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Julia Child remains vibrantly interesting today


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My Life in France by Child, Julia with Prud'homme, Alex

Hardcover - 336 page Published: March 2006

This delightful memoir of Julia's years in Paris, Marseilles, and Provence opens with Paul and Julia--a tall, wide-eyed girl from Pasadena who can't cook and doesn't speak a word of French--disembarking in Le Havre, and ends with the launching of the two Mastering cookbooks and Julia wining the heart of American as "The French Chef."

Begun several months before she died, My Life in France was completed by Paul's grandnephew Alex Prud'homme, based on hours of talks with Julia and on family letters. Funny, earthy, forthright--Julia is with us on every page as she relishes the French way of life that transformed her, and us.

She is still with us in the best ways possible: her thoughts and retelling of her adventures that made her the Queen of Cooking ... Vive Julia! :wink:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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more reviews and insights from Barnes & Noble

Filled with the beautiful black-and-white photographs that Paul loved to take when he was not battling bureaucrats, as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, andthe drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

Le voici. Et bon appétit!

Of course there is life after death ... why else do we watch reruns of old classics? :rolleyes:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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more reviews and insights from Barnes & Noble
Filled with the beautiful black-and-white photographs that Paul loved to take when he was not battling bureaucrats, as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, andthe drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.

Le voici. Et bon appétit!

Of course there is life after death ... why else do we watch reruns of old classics? :rolleyes:

You're right about that. Last night there were two food related classic TV shows I watched. One was a recent re-run - "Law & Order's" episode about the murdering celebrity chef. It was better the second time around - one of the first episodes after Jerry Orbach died.

Second was a re-run of the old 50's show (and arguably the best show of the early 50's) - "The Adventures of Superman" with George Reeves who either was murdered or committed suicide - the jury is still out. In this episode, the owner of the diner where the Daily Planet staff eat claims to be a friend of Superman. And virtually the entire episode takes place in the diner, where people are alternately praising or criticizing the food. A fun episode that features a terrific food fight at the end.

Except for Noel Neill and Jack Larson everyone else is dead - but not last night.

Even watched a few Julia Child reruns two weeks ago during the WNET fund raising telethon - she was alive as ever smaking down that chicken.

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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One of our local stations also recently ran some Julia Child specials. It was very nostalgic for me as I used to watch her show when I was a kid. Watching it now as an adult, I was struck by how classic, elegant, refined and yet simple so many of her dishes were. In these days of food fads and food celebrities, I fear there would be no place for her. But we were all enriched by her straightforward approach and absolute love of food! she taught us well!

Kate

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These days it's fashionable to criticise Julia Child's recipes for making use of "inauthentic" ingredients, but in the late 1950s when she was writing her contributions to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, American housewives had access to little else. Making extensive use of the U.S. Army’s Post Exchange in Paris, she jointly authored a book which might have been called (as she says in her Foreword) French Cooking from the American Supermarket. Now that the exotic is commonplace, her pragmatism has become a rod with which to beat her.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Exactly, John! Her " Potato" show was one of the reruns I saw and she cooked a simple dish of potatoes, onions, polish sausage and eggs and cream. While many of us live in areas that have wonderful access to esoteric items, that is a dish for which one could easily procure ingredients from an army base.

Kate

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Julia is a true classic.

As defined by Merriam-Webster Online:

Main Entry: 1clas·sic

Pronunciation: 'kla-sik

Function: adjective

Etymology: French or Latin; French classique, from Latin classicus of the highest class of Roman citizens, of the first rank, from classis

1 a : serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value b : TRADITIONAL, ENDURING c : characterized by simple tailored lines in fashion year after year <a classic suit>

2 : of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans or their culture : CLASSICAL

3 a : historically memorable b : noted because of special literary or historical associations <Paris is the classic refuge of expatriates>

4 a : AUTHENTIC, AUTHORITATIVE b : TYPICAL <a classic example of chicanery>

SB (bets Julia would have liked the "example of chicanery" useage) :wink:

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I got two volumes of the French Chef on DVD for Christmas. To me, Julia Child's show isn't so much about the recipes, but more about encouragement to get in the kitchen and try new things. I think her improvisational approach to subsitution is something sorely lacking in food TV today. Although "exotic" ingredients are increasingly becoming more commonplace, there are plenty of places in the US where it's not feasible to rustle up a pound of shallots or a star anise pod without some sort of mail order. Even in a big city with plenty of gourmet groceries, sometimes I want to cook without the hassle of stopping at several stores to collect all the little flourishes that will make my dish authentic.

Julia makes cooking look fun, and I find her attitude infectious. Yay!

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but more about encouragement to get in the kitchen and try new things. 

Julia makes cooking look fun, and I find her attitude infectious.  Yay!

Not unlike what eGullet is doing currently, don't cha think? :wink:

So many here responded to a question I once posed about what eGullet had brought to their lives and the overwhelming response was "encouragement" ... interesting ... to me anyway. Thanks for your thoughtful input, Blanche ... Davidian .. or DuBois... for the Tennessee Williams fans ... :hmmm:

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I just read about this book coming out in my Smith College Alumnae Quarterly. I can't believe she's been gone so long already. She's in my thoughts every time I try to cook something new. I often think, "How would Julia do it?"

She is so missed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The book, encore: NYTimes review of this book

It is always a pleasure to see France through a fresh pair of eyes. Child savored every sight, sound, taste and smell of this exotic new world. "I had stumbled into an exciting street devoted entirely to brothels," she writes of her first forays into Marseille. Whoopee!, to use a Childism.

The prose, direct and energetic, abounds in one-word summations like phooey, marvelous, yuck, and yum. Every day in France brought a thrilling new discovery, but Child's capacity for wonder and delight coexisted with "show me" skepticism. When a woman in Marseille tries to tell her that real bouillabaisse never, ever includes tomatoes, she tosses that opinion ...

Ain't this the all-time truth:

It is a wonderful picture of the most successful American export to France since Benjamin Franklin.

Thanks, again, Julia!

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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As opposed to Jennifer Paterson?

I miss the Two Fat Ladies!

Is the lack of available DVDs in the States (only found evidence of software in UK in quick search) due to belief that we don't care as much over here? Or are Clarissa Dickson-Wright's feelings of loss and respect for her friend behind the lack of a new boxed set?

P.S. I am aware of the distinction between legacies. I still miss the Two Fat Ladies.

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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As opposed to [url=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/6305385920/002-

P.S.  I am aware of the distinction between legacies.  I still miss the Two Fat Ladies.

Despite some Googling, I can't find out if Julia and Jennifer ever met?

I would guess they'd have had a great time!

SB (would like to have been a fly on the wall) :wink: (or in the food) :shock:

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an hour soak in the tub, a glass(ok- maybe two or three) of a Francois Montand Blanc de Blancs and i'm 107 pages into the book and loving it. since i am an aural learner as i read i hear julia's distinctive voice. when i read how she sent her foolproof mayonnaise recipe to friends in the states to try and comment on - then got no response . "All I received in response was a yawning silence" all i could think was oh, my, she would have loved eGullet and probably gotten an overwhelming response. but those were different times!! no mention of Jennifer in the index. and i miss those wonderful women as well....

now that i've had a slight fix - and the taxes are done- i shall take a glass of Pama and Blanc de Blancs and Julia's book and repair to the living room...

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finished this book in two days, just a week after reading "Julie and Julia", all without having ever taken a look at a Julia Child cookbook! Needless to say MTAFC Volume I, freshly checked out from the library, has been my current reading and I'm struck by how many classic recipes are here that I never would have thought of as "French", so much a part of the culinary landscape they've become.

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  • 4 months later...

and the book is up for a Quills Award. you can vote here:http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13737551

the book shows up in the cooking and overall award sections

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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