Julia on cooking

Whenever I start lamenting to myself just how far I have to go in mastering cooking skills (um, even some basic ones), I think of this quote from Julia Child.

“I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” –Julia Child

So there you go: It’s never too late to learn!

I like her relaxed, contemplative attitude in this next photo of her kneading bread by an open kitchen window. She seems to be in a complete reverie. And the breeze must’ve felt cool on her skin.

Incidentally, if you haven’t read Child’s autobiography My Life in France or As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto—DO. They’re both wonderfully intimate and bubble over with enthusiasm and intelligence as well as insight into just what a behemoth of a project Mastering the Art of French Cooking was. Plus, with regard to As Always, how cool is it to listen in on the vivacious exchange of letters between two pen pals who became such close friends?

I also like rereading Judith Jones‘s book The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food for Jones’s insight into discovering and working with Julia Child, as well as the life events that led to her (Jones’s) love of food and French cooking. Makes me realize anew that when you know your own heart and interests and have the luxury of following where those inner voices beckon, what at first seems to have no practical purpose will all make sense looking back.

(via Matchbook Magazine; top two photos via The Coop | Harvard/M.I.T.; bottom photo by Marc Riboud/Magnum for The New York Times)

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2 thoughts on “Julia on cooking

  1. momentusangela, I hope you enjoy the insider-y type of reads that are The Tenth Muse and As Always, Julia. I’m sure you’ll appreciate both especially if you relish good food, but those books are also great reads by strong, intelligent, and persistent women. Judith Jones actually saved The Diary of Anne Frank from Doubleday’s slush pile, and it’s since become one of their perennial titles!

  2. There’s something about Julia Childs that makes my heart want to sigh. I haven’t read her books, but am now thinking about picking one up based on your recommendations. Like you, I appreciate the background stories that lead someone to love something like cooking so deeply as to embark on such a huge project. Thanks for this post!

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