Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday, Julia

I can't say for sure whether Julia Child ever made brownies. Believe it or not, I am not that familiar with her recipes. However, I am familiar with Julia Child's television shows. Julia (because, come on, all of us have know of her forever) is a fascinating person. Not the least bit interested in cooking until she was in her 30s, Julia managed to become the "French Chef" of renown. There was a new book by Bob Spitz about Julia. it's Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child and it is as remarkable as Julia's life was. Mr Spitz manages to put Julia's passion for food between the covers of a book. It starts out with Julia's childhood, not especially remarkable, and ends with her death. Along the way, you get to Julia grow as a person as well as a chef. And Mr Spitz describes Paul Child, without who there would not be an iconic chef as Julia Child. Mr Child had some rough breaks (his twin brother was sent to college, he wasn't) along the way. It also sounds as if he could be a difficult man to live with, but Mr Spitz shows the reader what Julia knew and loved about Paul. He was an extremely supportive husband, especially considering the time frame the Childs inhabited. But I love the little "bad Julia" stories. For instance, Julia walked out on Regis and Kathie Lee. The three of them were supposed to spread ganache over a cake. Kathie Lee, however, refused to do it because she didn't want to get "dirty". Regis decided to go with Kathie Lee decision and also refused to frost the cake. Julia was not a happy camper because that was not the way the demonstration was supposed to be shown - it was the 3 of them frosting their own cake, not Julia frosting all 3 cakes. So Julia did what I bet many stars would like to do - she packed up her equipment and left at the commercial break and never looked back. I would have loved to seen that particular show, the 2 hosts looking at each other thinking "What now?" when Julia bolted. And how Julia bedeviled Jacques Pepin on their shows and live performances. I get a sense that Julia just loved being alive and wanted to get every single second of fun she could from each moment of her life. There's a lot more to this book (it's over 500 pages)than the small crumbs I present here. But don't freak over the length - Mr Spitz writes in such a way that it makes the book a quick, enjoyable read. I really enjoyed this book and I think you will, too. FYI I did get the book from the Amazon Vine program as a freebie, but I would have bought it anyway. Outside of the free book, I received no other compensation fro reading or reviewing this book... Bon Appetit!

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