Julie Julia Gives me a Needed Boost

My friend Bev, who I met as a fellow teacher of the deaf in Prince George 31 years ago, came for a visit this week.  Besides browsing thrift stores and finding absolutely fabulous stuff, we went to see the movie Julie Julia.  I was completely and totally enchanted by it, as I’ve been a fan of Julia Child’s for a long time.

Though her cooking show, The French Chef, had debuted in the 60’s, I didn’t become aware of her until the 80’s when these episodes were shown again on Public Television.  It was because of her that I boned an entire turkey.  A stuffing was made from ground chicken meat and sour cream.

Actually, I did this on two occasions.  The first time was at Christmas, much to my brother’s dismay.  He likes things ‘the old way’ so was quite skeptical.  The second time was for Bev’s wedding.  Both times the results were magical.

I’m now mad to get her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I looked for it in every thrift store we entered, but of course found nothing.  One of these days I’ll stumble upon it, and then the family is going to be amazed.

And what’s even more amazing is that the food will be served on the same Johnson Brothers Willow china that Julia had!  I was thrilled when I saw it at the end of the movie when they showed her kitchen in the Smithsonian.  I got my Willow china from my dear friend Alison’s mother Pauline.

Pauline was a high school home economics teacher, and she and I used to talk about recipes together.  So I find it totally cosmic that I should have inherited those plates from her, and that I should have seen them in a movie that’s made me feel hysterical with hope.

I feel as though maybe there could be a small cadre of readers out there who enjoy my blog.  Trying to make people laugh through writing has been my hobby since I was a kid.  I remember one day when I was about ten I was sitting on my dad’s chair at the kitchen table.  I picked up the plastic lid he used as a cover to keep fruit flies out of his beer mug.

It was a transparent lid, and I very carefully printed along the top, “Dad’s a cuter” and around the bottom “not a neuter.”  My dad kept that for the rest of his life.  Okay, so maybe that’s not an example of literary genius, but it is an indication of how early my desire to amuse people through words began.

Similarly, my penchant for making food began early, too, even if it was just Plasticine food made for my Barbies.  So even though Denis and the kids are sure I’ve gone mad, I think the combination of the baking business and weekly blog makes complete sense.

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