Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Food Fight

{cutie photo from Rakka's flickr page}

I read a lot. You know, looking for enlightenment regarding my calling; or what a friend and I jokingly, frantically refer to as a Life Plan. Something undiscovered that will mean a lot to me, to couple with friends and family that already do. Lately I've been looking to the queens of the kitchen, and have (ahem) consumed a biography on Alice Waters and the letters of M.F.K. Fisher (both recommended, although the "authorized" biography of Alice Waters is a bit easy on Alice.) But I've fell hardest for Julia Child's book My Life in France, for a couple of reasons.

1) Julia didn't find her life calling (buttery Frenchie food) until she was 37!

2) She's obsessive (and as a result, a little neglectful) like me. For example, she had to know what made mayonnaise work or fail. "By the end of my research, I believe, I had written more on the subject of mayonnaise than anyone in history...but in this way I finally discovered a foolproof recipe, which was glory." And she nearly failed her Le Cordon Bleu test by concentrating on the advanced, tricky recipes, meanwhile forgetting the Cordon Bleu Basics pamphlet that they drew the test questions from. Oops, and done that.

3) She was a tall lady. I often fill awkward when faced with new challenges. But is it possible to feel more awkward than Julie looked, towering at 6 feet, 2 inches, over the petite European stoves she learned on, deboning a palm sized quail with her giant hands? Probably not, and she managed to own it (lesson to the ladies!)

...oh, and when she sent her recipes off to friends in America all she got was silence. (This really has nothing to do with anything, except, dear Eden From Sweden blog readers, leave comments, so I know you're out there, breathing and supportive)...

Making my way through the pages, a feeling's crept up on me. When something strikes your fancy, you need to push it forward. Julia's ascent wasn't exceptional. It was just hard work, honesty and a fabulous sense of humor.

4 comments:

Sarah O. said...

And she was a Smithie! Thumbs up, Julia. There are few things that warm my heart more than people who graduate from snooty schools and then take their goddamn time figuring out their lives.

sharon.horowitz said...

And she worked at OSS. Part spy-part chef.

Eden From Sweden said...

Heehee. All good points!

Jan said...

...and her kitchen is in the Smithsonian, just like your writings will be someday....