more. As the daughter of a paper company heiress, she could have easily chosen to live the life of a carefree social butterfly. But Julia was restless and wanted to make a difference. When World War II began, she joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to today's CIA.

After marrying Paul Child, whom she met during their time in the OSS, the two moved to France. Her first meal there, a lunch consisting of oysters, sole meunière, fine wine, and cheese, changed her life forever. Ignited by a desire to learn to cook well, she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu. When Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle asked for Julia's assistance in making the cookbook they were working on more appealing to an American audience, it seemed to be Fate. The product of their collaboration, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking", is still considered to be the definitive book on the subject. 

When Paul retired from the Foreign Service, he assumed an active role in supporting Julia's career, demonstrating that he, too, was ahead of his time. The couple remained true partners for life. 

So this Wednesday, be bold and fearless in the kitchen and cook one of Julia's recipes. What'll it be? A perfectly roasted chicken? Bouillabaisse? French onion soup? Don't fret. Just have fun, gather your friends and family around the table, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Do it for Julia.

Gina CrisciComment