Julie & Julia - The Movie and the Cooking

By Karla Jones Seidita, Home Economist
Julia's plain roast chicken
is anything but "plain"

I bought myself a DVD of Julie & Julia and have been watching it non stop ever since.  It's a must have video for everyone who loves to eat.  It is by far one of my favorite movies!

It's two stories in one...... Julia (that's Julia Child, of course) in France circa 1950 writing "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" - her first cook book and Julie Powell, present day, who teaches herself to cook by preparing every recipe in Julia's book.

Glorious roast chicken
The movie encouraged me to get out my old, and never before used, copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking".  Oh, I had skimmed the book when I got it - sometime during the 1970's - deciding (wrongly) that the recipes were too long and therefor too difficult and too time consuming to prepare.

Now, some 40 years later, encouraged by the movie, I actually started to read the book and discovered that the recipes are purpose-ly long because Julia wanted to explain in detail every step needed so the dish would come out perfectly.

I started to cook and followed Julia's instructions about not skipping steps or doing things differently - even though I thought I knew better.

Well, my dears, just like in the movie, I stood over my pots of simmering stew and fluffy bowls of icings, spoon in hand sighing "yum" over and over again as I tasted.

The complexity of flavors was incredible. Familiar foods but with tastes like I never experienced.  Julia's recipes are art for the palate.  I am so in love with her cooking!

Yesterday, I made Coq au Vin and Orange Frosted Sponge Cake.  It took me the whole day but when we finished dinner, I wanted to lick my plate clean.

Fresh Fruit Tart
Unlike Julie Powell, it will take me years to prepare every recipe in the book.  I don't know how she did all that cooking in just one year.


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