This week the Food Network is running their Chefography series, each night is a biography of a famous chef. Last night it was about Julia Child, who I consider the goddess of all good food.I have several of her cookbooks (still need to track down Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1). I have Volume Two, an old copy I picked up at a yard sale. I have read several books about her life, she had quite an interesting one! Born in Pasadena, she was pretty much a party girl until the war came along, when she joined the OSS (precursor to the CIA) because she was too tall to get into either the WACS or the WAVS. She traveled the world, and met her soon to be husband in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). They eventually settled in Paris, where she learned to cook. Her husband was an early foodie, and she knew that cooking was a skill she needed to perfect. She enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu, and the rest is history.
She was delightful, and funny, and what you saw was what you got. Here is an excerpt from "The Way to Cook" in the Omelette section: "A fresh green salad, a glass of white wine, and an omelette make a lunch worth waiting the 30 seconds it takes to make one, and I say fie to the oenophilic spoilsports who insist that wine goes with neither eggs nor salads. Wine is essential with anything!" I couldn't agree more.
Another thing I learned from her, that I have tried to adopt in my own life, is to NEVER apologize for the food you make. Even if you overcooked it, or the new recipe you tried wasn't the tastiest thing you ever served your family, you should not apologize. You took the time to make the food in front of your family or guests, and that should be enough.
Someday I plan to go to Washington DC, and see her complete kitchen on display at the Smithsonian, and leave a pound of butter in homage to her. (That comes from the book "Julie on Julia" by Julie Powell, in which Julie attempts to make every single recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year, and the result. It is a great read if you are interested in cooking, or Julia, or just some really funny writing.)
And all of those folks who tell us that eating too much fat, and drinking too much wine, isn't good for us should just take a look at Julia, who lived to the ripe old age of 91, and died peacefully in her sleep. I am guessing after a fabulous meal with a really good glass of wine.