It’s Julia Child’s birthday again. Had she lived, she’d be turning 98 today. Ms. Child’s mother, Julia Carolyn McWilliams, who lived with John McWilliam in Pasadena (CA, US), named her daughter after herself. The younger Julia later married Paul Child in 1946 and took his last name. When Mr. Child was assigned to a United States Foreign Service post in Paris (FR), they moved there and Ms. Child learned about French cooking.
It was Ms. Child’s “The French Chef” that made me think cooking could be not only rewarding but fun and intellectually engaging, too. Pat and I would watch it on our old B&W TV and then cook things we’d seen her make. Our menus were not grand (chili beans with souffle and salad!), but I got the general ideas of the recipes and the nerve to try them.
Our friends Alan and Diane shared our interest in fine food and gave us Mastering the Art of French Cooking (both volumes). Another friend, Jim, edited the title, replacing “cooking” with “kissing.” We still use them.
It’s wonderful to see that sales of Ms. Child’s cookbooks have increased recently. Those increased sales are the result of renewed interest because of the movie, Julie & Julia. I’ve not yet read Julie Powell’s book Julie & Julia, based on her blog, Julie/Julia Project. A few days before I drafted this post, we saw a trailer for the movie based on the book. And then we saw the film the day it opened (7 August).