Saturday, September 19, 2009

Six Degrees of Julia

This afternoon I had the chance to go out for the whole afternoon, and I wasted no time in hotfooting to the movies, first one in years, to see Julie and Julia. Even though it was a lovely sunny day, and seemed wasteful to be indoors, this might be the last chance for a while of a whole afternoon off, so I did it.

Wonderful movie, just lovely. The scenes of restaurants in Paris were familiar to me, and the food they ate -- I worked there at one time, was a student there more than once, knew the city pretty well and the language very well and the food, especially in private homes, the sort Julia wanted to convey, even better. And Julia Child's book I still have from the early edition, inscribed to me way back when by HP, knowing I would love it when I was doing early experimenting with cooking.

I must say I was only a bit put off to find after spending hours creating a Quiche Lorraine from scratch to find that it was very similar to my Mom's ham and egg pie, which she would whip up on washing day when she was too busy to cook a lot...

We used to watch Julia's early French Chef tv program, too, very creaky live tv, and hilarious in parts, especially when she dropped something and dusted it off and served it anyway. Little clips from that show are in the movie, too, where seeing the real Julia showed just how well Meryl Streep acted the part of Julia, in the rest of the movie.

Then the character of the blogger Julie, who works her way for a year through the entire Art of French Cooking, and blogs as she goes about it, well who couldn't identify with a blogger? for better or worse.

And just to put a finishing touch on the whole thing, voila, mesdames et messieurs, in the parking lot of the movie what should I draw up by but: the Culinary Institute of America Van, complete with NY licence plates, very long way from here for a movie. I was particularly tickled about this since Julia's early career was with the infant CIA, the other one, the spy agency!

So practically no degrees of separation at all between me and all of the above. Great afternoon, felt like a vacation.


  1. We have lots of calls at the bookshop for books by JC. We don't have the Art of Fr.Cooking, but do have a few others.

    I was looking through the cookery section on Friday and drooling over a casserole cookery book from England. I have borrowing privileges so might take that one home for a while. So lovely to see recipes for lamb and rabbit and various offal bits and celery as a vegetable... lots of things not seen in the new NorthAm. cookbooks.


  2. Celery as a vegetable??? What else is it?

    I have to see that movie, I guess. I've been resisting it, but it seems inevitable!

  3. Thanks for the chuckle about Ham and Egg pie. After reading your review of the movie, I must go and see it. The next village has a flea pit which shows surprisingly recent movies - two or three in a week - just like the old days when I used to go as an escape from reality. Long time ago.


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