For those that know me, you know that I adore food, can’t you tell? I love to try new restaurants as well as cook. In the past few years I have gotten into the whole challenge me in terms of trying something new or the whole from scratch perspective.
Right before my surgery I sent an email to my parents listing a few items that would be nice to have for Christmas (yes, I still do that and should I ever have children I know that this list will no longer be about me and my wants, so hey, I am taking while I can). On the list was the lovely Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child. I knew that the movie was coming out soon, had purchased the book to read but was still reading Anthony Bourdain (oh how I love this man) so I had told myself that in order to see the movie I would have to read the book first.
Surgery comes and goes and in my haze of Demoral I had kind of forgotten about the email until I had a notice in my mailbox that I had a package in the office. Oh goody!!!! Money? Gift cards? Umm, no. . .those would have been shoved in my box, so I called Daddy asking if they had sent some sort of get well care package. Why yes they did and I begged him to tell me what it was and it was THE cookbook. The one the boy had cooked from for me during our time together.
As a promise to my doctor I was not allowed to let my incisions see the light of day, so while my previous weekends have been spent lounging in the pool, sunning my pale self to a nice lobster red, post surgery have involved naps, reading and the occasional outing to Stacey’s or Target (much to the chagrin of my mom who said I didn’t need to drive).
So I got up early yesterday, tried to watch some tv only to find myself napping on the couch for a few hours. I eventually toyed with the idea of going to a movie, so self indulgent, yet so wonderful. I settled on Julie & Julia due to content and the fear of seeing a sappy movie showing how love conquers all would push me over the edge. Thus I broke my little promise of reading before seeing but aren’t rules meant to be broken from time to time?
I found myself falling in love with Julia, connecting with her in terms of feeling out of place and just making it a go no matter what. I laughed and remembered why I love Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci so much, you forget who they are and really see the characters instead of the old, hey this actor is pretending to be this character. I have seen her kitchen in the Smithsonian and have the numerous pictures to prove my love of all things food.
Julie, I have know learned, was softened and made into a more likable character for the movie, which I understand since we normal women, when acting all bitchy, whiny and ill content, makes it hard for people to feel for, why, I have no idea. But I love Amy Adams and her take on Julie made me smile, cringe and think to myself that I too would have issues with killing a lobster.
The movie makes me long to visit Paris, something I have never longed to do, trust. It also made me see that I too can tackle Julia’s recipes. The recipes that she went over again and again, to ensure those less talented but willing to follow directions success when making a souffle (HA! I have already done that but I am all about baking, so tackling that years ago was a given AND I prepared one for the boy on Valentine’s Day, showing that while I always said he was the better cook, I too have skills.)
After the movie, I called my dear friend Marti and made plans to cook a real meal for her from my new cookbook.
Boeuf Bourguignon was my first Julia recipe that I have done on my own. While the lardon was a bit questionable (it didn’t look like the boy’s) I didn’t care. Cooking with wine has always been a fear for me, I do not understand why, but it is; drinking it is another story. The smells permeating from the pot took me back to those luscious smells of the boy’s home. It made me smile, it made me remember that I can do this and that giving him the power in the kitchen was a mistake on my part. I enjoyed it immensely and the leftovers that came with it.
Thank you Julie and Julia for reminding me that I have talent in the kitchen. I am looking for the next recipe that will catch my eye and make me smile. Until then, I am going to savor my leftovers. In a way, both ladies brought me back from the brink, something I didn’t think could happen by just going to a movie and clutching a cookbook.