My Life in France: Book Review

A quick and lovely read about Julia Child's life after marrying Paul Child and moving to France. They led a pleasant life enjoying food, traveling through France, taking pictures, and making friends. And cooking.

Boy did Julia love to cook! Once she got going (she studied at Le Cordon Blue) she never stopped. She tells a story of perfecting the recipe of mayonnaise, making so much that she and Paul were eating it at every meal. Then she had so much of the stuff that she was throwing it down the sink. In the end, she truly had mastered mayonnaise! And she did that with practically every dish she made. Needless to say, she used the word bilious a lot. She loved the ins and outs of cooking: what made a dish perfect, how everything worked, and why it worked a certain way. That's why it took over 7 years to write her (and her friends') first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The first draft was over 700 pages!

One of my favorite quotes from Julia concerning cooking for others:
"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 . . . it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. . . 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."

I am going to take that to heart. And I may just try to make one of Julia's recipes in the future.

In the book, Julia gives an address of the home she and Paul lived in while they were located in DC. Oliver and I sought out and found the house. Not sure if it was yellow then, but it is now.


Chap said...

I loved that book, but what if she had been a non-drinker, would her life in France have been much different?

Natalie said...

I like that quote. I need to bear that in mind as well. I love that you read the book and then went to find the house!

jo said...

Sounds like a good read. I'm so glad you two got to go on a mini adventure after reading the book. That's the way to experience what you read! THanks for the review.

The Jeff Bylund Family said...

Very cool that you found the house! It was fun talking to you today!