A few years ago there was a book and movie titled Julie & Julia. The movie was based on the real life stories of both the famed cookbook author Julia Child and Julie Powell, a woman striving to find purpose in her life. Julie Powell starts a blog and throughout the course of one year manages the almost impossible task of trying all 536 recipes in Julia Child's culinary classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
Before seeing this movie all I really knew about Julia Child
was from what I remembered growing up when my mom might have been watching one of her cooking programs
on television. I remember her distinctive voice and laugh, the apron she often wore. Years later she became the source for many comedy skits using that same distinctive voice and Julia’s sense of humor while cooking.
When I heard about the movie, I so looked forward to seeing it. I was finishing up my own cookbook and I completely related to everything she went through in the book.
Testing All the Recipes
My favorite scene was where Julia, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle meet Irma Rombauer, who wrote The Joy of Cooking. Mrs. Rombauer tells Julia it only took her a year to put together the cookbook. (And I was like – “Wait a minute – how can that be?”) And Julia responds, "Only a year, including testing all the recipes?" And then this answer by Irma Rombauer made my mouth drop open, "Well I didn't exactly test all the recipes."
I can completely understand what must have been going through Julia's mind at the moment. Although I don’t have any of The Joy of Cooking books, I’ve always held them in pretty high esteem and finding out that the author didn't originally test all the recipes in her cookbook just floored me.
I think that explains why even today Mastering the Art of French Cooking is still selling strong. Julia Child took the time to create and perfect each recipe.
And I have to say it inspired me to know that it had taken Julia Child nearly 8 years to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And after knowing that my 5 years on my book didn’t seem like quite such a long time any more.
My image of Julia Child changed completely after that movie. I absolutely respect all she did and all she achieved.
I received a couple emails from people who said they were going to do a Julie/Julia project with Celeste’s Best Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free Recipes. Kind of made my heart skip a beat when they told me that, truth be told.
If you make any of the recipes, please email me with your photos and comments and we’ll add them to the Celeste's Best Reader's Gallery