Today Julia Child is honored on her birthday. In gourmet kitchen across Vermont, the US and the world, we have learned to julienne, brunoise, flambé, gratiné, braise, carmalize, sauté and make Mirepoix thanks to her.
Celebrated across continents, satirized across television channels, immortalized in movies, Julia Child inspired us all to love life and take chances (especially in the kitchen). She has influenced the way we eat and the way we think about food.
According to Julia, “Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.”
Many of us in Vermont take her words to heart. Here are a couple terrific quotes in particular that inspire in the kitchen and in life:
“I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a ‘What the hell?’ attitude.”
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook — try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
“Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appétit.”
From My Life in France, regarding her first French meal (sole meunière) shared with her husband Paul Child:
“It arrived whole:a large, flat Dover sole that was perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top. The waiter carefully placed the platter in front of us,stepped back,and said:“Bon appètit!” I closed my eyes and inhaled the rising perfume. Then I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter. I chewed slowly and swallowed. It was a morsel of perfection.”
This is the way we recommend savoring the summer in Addison County. Thank you, Julia.
At a recent event at Greensboro‘s Lake View Inn, my friends Bronwyn Dunne (In the Kitchen with Bronwyn) and her step-mother Judith Jones (Julia Child’s editor at Knopf) organized a Bastille Day weekend called Julia Child and the Art of Mastering French Cooking. It was a huge success (80 plus paying people). Their next event will be at the same wonderful place, in October.
credits: alextrenoweth.com, goodreads.com, journalnow.net, thephoenix.com