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Julia Child--In Memoriam


adegiulio
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I don't remember seeing a note on Food TV's tribute to Ms Child. If this is a duplicate I'm sorry. Food TV will run tributes to Julia Child starting at 9:00 Am eastern time this sunday 8/22. The tributes will run into the evening, don;t know exact time. Might be a good workout for a vcr or TIVO.

colestove

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It's amazing to me, how loved she was, by so many. Not that I'm naïve about her appeal, but to me, it was all so personal. I spent my Saturday mornings with her. She was by my side as I learned to cook. She was part of our family celebrations, as we made her recipes. The last dish I made for my Mom was Julia's French Onion Soup. And that was what Julia herself had, that last evening. A friend said, "What a coincidence". No, I explained, not at all. Julia, and Julia's food, and cooking, and enjoyment of life, is a part of my family. Inextricably intertwined.

While it's fantastic that she's getting her due, I hope she knew her impact on our lives while she was living. I have to think that she did, and that wherever her spirit is, she's secretly pleased at all the fuss, a well deserved recognition of a life very well lived.

“"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully.

"It's the same thing," he said.”

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And for those us of who live in the LAME part of Northern California, the only PBS station showing it is out of Sacramento!

Oh man, that makes me mad! :angry::angry::angry:

I checked online listings for the San Mateo and San Jose PBS stations and neither mentions it.

Heathens! :angry:

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I have been looking for a new signature line, and nothing seemed quite right until now. Russ’s piece reminded me of the time I realized that for what-seemed-like-years, no one had recommended any food, recipe or restaurant to me because it was GOOD. People wanted me to exclaim over the lowness of fat, the height of the stack, the artistry of painted-on sauces, the sheer abundance of quantity or the beauty of stained glass windows, but never recommended the food because it tasted so damn good. And that, of course, was my one and only criteria.

After that, whenever someone told me "You should go...eat...try...see" I would always say, "Why? Does it taste good?"

Somehow it seems more credible when attributed to Julia.

Thanks, Russ

Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

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I just stumbled onto this schedule for Food Network. It does say that the schedule is subject to change. They are probably scrambling around seeing how much they can assemble and maybe get the rights to so it will probably be worthwhile to check back.

Thank you, russ... well done.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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She made so much accessable to those who might otherwise have been discouraged... And she seemed so very generous in spirit. I must admit that I think all the really fine chefs and cooks I have met have the same quality of large-heartedness. She certainly inspired me with a wish to make wonderful things for people to eat - and with a certain dogged perseverance in the face of culinary disaster. I recall a hilarious (in hindsight, of course) involving the frosting on a Yule Log...

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I recall a hilarious (in hindsight, of course) involving the frosting on a Yule Log...

I can't look at a Yule Log without thinking of Julia. That show is one of my all-time favorites.

I've considered trying my hand at a Yule Log because of her, and I'm a Jew!! :wacko::shock:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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I've considered trying my hand at a Yule Log because of her, and I'm a Jew!! :wacko:  :shock:

Oh, I hope that you do - the first time I attempted one, I could not stop thinking about that show. The convulsions of laughter that seized me were perhaps a tad more than detrimental to the aesthetic of the cake, but I felt myself to be in the finest of culinary company. I now do a number of them every year, and still get a good chuckle over the recollection of my first try. I wonder how it will be this year. I think that I will perhaps laugh and cry both - but still I suspect that the laughter will triumph. Even as I am sure it must have done with Julia Child.

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It will be some time before I know, truly know, how her life impacted mine and what I will miss about Mrs. Childs.

I am just beginning to assess her contribution to my life and my passion--cooking, socializing and great company.

I will read all the wonderful messages at a later time. I am just at the start of my contemplation.

Etnea

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The PBS show even brought a tear to Paul's eyes. I got out the box of Puffs.

In the dark days of last winter, as we made a most painful decision to sell our beloved house of 18+ years, and I worked my butt off (and another 25 lbs), every Tuesday at 1:30 pm, there would be Julia. Either "In Julia's Kitchen" or with Jacques, and I stopped what I was doing about 1/2 hour before, fixed something yummy and attractive for lunch (the only meal I ate during those months), and enjoyed, was inspired, and awed.

We have been so lucky to have been privvy to Julia.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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We saw it here in Atlanta in the 8-9 p.m. time slot and it was marvelous! It will air again here on Aug. 24th. I was very touched and moved by every bit of it .. she reminds me of my own mother, who is also 92 presently, and went to Skidmore, a small girls' school, which was very like Smith. And Paul Child shared many of my father's passions for fine cuisine, music, art, literature.

What an elegant couple, the Child's, who lived a most enviable life together! Only death could separate such soulmates ... albeit momentarily.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I'm shamefully late to this thread, and other people have said it better. Fact is, as a twenty-year old bride I had three cookbooks: "Joy" and "Mastering the Art," both volumes. The Rombauers were there for biscuits and Country Captain and such.

Otherwise, Julia Child literally taught me how to cook. I'd plan dinner from her cookbooks, read them in bed, make stock and duxelles and puff pastry. My teacher taught me to fear nothing in the kitchem. What an amazingly powerful gift.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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I loved Julia's sense of play.  In an interview once (on public radio?) I heard her talk about her years working for the OSS.  She began to wonder whether anyone ever bothered reading the memos and reports she typed up, so she decided to find out.  In one report, she embedded instructions for folding the report paper to make a paper drinking cup.  Nobody commented.  On another occasion, she submitted a proposal to change the filing system in the name of efficiency.  Under the new system, every document would be filed alphabetically, according to the first letter of the last word of the document. 

...

The proposal was approved.  :laugh:

OMG... I had forgotten about that. It was some years ago that I heard that story and I don't remember where. I thought to myself... "What a good idea!" Well, I used it. There are to this day some muck-a-mucks in mega-corp that still live in fear of my writings. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Some of my colleagues insist that I need to tell this story in honor of Julia since we still talk about it to this day. And we credit Julia for the original thought.

It was some time after the '89 freeze and I had assembled a report on our shortcomings in preparation for such an event on the Gulf Coast. The report was about 30 pages and was assembled in little 3-ring binders for the audience of about 20 high muck-a-mucks. The leader of this meeting was a Senior VP that I knew pretty well. He was a great guy and had heard about my previous attempts at this trick. I agreed with him that I would include something appropriate for my report out. :wink: Well, I was reporting to this august body in the big board room, every one with a copy of the bound report in front of them. On page 15 was a paragraph giving instructions on removing page 15 and how to fold into a paper airplane. Then there were instructions to launch that airplane at an "appropriate target".

I proceeded with my report with the attendant viewgraphs then opened the floor for questions. There was this one recalcitrant old fart that was blustering about how this could not be true and that his location was well prepared... blah blah blah. Then there was this young pompous ass that started trying to deconstruct the statistics. As I was fielding the questions, really more like attacks, I heard numerous snaps of the three ring binders. Some time passed as I continued to defend the report to these two dorks. Then, all of a sudden, there was this flurry of paper airplanes hurled towards these two idiots.

My final viewgraph:

This demonstration brought to you by Julia Child, OSS and French Chef

Our SrVP was a great fan of Julia and had known her during the war.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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I know my first reply was romatizited. But....Paul was a huge infulenice on Julia. She would not have even started cooking if it wasn't for him. Her love for him made her learn what she needed to do. Let's not forget that. And toast them both.

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Some time passed as I continued to defend the report to these two dorks. Then, all of a sudden, there was this flurry of paper airplanes hurled towards these two idiots.

My final viewgraph:

This demonstration brought to you by Julia Child, OSS and French Chef

Fifi: beautiful story, thanks!

I am still livid at KQED for not airing this episode of American Masters. Here is the text of the email I sent them this evening under the subject line "American Masters Julia Child Documentary":

I am writing to register my disapproval of your apparent decision not to air the Julia Child documentary either this evening or tomorrow, as most PBS affiliate stations across the nation are doing to honor the memory of a woman who was a valuable part of so many American lives and a lifelong staunch supporter of public television.

I hope that I am wrong, that the decision to air this program has been made, and that your website and recorded telephone schedules have simply not been updated to reflect the change. I was unable to call the program information number during your business hours today, but I will do so tomorrow [according to the website, I can reach a live person during business hours], hopefully to hear that the documentary will be aired; otherwise to voice my dissatisfaction.

Sincerely,

[squeat Mungry, w/contact info]

KQED Member since -- well, I can't find my card right now, but for several years!

I really have been donating to KQED for several years, largely because of Julia's devotion and contribution to public broadcasting. I have pretty much decided not to donate any more money to this station. I'm not kidding: they are broadcasting absolute drivel tonight as part of their 'pledge week' instead of this tribute to a champion of public television!

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I remember the first time I noticed Julia Child. I was switching channels on television-- probably looking for cartoons--when the screen flickered onto this woman happily chopping, huffing and puffing around the kitchen, her distinctive high-pitched voice cheerfully narrating all. She looked directly at me, or so I thought at the time; now I know she looked right into the camera. A minute or two later, she was clutching a huge fish, flipping it around lovingly; I thought: "this looks like fun, I wonder if she's on next week?"

She was neither fussy nor girly-girly; she didn't worry about her style or lack of it, her hair wasn't bouffant and piled on top of her head, and her manicure was subtle if it indeed existed at all. She wasn't glamorous, she was having fun. Her show wasn't wholly about dazzling guests; it was all about joy in learning the process. Julia seemed to love, really love, teaching these dishes that would forever enrich our lives. She was enjoying being in that kitchen, and sent the message: not only is it okay to have fun in the pursuit of your next meal, it will probably be more delicious if you do. The food was French, but it was also, in a straightforward wholesome way, American too.

Until then, with the exception of my grandmother--one of lifes happy, naturally good cooks--cooking was a matter of "woman's burden". Magazines adhered either to "Get it on to the table, with the help of any convenience food you need" or dealt with food as a symbol of status, suffused with snooty, a symbol of the good life, allowing one to only partake if one was sufficiently rich and stylish. I thought then, as I have all of my life, that this equation made sense: snobbery+food=stupid. Somehow, watching Julia on that little screen, she let me know she was right there with me on this.

Julia's presentation was so sincere that I felt--along with a whole generation-- she really wanted to impart to me the secret of.......... onion soup ("good stock"), boning a chicken ("just follow the bones, follow the bones") and wrapping a leg of lamb in pastry (duxelles inbetween the crust and the meat--I think I made this dish simply because I liked the way she pronounced "en croute" in that fabulous voice of hers, though the lamb did in fact, turn out delish). And she used real butter, and cream, buckets of the stuff!

Julia--and when was it a whole nation of us began referring to her by first name only as if she was not only our best friend, but the only Julia in the world--Julia welcomed us into the kitchen.

Later, as I travelled through Europe, I was seduced by other French cuisine cookbook writers whose musings were lyrical, evocative. Yet when I tried to cook from them, things were often vague, or shrouded in class conciousness; sometimes they were written by male chefs who seemed to disdain his women "pupils" who could never be, by dint of their sex, serious cooks.

With Julia, though, you got respect! You were already a serious cook simply because you had the book open and were following along. And as you followed, all was explained. You were never alone facing kitchen hurdles, Julia was by your side, navigating the intricacies of a bain marie or a puff pastry, answering all of your questions before you even had time to formulate them. She was your pal in the kitchen, and at times, your kitchen confident; and at other times such as when she famously dropped that chicken--or was it a duck, or a huge potato rosti, who remembers exactly which----she was your partner in crime.

I loved the way she got me to think of new foods that I might not have learned to eat--this was a long time ago, remember. Duxelles for instance! I don't think I had ever eaten a mushroom, and here was my trusted culinary guru telling me: "duxelles" and pronouncing them "dukes-ells" in such a rich, juicy way that I had to make them as soon as I could get to the market for the mushrooms. I don't think that we ate a meal without finely chopped mushrooms for months, so keen was I on perfecting this dish. When food processors came out, one of the first things I thought: Oh, my duxelles will be much easier now!

Julia taught me how easy it is to bone a chicken breast--and how much cheaper, too, rather than buy them boned; and how once you could bone a chicken breast you could snip the breast out of any bird at all! I loved the way she explained cuts of mean by gleefully patting the right spots on her own body! She taught me it was okay, no, make that imperative, to sniff as you go: pick up a sprig of herb, chunk of cheese, a round ripe tomato, and inhale deeply: as much as part of cooking as chopping and timing. She also taught me to be fearless in the kitchen, and as anyone who's seen me in full force of cooking, will note that it was something I took to readily.

Julia taught me that bechamel is simply white sauce with a French accent, and that it is very useful indeed--especially when combined with a bit of pureed blanched vegetables, grated cheese and beaten egg (something I've carried through my life since I saw Julia do it; in fact, earlier in the day before the announcement of her passing, I was whipping up a little bechamel, thinking: "I've got some nice broccoli in the fridge, and a lovely chunk of Emmenthal"). And she taught me to wash and spin my salads, wrap them in a clean towel and stick them in the fridge to rest during the preparation of the rest of the meal: the lettuce is so crisp! And she taught me that I didn't need a vegetable steamer if I had a French basket for washing and spinning lettuce.

As much a culinary icon in America, Julia's reach didn't extend to Britain and other parts of the world where I"ve spent much of my life. Therefore, she was very much my touchstone whenever I returned to America. After my first trip to France I dove head first into the mysteries of what I ate "over there". Piperade had charmed me, so I found piperade (show 133, The French Chef) and followed directions to a T. It tasted like Paris.

And after falling in love with cassoulet, I headed into my California kitchen with the appropriate pages and pages in "Mastering". Though the three days it took me to perform this cooking feat left me too tired to enjoy the eating, I learned so much about cassoulet that the famous dish is etched into my bean-loving brain. Though the cassoulet I make today is a decidedly streamlined version, I'll always think of the pages and pages of Julia's directions and be happy for the experience. I learned about beans, I learned about roasting meats and making confit, and don't forget Toulouse sausages! all was revealed in the preparation of making cassoulet.

I then tackled Boeuf Bourguignon using a California Zinfandel and felt pioneering in the spirit of our new emerging California cuisine.

What I really have Julia to thank for, technique wise, is crepes. I"m famous with friends and family for the way I can whip up a batch of crepes, definately with my eyes shut, possibly with my hands tied behind my back. I--and all of my crepe loving dear ones--owe it all to Julia. When faced with making crepes the first time, Julia is who I turned to. It was a wise move. The recipe called for 3 eggs and included using both milk and water, something I still do. She said let the batter rest for 2 hours to relax, so I wouldn't think of doing otherwise--I mean, I like to relax too. Again, I followed her directions and have never looked back. In a sense she has paved my life with delicate tender crepes, and my daughter who grew up eating them nearly every Sunday undoubtedly offers her gratitude.

There was something else I learned from Julia and it wasn't about food: I learned that a person can be very famous and still be very nice. It happened like this: a number of years ago we were both in a television green room waiting for our moments in front of the camera. Julia was with her sister, two tall happily chatting "girls" and rather than chat amongst themselves they included me. The three of us yabbered on and on--about nothing really, and I didn't even have a chance to gush and gush and gush as I really wanted to do, It was cozy and fun and how many times do you meet your idol, an iconic celebrity, and find out that she is simply a down to earth nice person. And for awhile, every so often out of the blue, Julia would drop me a note about something, such as seeing an article I wrote in Europe, or the importance of metrification.

Being based in Europe for so long, I missed her programmes with Jacques Pepin and other appearances over the past decade or two. Luckily, however, I caught a visit she made to The Today Show in honor of her 90th birthday. She was directing Katy Couric as to whipping cream--Julia's hands were less steady and I can imagine producers saying: get Katy to do it, it'll be quicker. Julia instructed Katy to open the vanilla, but the bottle wouldn't open. Katy was flustered, and then Julia grabbed that familiar brown bottle, put the red cap directly between her teeth, bit down hard and twisted! The cap came right off, and Julia tipped the bottle over, and poured--not dripped-- in the fragrant vanilla, without bothering with the trouble of measuring. She tasted it and uttered: "perfect!". I thought: This is why the woman is my hero!

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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I spent 8 hours running a restraint training today. One of the women I had to train ws about 15 years older than most of the participants and was having a very difficult time grasping the techniques. She felt she had to perform each technique perfectly on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd try.

I pulled her aside and asked if she had ever watched Julia. Turns out she was a big fan. I reminded her that Julia, the grand dame of American food) regularly made mistakes. But she kept on going and did not let it faze her. I also reminded her that Julia did not embark on her career until she was in her 40's.

The rest of the day was a piece of cake (pun intended) for her. Julia's legacy lives on.

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Okay, out of fairness to KQED, here is their reply to my email protesting the fact that they didn't take advantage of the opportunity to air the Julia Child episode of the "American Masters" specials series:

The "emergency" broadcast rights for the special this week are for 48 hours

only, with the stipulation that stations cannot pledge around it, so many

PBS stations are having to skip it for now, since this is a national pledge

drive week.

It will be part of the American Masters series' next season (the original

plan for the program), which begins in Jan 2005, but what specific date we

do not yet know.

Red Dana

Manager, KQED Viewer Services

So I guess I'll have to wait until next year sometime to see it. And I guess I'll keep giving the station my money, since when they're not showing the pledge drive junk they actually do a pretty good job. And, like Julia, I really do believe in supporting public television!

Squeat

Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)
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If PBS in Boston didnt broadcast it, we would stop donating. And I agree with you, all they show now, is dribble, years are, you could learn French, see cooking from Cornwall, England, The River, Cafe, Italy, now it's not much.

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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So I guess I'll have to wait until next year sometime to see it. And I guess I'll keep giving the station my money, since when they're not showing the pledge drive junk they actually do a pretty good job. And, like Julia, I really do believe in supporting public television!

Squeat

You don't have to, its avaliable on DVD or VHS for $19.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling:

1 800 336 1917

Just ask for the American Masters episode on Julia Child.

BTW, I really, really liked this show. Its one of the best things I have seen on PBS in a long while -- I'm going to make sure I see some of the other American Masters episodes as well.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Saw the PBS special last night. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful and inspirational lady. Hope someone with wisdom will re-broadcast The French Chef series.

As we were watching the special last night I was thinking the same thing. I think it would be great to re-run those original shows or find them on DVD to rent. I remember that this past spring when we were in DC I could barely pull myself away from the videos of those shows running at the Julia's Kitchen exhibit. As noted often, the fact that those early shows were taped live allowed us to get a glimpse of the personality of this wonderful woman.

Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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