Happy Birthday Julia

Yesterday we celebrated my good friend Nancy’s birthday so I’ve got birthdays on my mind.  As a follow up to last week’s post, today I want to highlight some favorite quotes from Julia Child who would have been 104 today, August 15th.  If she were still with us I’m sure she’d be having one hell of a party.

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“The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken.”

Well, why not?  Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, pun intended.

Probably my all time favorite quote is

“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food…”  

Isn’t it awesome how much a little wine added to a dish can transform it into something special?  And I know when you add a little wine to me I’m certain that I transform into something special.

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”

To follow this one, I have to share part of her introduction from The Way to Cook, published in 1989.

“Fear of food, indulgences, and small helpings. Because of media hype and woefully inadequate information, too many people nowadays are deathly afraid of their food, and what does fear of food do to the digestive system?  I am sure that an unhappy or suspicious stomach, constricted and uneasy with worry, cannot digest properly.  And if digestion is poor, the whole body politic suffers.

An imaginary shelf labeled INDULGENCES is a good idea.  It contains the best butter, jumbo-size eggs, heavy cream, marbled steaks, sausages and pâtés, hollandaise and butter sauces, French buttercream fillings, gooey chocolate cakes, and all those lovely items that demand disciplined rationing. Thus, with these items high up and almost out of reach, we are ever conscious that they are not everyday foods.  They are for special occasions, and when that occasion comes we can enjoy every mouthful. 

Servings indicated in the recipes are for conventional amounts, but for all of us it’s sensible, indeed, to make a habit of smaller helpings.  I,  for one, would much rather swoon over a few thin slices of prime beefsteak, or one small serving of chocolate mousse, or a sliver of foie gras than indulge to the full on such nonentities as fat-free gelatin puddings.

The pleasures of the table — that lovely old-fashioned phrase — depict food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life.  In spite of food fads, fitness programs and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal.”

Well said, Julia.

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“A party without cake is really just a meeting.”

I think I’ll start taking cake to all my work meetings and turn them into a party.  They’re bound to be more fun that way.  I’m game, are you?

Happy Birthday Julia, and Bon Appétit!

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