Ever have one of those moments when you think that, if you don’t eat a donut soon, You Will Die? I am having one of those moments right now. Right now.
Good thing the nearest fry daddy is 45 minutes away or my teeth would be sinking into something I would regret come morning.
Oh- the cruelty of it all.
Anyway- that isn’t really what I have come here to say. I have come to talk about inspiration, things that inspire me to cook and write, often at the same time. While wandering around a little bookshop in Burlington the other weekend, I found Julia Child’s book, “My Life in France”. How Exciting. I have wanted to read this book for quite some time and here it was, sitting on the shelf at a reasonable price, and I even had money to buy it. So I did. I started reading it today and fell in love before I had finished the first chapter.
Who *couldn’t* fall in love with the ever-lovely Julia Child and her dear husband Paul? She is so enthusiastic and warm in her approach to life and her descriptions of Paul are charmingly etched with love. She tells the story of their transplant to Paris in the late 1940s, settling in with the natives, learning to cook and finally figuring out ‘who she was’ with such delight and intimacy that chapter after chapter turned and I found myself being truly connected to her and excited for her discoveries and adventures.
She inspires me with her effortless grace that is something less than graceful; I love that she can’t fit in the Paris fashions and yet so eagerly ‘goes native’, all six-foot-two of her. I adore her honest, decadent way of describing meals she eats- words that can only be written by one who has truly Loved the meal without reservation or disguise. There is nothing ‘cool’ or hesitant about her involvement with food and it fascinates me to read about the awakening of her passion for it under the rigorous and heart-felt instruction of a people who have known what it is to hunger. Perhaps that is why they are so attentive to their cuisine? It is a national treasure to them, one Julia discovered and was instrumental in making available to those of us who may never see the ‘winking lights’ of Paris.
I have great hopes of making some of the incredible sounding dishes she describes such as, “sole meuniere” and “oeufs brouilles“, the second being a glorified version of our rather homely scrambled eggs. Who knew there was a *right* way and a *wrong* way to scramble eggs? I don’t think I will ever, ever make them again with my customary, calloused ignorance.
I eat too fast and I don’t think about what I am eating half the time. If I do think about it, it is usually a vague, nagging worry that it will make me fat or some such horrific thing.
This Must Change.
“Goutez! Goutez!” The little head chef at the cooking school Julia study at would say, “Taste! Taste!”
You must taste and teach yourself to taste well, to appreciate the good tastes, develop them and savor them while they last.
So. That’s what is inspiring me this week in the kitchen- and every where else, really. Taste! Taste!
Julia Child tasted like most people never allow themselves to, this is why she is inspiring to me.