Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Julia Child

Wednesday marks the 100th birthday of Julia Child, the woman lovingly known to Americans as "The French Chef". I was just 19 when this culinary icon passed away, yet her spirit is ever eternal with each toast of “bon app├ętit”!

For starters, Julia and I have a few things in common: a first name, a love affair with France, and all the pleasures of cooking. But what was it about Madame Child that made her so enchanting to millions? Inspired to learn more about the person before the celebrity, I’m reading Child’s autobiography “My Life In France”. Julia and her husband’s grandnephew, Alex Prud’homme, compiled the book during the last 8 months of her life. It primarily focuses on the years between 1948 and 1954 while she and Paul lived in Paris, Marseilles and Provence.

What I have come to know of Child thus far is a contagious joie de vivre. She has a certain je ne sais quoi that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to carry that 6'2'' bundle of joy around in your pocket all day. 

Thus on the eve of her 100th birthday, I opened my copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and took to the kitchen with Julia. In less than 20 minutes, I made 2 beautiful servings of bifteck saute au beurre served with a simple green salad and sauce vinaigrette.  Thanks to the detailed instructions from Julia, the steaks were cooked properly and perfectly. There wasn't a leaf of lettuce left in the salad bowl as we used slices of baguette to soak up the last drop of vinaigrette. Julia doesn't just supply you with a list of ingredients and a recipe; she gives you the culinary lesson.

Bon app├ętit!

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