Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wisdom from Julia Child

I recently finished reading My Life in France by Julia Child, and oh my goodness I have so much to say. To start, I always knew I would enjoy reading Julia Child's book after watching the ever flawless Meryl Streep portray her in Julie and Julia (which, by the way, could use a little less Julie and a little more Julia, but I digress). Anyway, I was completely right, because not only was I entirely immersed while reading about parisian markets, homes in Provence, and cooking lessons at Le Cordon Bleu, but I was also absolutely inspired by Julia Child.

 When I finally closed the book, I did so with such a strong sense of admiration for a woman who fearlessly dove into a new passion for french cooking at the age of 37. As she recounts the stories of her time in Europe with her husband Paul, it's so hard not to fall in love with her zeal for life and her willingness to work harder than anyone else in pursuit of her goals. 

There are so many moments in the book where Julia shares insights about life, which while reading, I took as advice and jotted down. Below are my five favorite lessons learned from Julia Child's My Life in France.

1. "But is anyone ever completely ready for a new undertaking, especially in a profession like cooking, where there are a hundred ways to cook a potato?"
Julia and her two friends had a few students sign up for their cooking lessons before they felt fully ready to be teachers. Her quote is a nice reminder from that it's ok not to feel 100% prepared for something. Sometimes you just have to dive right in and hope for the best. "Allons-y," as Julia would say.  

2. "I made sure not to apologize for it. This was a rule of mine." 
Julia doesn't believe a hostess should ever apologize for a bad meal even when she was first learning to cook. "Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed- eh bien, tant pis!" Apologizing is uncomfortable for everyone and unnecessarily calls attention to your faults. Learn from the mistake and move on.  

3. "One of the secrets, and pleasures, of cooking is to learn to correct something if it goes awry; and one of the lessons is to grin and bear it if it cannot be fixed." 
This was Julia's reasoning for filming her first show for The French Chef in one uninterrupted 30 minute take. I love that Julia wanted her show to imitate life in all its imperfection. Mistakes are lessons. Side Note: The French Chef is amazing and I am dying to make this chocolate mousse soon! 

4. "No one's more important than people"
Julia said this was a favorite phrase between her and Paul, and no doubt why they had so many friends. Julia explained it by saying "friendship is the most important thing- not career or housework, or one's fatigue- and it needs to be tended and nurtured." 

5. "The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite"
No explanation needed. Thanks for the wisdom, Julia. 
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