Today marks what would have been Julia Child’s 98th birthday. Here’s a woman who I’m calling out not so much for her fashion sense, though I have to say I always appreciated that she was “dressed” to cook – blue pressed shirt, pearls and sensible apron. Nothing over the top, but also not in some cast-offs that were spattered with grease other assorted kitchen goodies. She mananged to keep herself together no matter what she was making.
While I was never crazy about the Julie Powell segment in the movie Julie/Julia, I did think that Meryl Streep played Julia Child beautifully. I relate very much to their itinerant lifestyle, brought on by Paul’s career, and how they meticously recreated part of their home in each new place, while being open to the adventures that living in a new location brings. On many occassion, I’ve repeated Meryl’s interpretation of “But, Poooooooooul…what are we going to doooooooo in Helsinki???”. While we haven’t been offered Helsinki yet, I’ve had the same reaction to a number of other potential relocations.
Perhaps most touching from her life is not so much the cooking, but rather the relationship that she had with her husband Paul, which was so well-documented in My Life in France, written just before her death. If you hadn’t had a chance to ready it yet, it would be a perfect end-of-summer book.
And if McDonald’s french fries were good enough for Julia, they’re good enough for me!
“I tried to hold on to my impressions,” she writes, “but it was hopeless, as if I were trying to hold on to a dream. No matter. France was my spiritual homeland: it had become part of me, and I a part of it, and so it has remained ever since.” But one memory stayed firm, that of her first meal in France. “And thinking back on it now,” she concludes, “reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite — toujours bon appétit!”