(I wrote this blog piece several years ago on what would have been Julia's 99th birthday)
It is so quiet this bright Monday morning. All I can hear are the birds greeting a brand new day and my old chocolate lab, Caleb, out on the back porch snoring. Unlike my husband's nocturnal symphonies, I find comfort in the sallow, raspy breathing of my canine companion, my four-legged buddy, my child in a fur coat. I decided to grab a cup of joe (that would be Kona Joe) and get caught up in my blog reading. Yes, I am a blog follower focusing mainly on those that inspire me spiritually, physically and emotionally. This morning I zeroed in on domestic goddess and artist extrodinair, Susan Branch. She reminded her readers that today was Julia Child's birthday, she would have been ninety-nine.
I love Julia Child but it didn't come easy. Back in the day I preferred culinary advice from Naturalist, Euell Gibbons over the zany and somewhat deranged behemoth throwing pans and wielding knives (scary knives) on PBS every Saturday afternoon - the ever so flamboyant, Julie Child.
For you youngin's, this is Euell Gibbons with a box of Grape Nuts cereal which was suppose to be "good" for you ..... it was SO course and gravely, it scrapped every inch of your insides clean - even your mouth.
I digress ..... back to the Birthday Girl, Julia. I fell for Julia when I fell even harder for Paris on our first visit in 1992. Take a trip to Paris or any region of France, and experience palate nirvana. Fall in love with France and everything about it, you have to include Julia Child in the mix. She moved to Paris in 1948 with her husband, Paul, studied cooking at the famed Le Cordon Bleu, met Simone Beck and le rest est l' histoire, culinary history, that is.
But what I loved the most about Julia Child was not only her cooking but her spirit of adventure and risk. Several years ago, after decades of speculation, it was revealed she was actually a spy during WWII. A SPY! With all of her accomplishments, her zeal for life and food set in cook books and aired on television, she added "spy" to her resume and kept it secret until after her death. Soooo, Julia!
I read "My Life in France" by Julia Child and Alex Prud'homme several years before Julie and Julia was released on film, furthering Julia's legacy and popularity. Once I opened my hard back copy, I was smitten. Occasionally, I will pull this book off the shelf and thumb though the pages looking for the black and white snapshots of her life, pulling myself into her past, imaging the life she led. My favorite is the photo of her and Paul in a tub full of bubbles. This was one of her annual Valentine cards, sent each year to family and friends in lieu of the Christmas cards she couldn't find time to send out. So Julia!
Happy Birthday, Julia Child. I can only imagine you have rallied up the heavenly hosts to help you prepare your birthday dinner of say ..... Agio Bouido, Jambon Farci et Braise with Choux de Bruxelles Etuves au Beurre followed by Tarte aux Peches or Crepes Suzette (listed not off the top of my head but actual recipes from my 1961 printing of Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I will don my pearl necklace in honor of you today.