Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Julie and Julia

The aroma of Beef Bourguignon danced through the air from the kitchen to the living room, tickling my nose. Hhhmmmm...what a delicious scent. It made my mouth water.

I was almost certain that I truly got a whiff of the famous dish that Julia Child made as it was recreated on the movie Julie and Julia. I felt like I was really with Julia in the streets of France as she ducked in and out of markets mingling with the delightful French people and inspecting just the right cheese that would be at its tastiest when she was ready to serve it.

After watching the movie I decided to delve into the book Julie and Julia. I just had to know more about this woman who had become an American icon. What did I find out? You really can be whatever you want to be in life.

The journey of these two women, Julie and Julia, was amazing. Julia Child moved to France with her husband, Paul, because of his job. Julia wasn't sure what she'd do with herself and she tried everything from hat making and learning French before deciding she'd go to Le Cordon Bleu, an infamous institution. It was there that she found her true passion, cooking. She practiced recipes fifteen to twenty times and dove into hours of researching the best products to use and proper cooking and baking procedures. When co-author, Simon Beck, proposed a recipe that what up to snuff for Julia, she brought a chemist from Nestle into her home to give her lessons on chocolate and the proper way to melt it for a recipe.

As many of you probably know, Julia not only wrote numerous cookbooks such as Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volumes I and II, The French Chef, Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, and more, she became famous on television. Her show, The French Show, aired in 1963, ran for 10 years and won Peabody and Emmy Awards. Her personal kitchen is now on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Another notable woman, Julie Powell, was working for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in 2002 when she felt the need to create a challenging project for herself which resulted in the birth of The Julie/Julia project. Julie challenged herself to create 524 of Julia Child's recipes in 365 days in her tiny New York apartment. All the while, she kept a blog about her successes and failures. Eventually she wrote the book Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously. Her latest book, Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, was released in November 2009.

We can draw some inspiration from both these woman, both who were unclear about what they wanted to do with their lives and both turned into two very successful people who made their mark in history. If you are persistent, you can be anything you want to be. It may be challenging at times, but don't get discouraged. There are times in our journey where we are going to fail, but we must get back up and try again. To quote Julie Powell's husband in the movie, Julie and Julia, when Julie failed at one of the recipes he said "Julia Child wasn't always Julia Child," meaning she wasn't always well known for her cooking. But thanks to her never ending hard work and determination she created mouthwatering recipes that will be passed down from generation to generation.

The next time you get discouraged about which direction your life is taking, just thinking of these two successful gals and cook up some Beef Bourguignon in their honor. "Bon Appetit!"

Check out videos of Julia Child teaching how to cook at: Julia Child: Lessons with Master Chefs. Need a giggle? Watch Dan Aykroyd's imitation of Julia on Saturday Live on The French Chef, a personal favorite of Julia's!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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