A few weeks ago I finished My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme – which was [very sweetly] mailed to me by one of my sisters as a welcome to Québec gift – and I loved it!
One of the main reasons I found Julia so inspirational was her sweet and go-get-it attitude. The book documents her life’s trajectory as a cook and author including the writing and publishing of her now-famed recipe books. In addition to the delectable menus and culinary revelations described throughout, you also get a sense that nothing can stop her – but not in a defiant, I-know-what-I-can-offer-and-I’m-going-to-do-it way. Instead, she cheerfully looks at her mistakes as opportunities as she dedicates herself to trying and re-trying recipes and navigating the publishing world.
Check out this short excerpt from the book:
“I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…,” or “Poor little me…,” or “This may taste awful…,” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, “Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!” Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed – eh bien, tant pis! Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile […] then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile – and learn from her mistakes.” (Julia Child, My Life in France)
Her determination and ability to believe in the worthiness of her goals (which eventually included going to cooking school in France, acquiring two languages, and learning how to be on TV) inspired me to action. In fact, I credit the reading of this book in part to the launch of my editing business!
PS, you should also watch this video of Julia making an omelette below. She’s just so delightful.