Okay, I’m back in France, this time with Julia Child. Since I recently saw the movie “Julie and Julia” about a New York insurance agent who cooks 524 of Julia Child’s recipes in 365 days and blogs about it, I thought it would be fun to read the books on which the movie was based. My Life in France isn’t just about Julia’s life in Paris where she earned a diploma from Le Cordon Bleu, the world famous cooking school. After World War II, Julia and her husband Paul lived in various locations in France, Norway, and the U.S. because of Paul’s government job. When Paul retired in the 1960’s, they settled in the U.S. and France. The book also covers the agonizing process of publishing Julia’s first book, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, and the myriad of others to follow plus her television career.
I’m not much of a cook and don’t plan to be so why would I want to read about a chef? I love to eat, and I’m fascinated by French food, except for the snails of course. As a writer, I’m also interested in other authors’ publishing success stories. Mastering the Art of French Cooking was a collaboration between Julia and two others, and it took years to publish. I think this is mainly because Julia and her collaborators didn’t live in the same city, and this was in the good old days before e-mail and file sharing. Once it was published, the others didn’t seem to take as long, but they were still a lot of work because each recipe they used was researched and tested numerous times.
One difference between writing and cooking is that when you make a mistake in your writing, it’s easy to go back and fix it, especially with computers nowadays. But once a meal is on the table, that’s it. If Bill doesn’t like the onions in the macaroni and cheese, I can’t open it on my computer and delete the onions. For this reason, I’ll stick to writing stories and poems and cook only when necessary. For more information about Julia Child, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Child As Julia would have said, “Bon appetit!”
Abbie Johnson Taylor
Author of We Shall Overcome