If you are a foodie of any kind, I surely do not need to tell you that today we celebrate what would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday!
I was reflecting on the importance of this woman culinary history. She was in the OSS (former CIA) during World War II, They say she was just an amateur, a self-made woman who pushed and grunted her way through the Cordon Bleu at a time when women were relegated to the simple side of cuisine. And that she brought the art of french cooking to the United States (if only the art had established itself…)
My admiration for her in the end is twofold, and I share it here partly because I haven’t written in months and I need some motivation to get a few big pieces off my desk 🙂
First of all, this is a woman who had an innate ability to test recipes repeatedly until they were just right. Where on earth she found the time and the patience, I don’t know, but I love her for it. It was a revelation to me when I discovered, by reading her biography, that there is indeed a difference between the creams you find in France and in the US, and that the difference can be bridged in most cases if you follow her instructions. Julia Child was tireless and fearless, and I’d give my left arm for that kind of focused dedication to a passion..!
The second aspect that just makes me all giddy every time I think of it is her stubborn appreciation of the importance of fat in French cooking. Butter, butter and more butter! Margarine is no substitute! Concerned about your health? Of course, and so am I. But in the words of the fearless female leader, born 100 years ago today: “I would rather eat one tablespoon of chocolate russe cake than three bowls of Jell-O.”