It’s time for another post swap! After you enjoy this gem from Eden of Eden’s Eats, head on over to her blog to check out my guest post. A change of scenery does a body good, no?
Hi “Issues” readers! You may remember my last post swap about yoga. But I thought I’d indulge you with some nuggets of wisdom from one of the people that not only inspired me to go to culinary school, but to actually start getting help to sort my own “food issues”.
Julia Child is my fairy god mother, at least that what form I’d imagine my fairy godmother would take. My mom idolized Julia. We’d watch her cooking shows on public television and my mom was a big fan of her cookbooks. This isn’t meant to be a sad post, but for those that dont know, my mother passed away when I was 14. I firmly believe she and Julia are messing up omelets and gorging on French food up there.
Anyhow, there are few lessons I learn from this wise woman. She truly inspired me to not only become a chef, but to find confidence and self worth, something I think I still need to work on.
Without further ado, here are my lessons learned from Julia:
Always abide the 5 (or 30) second rule:
I have problems throwing away perfectly good food anyhow, but Julia reinforced this. One of my strongest memories of Julia was a remark that she made during an interview (I don’t think it was part of a cooking segment) when the discussion turned to kitchen disasters and what to do about them. She told a story about carrying a roasted bird into the dining room, tripping and dropping the bird on the floor. Scooping up the fowl and placing it back on the tray, she’d gaily chirp “Oh, thank goodness I made two!” and whisked the errant bird back into the kitchen, rearrange it on the tray, and brought it back out again. Hey, a few germs build up your immune system.
It’s ok for food to not be beautiful:
She did some sort of Christmas special with Martha Stewart where they made croquembouche (a tower of creme puffs). Julia warbled, “Oh, I like yours!” as we see Martha’s perfect OCD pyramid of cream puffs. They then they panned to Julia’s, which looked like a pile of rocks. I bet Julia’s tasted better though.
Laughter IS beautiful:
Julia’s beginnings were not all that exciting. She was in college during the depression and had lots of menial jobs before she even dreamed of becoming a chef, but she always found a way to laugh. “I had a very good time doing virtually nothing,” she has said of this time. “There was always lots of fun and laughter.” Scientists say that a smile, even forced or fake, sends a certain happy message to the brain. And if a smile is the happiness equivalent of a cup of coffee, then laughter is a double-shot of espresso. When I watch or listen to Julia, I’m reminded how beautiful laughter can be indeed.
Most likely, the first of anything will be messed up:
It’s superhuman to get things done right the first time. I remember watching her as a child and hearing her say that when making crepes, the first is always a mess. It is very true and whenever I make crepes I expect and have no problems with the first one being tossed in the garbage. But this applies to life as well. You get better at things over time, after a few tries, have no regret and guilt about having your first go be a flop.
Never be afraid of being yourself :
At 6’2”, with a warbling voice, Julia Child was hardly the sort of person you’d expect to see on television, yet it were these qualities that people found so endearing. She was fearless.She spoke her mind, and was unafraid of showing mistakes and flaws. This unapologetic realness made her accessible – if she could learn to cook, than so could we.
Sometimes, the simplest things taste the best:
A few years ago there was a hamburger episode she did as a guest on Emeril live. They made hamburgers and she made hers very simply with tomato, mayo, etc.; a very basic all-American style burger. Emeril, like he is prone to do, went off on a tangent and made something like a burger with confit, gorgonzola, organic sprouts on a recycled bifurcated Lebanese roll with ginger soy and pepper vodka remoulade. You get my drift. She looked straight at him and said “I don’t think I would like that at all”. I hear ya, Julia.
Mom jeans will never look good:
I love Julia, but she had some serious mom jeans in her cooking show wardrobe. Not that I expected her to have on the latest fashions, but she just minded me that yup, mom jeans are kinda ugly, even if you’re 6’2”.
A little butter won’t kill you:
Actually a little of anything won’t kill you. Julia Child had such a sensible attitude about food in this crazy era of food and eating disorders. I sort of wish she was there when my eating disorder developed to steer me out of it. She took great pleasure in food, especially butter, but she was all about moderation. At age ninety, she was asked how she stayed so healthy and vital, and her answer was “moderation, small helpings, a great variety of foods, and good wine.”
Did you have anyone famous you admired growing up? Who influenced your love of food or cooking?