My Life in France by Julia Child

I’ve been meaning to write this post forever. It’s my 100th. Life gets in the way, but the timing is perfect. I’ve left my job at Jumptap to start my own company, Media Armor. On top of that, I’ll be taking the second part of the Back to Basics series at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. This is a time for new beginnings which parallel’s Julia’s experience as chronicled in the book, My Life in France, based on her journal entries. The challenge of writing a post about her and the book is daunting. Books have been written about her. By no means could I ever do her justice, so I won’t profess to. In fact it is probably more appropriate to be simple, like her cooking and to talk about how I connected with her and her writing.

Of course I’d seen Julia and Julia. This book reflects the half of the movie that was about Julia, and my opinion the more interesting half. My exposure to Julia Child is rooted in my childhood like many. I remember watching her cooking shows with my grandmother when I was young. We loved watching Julia. Her passion, simplicity and comfort in the kitchen where inspiring. I had no idea what to expect while reading this book.

It goes without saying that this was an amazing read. Her desire and courage to take on new challenges made me want to learn more. She easily conveyed that she was like anyone else to her fans which helped make her so likable. Best of all as she learned throughout her life, she understood that her passion beyond food was teaching others, and this she excelled at, changing the food industry forever. Her stories, humor and openness were welcomed.

Maybe because she was older, or maybe because I was much younger and couldn’t understand…Julia was much more “raw” and progressive than I ever could have imagined. Tall, slightly awkward, loud, and fearless, she approached her life in France and cooking with conviction and fearlessness. Her life’s story came alive with each and every page turn. Most striking was her honesty about life, her relationships and lessons. While I read this I couldn’t help but think back to Jaques Pépin’s own autobiography The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen which I read and wrote about previously. It is no wonder why they became such close friends in life.

This book doesn’t portray a woman seeking glory, recognition or vanity. She is humble, appreciative and genuine. To fully appreciate it, another read is necessary so as to absorb the detail and experiences that she painstakingly recounts. Since I started this blog I have definitely become more comfortable with cooking. Hell, I even won a work cooking competition. I now challenge myself with new recipes and ingredients and feel free to experiment. As I embark on my own new life with respect to work, I’m encouraged by Julia to go after what I want in life, to take risks, and embrace the unknown and unexpected. Life is sweeter.

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