While killing time in the airport a few weeks ago, I saw an ad for the upcoming movie (released this weekend) Julie & Julia, it mentioned that it was based on a book, so when we were in the airport book shop buying bottles of water I scanned the shelves for a glimpse of the book. There it was, but right next to it was a title that made my heart jump. My Life In France by Julia Child. "THAT Is a book I want to read!" I thought to myself. While sitting in chairs waiting to board the plane I downloaded the book to my Kindle (gotta love technology's instant gratification.) What a pleasure it is proving to be.
Julia reminisces about her life in France, the period when she found herself and fell in love with food and cooking. The stories are in the first person and I love reading her own words, I can hear her speak them in my mind as I read. In the book Julia tells the story in a series of memories about things that happened during that time in her life. It's not like reading a book, it's like sitting across a sunny kitchen table and having coffee with Julia.
In my post Quoting Julia - Remembering Mom I talked about my admiration for Julia Child. The movie Julie & Julia was released this weekend, I'm excited about it, but I am a little afraid to see that movie & read that book. I guess I'm afraid they won't get her right. My life in France certainly, does.
Bits from the book: My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud'Homme
This quote about her husband, Paul, reminded me of my own husband. "He was very particular about his car-packing, and very good at it too, like a master jigsaw-puzzler."
"In France, Paul explained, good cooking was regarded as a combination of national sport and high art,"
"I couldn't help noticing that the waiters carried themselves with a quiet joy, as if their entire mission in life was to make their customers feel comfortable and well tended."
"It was a remarkable lesson. No dish, not even the humble scrambled egg, was too much trouble for him. 'You never forget a beautiful thing that you have made,' he said. 'Even after you eat it, it stays with you-always." I found myself nodding in deep agreement with Chef Bugnard Julia's first instructor at Le Cordon Bleu as I read this story.
"The best way to describe it is to say that I fell in love with French food-the tastes, the processes, the history, the endless variations, the rigorous discipline, the creativity, the wonderful people, the equipment, the rituals. I have never taken anything so seriously in my life-husband and cat excepted-and I could hardly bear to be away from the kitchen. What fun! What a revelation! How terrible it would have been had Roo de Loo come with a good cook! How magnificent to find my life's calling, at long last!"
Roo de Loo is Julia's nickname for 81 Rue de l'Universite, where Paul and Julia made their home in France.