Lessons From Julia

Sometimes I have ADD with books and I start them, but if they don’t suck me in wholly and completely right away, I get about halfway through and never finish. I have a number of these books lying around my apartment. And…since I am in the midst of “looking for my next job opportunity” and have been going a bit stir-crazy, a friend suggested I do things I wouldn’t normally have time to do. So…I’ve been watching Destinos obsessively (although I am still a bit reluctant to actually practicar espanol con mi amiga mejor porque es de Colombia y tengo miedo que voy a decir cosas tontas)…and reading said books…including — I know, I know… — Marley & Me, which my mother gave me about a million years ago…and which I am sure the literati would ridicule me for reading. But! I thought it was sweet…and a good example of a journo writing what he knows (and getting a handsome payday — if only we could all be so lucky)…and it struck a certain chord…which I’m not sure it would have done a year ago because I still had Fatty.

But…the *other* book — and the whole reason for this entry, mind you — is Julia Child‘s My Life in France. I stopped reading at some point during her initial time in France and never got around to reading the end. (Then I got a kitten who mercilessly attacked the spine of the poor book and now it is very sad-looking, indeed.)

I was struck by a lot of things Julia said (including, “Balls!” Who knew Julia Child said, “Balls!” when she was mad?).

In my initial read-through my favorite part was that she never apologized for anything when she first started cooking — even when the food was bad. She said it wasn’t fair to the people who came over and who had to *eat* the bad food because then not only did they have to choke it down, but they would *also* have to make her feel better about herself…and that really wasn’t fair. (Which…wow! I apologize for everything! So much so that the friend who offered advice about what to do with all my free time told me that I cannot apologize for ANYTHING on Pie Day…and every time I *do* say, “I’m sorry,” I have to buy her a book. [She’s an avid reader.])

My favorite part in the *second* half of My Life in France was when she talked about first taping her TV show. She said that they couldn’t do it live, but she still liked to tape it all in one fell swoop because she always sort of got into a rhythm and, this:

“One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed.”

Things *always* go awry with me! So…I find it totally comforting that things went awry with Julia, too. And maybe I can chalk up all my baking crises to a  learning curve…and I’m really en route to becoming something. Maybe?

In anticipation of finishing My Life in France, I got the first volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking…but now I feel like I *have* to have the second volume (though it’s hard to find!) as well as From Julia Child’s Kitchen. Which is one more reason I need a bloody job. (Balls?)

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