Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Julia

It's day 11 of my month of French fun and I'm back to French food today with a celebration:My commenter Liz reminded me that it would have been Julia Child's 99th birthday today. Happy 99th to a character who was larger than life in many ways and proof that eating food that tastes good because of lashings of butter does not lead to an early grave!

I met Julia Child once, when my then publisher had flown in from New York and was taking me out to lunch in San Francisco. We went to a trendy new place that had just opened and there at the next table was Julia Child, with her husband Paul. And what's more, my publisher knew them, so we had a great discussion about what to order. My impressions of her were 1. how much she loved her husband and how solicitous he was of her, and 2. how much she enjoyed her food.  She really was a large lady and completely dwarfed him (he was quite old and frail by that time). And I remember one other thing: all through the meal my publisher and publicist were more interested in what she was eating than in me!

I loved the movie Julie and Julia, by the way. Who couldn't? Meryl Streep has long been one of my favorite actresses and someone I'm dying to meet (so if you know her, introduce us!) And the fact that a five foot six slim woman could convincingly portray a big boned six footer was a real tour de force. Of course the directing and camera angles helped a lot but she ACTED that size.

I have a well used copy of the Art of French Cooking and I think I'll go up to the kitchen and decide what to cook in homage to Julia tonight. Coq au vin? Her boeuf bourgignon is sublime.
Any Julia favorites to share?

This month of French fun is in celebration of the launc of Naughty in Nice, on September 6th. Three weeks to go today!! Yipee.



  1. Good winter recipe (winter will come, right?)--
    Boeuf Bourguignon.
    Surprised how much I enjoyed Julie & Julia, as I'm not much of a movie fan. But you're right about Meryl Streep, and, in any event, I always admired Julia for her WWII service, a lifetime achievement in itself.

  2. I never got to see Julia in action. When she was doing her thing on tv, my father was in charge of the channels. I never got to watch her, but it is a testament to how well-loved and well-known she was that I even knew of her back then in the first place. The closest I'd gotten to seeing her on tv was on the Saturday Night Live sketch with Dan Ackroyd as Julia. Still tickles me.

  3. I too have her Art of French cooking cookbook. I bought it after I watched the movie, Julie & Julia. I haven't made anything in it yet but will someday. I too love Meryl Streep, she is wonderful.