On Monday, with a batch of chili in the crockpot for the following night's meal, and a plate of pasta in front of me, I sat down to watch Julie & Julia. Finally. I know I am little late to jump on this bandwagon, but for a while I had a boyfriend who thought his masculinity would suffer if he subjected himself to such a film. And I know, I know, I should have taken a cue from a poet friend of mine, who went to see the movie himself in theaters (yes, himself. And no, his masculinity did not suffer). Hindsight though. It’s better than my myopia, that’s for sure.
To be brief, I loved it. What I loved, of course, was the food. The food! Always the food. Chocolate pies, pan-fried bread topped with fresh bruschetta, boeuf bourguignon (And it is emphatically not ‘beef’ bourguignon when we’re discussing Julia), deboned duck, butter, butter, butter.
What I also loved, however, was Julie (and Julia, of course, but that goes without saying.). And how we could be friends. Besties, maybe. Or sisters, or long-lost somethings.
At a certain point in the film, Julie is watching an old cooking video of Julia Child’s, when she points to the screen and says in awe, “Pearls. She’s wearing pearls in the kitchen.” I had to pause the movie and call Ian to confirm that this sentence is exactly something I would say, exactly something I would marvel at. He confirmed. Julie cried—several times—over failed dinners. Tantrum in the kitchen kind of cry. Anyone who’s been around me in the kitchen for more than a month is familiar with my reaction to a burnt sauce. There’s a lot of slamming. A lot of thrown spoons. A lot of tears.
But it wasn’t all kitchen disasters—for me or for my new-found friend Julie. A girl after my own heart, Julie Powell spent her evenings away from her stressful and depressing job cooking. And enjoying it. And while she might have dished up delectables to an adoring husband while I attempt to engage Clementine in conversation over the salad course, the sentiment is still the same.
For those unfamiliar with the film, Julie Powell was (is?) a New York City resident in 2002, who decided to begin a blog where she chronicled her attempt to cook every. single. recipe. in Julia Child’s cookbook in one calendar year. That is almost 500 recipes in 365 days. And I don’t even want to know how many pounds of butter.
She succeeded, of course, and became wildly famous and had a book deal and now has a movie about her. Ms. Child, however, did not approve. She considered Julie Powell’s blog a “stunt” and refused to endorse the blog’s project—but her commentary proved to be only a minor setback to Julie’s kitchen endeavors.
After watching Julie & Julia, I entertained the idea of undertaking a similar feat. I couldn’t do Julia Child’s fabulous cookbook, of course, but I do have a Soup Bible with over 400 recipes in it…Or I could blog about going through SmittenKitchen’s blog, making every recipe, and constantly referencing Julie Powell’s original blog. But then I realized that I’ve already blogged about how I can’t have a themed blog, which would mean that I couldn’t blog about following a food blogger’s blog in order to replicate an original food blogger’s blog. And then I stopped because I couldn’t handle that many levels of meta. And I made myself dessert.