Wednesday, February 1, 2012

DIY: Make Time for Reading!

I really like the movie Julie & Julia.  A lot.  And I really like cooking, though I really haven't attempted to even crack open the two volume set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking  my husband gave me for Christmas, much to his lament.  I have however, read the book he gave me with those volumes, My Life in France, by Julia Child.
Now, if you happened to have liked the movie and you thought it would be fun to read the book by Julie Powell, and you were perhaps a bit disappointed by it as I was....allow me to assure you now that Julia Child's book is wonderful.  Well worth your time, the book will allow your love of the movie to only grow deeper.  Scenes from the movie are taken directly from this book, and even if you haven't seen the movie and loved it (yet!), your appreciation for Julia Child will be what it wasn't before.  She dedicated her life to teaching Americans how to cook and appreciate French food, and that is not an exaggeration.  I had no idea how much went into the creating of these cookbooks, nor how significant they have 
been - seminal work this was, without a doubt.  Here are a few great quotes:  
after already spending several years working 40 hour weeks on the cookbook, Julia reflects on her uncertainties, "But American supermarkets were also full of products labeled 'gourmet' that were not:  instant cake mixes, TV dinners, frozen vegetables, canned mushrooms, fish sticks, Jell-O salads, marshmallows, spray-can whipped cream, and other horrible glop.  This gave me pause.  Would there be a place in the USA for a book like ours?  Were we hopelessly out of step with the times?"
"But then we looked at each other and repeated a favorite phrase from our diplomatic days: 'Remember, No one's more important than people!'  In other words, friendship is the most important thing - not career or housework, or one's fatigue -  and it needs to be tended and nurtured."  I think I'll write that one up and pin it to the wall.
After detailing her trial and error approach to french bread, Julia writes, "We had created the first successful recipe ever for making French bread - the long, crunchy, yeasty, golden loaf that is like no other bread in texture and flavor - with American flour in a home oven.  What a triumph!"
Throughout the book, Julia shares with wit and wisdom, her trials with co-authors, her love for her husband, the trials of having a dad she didn't see eye to eye with on anything, and the  uncertainty over her husband's work they both struggled with...this book is about far more than cooking or writing a cookbook.  In the spirit of Kathleen Kelly I say, "Read it.  I know you'll love it." 

all quotes taken from My Life in France, by Julia Child.

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