Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendship. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

happy birthday, julia child

This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook—try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!
~ Julia Child
She may have gone to Smith, but Julia Child had the heart of a born unschooler. Today would have been her 100th birthday and if there were ever a reason to eat a good meal and appreciate every bite, this is it.

I don't own Mastering the Art of French Cooking, nor any other books by Julia Child. I love her mainly because I have memories of coming home from school and watching her show. She fascinated me because she was both extremely knowledgeable and kind of silly. She was sloppy and playful and skilled all at once—a reassuring model for any child.

During this same time my neighbor was going to college in Cambridge, where Julia lived and worked. She remembers occasionally catching glimpses of the green VW Beetle with a spoon or a spatula (she doesn't remember which) wired to the antenna; everyone in town knew it was Julia's car. She and her friends gathered every week to watch The French Chef as it was broadcast, then again on the weekend to cook the dish Julia had made on tv. Apparently Julia's favorite corner butcher shop always ran out of the cut that was featured in the recipe, so savvy Cambridge residents would get there as soon as possible after the show.
Remember, 'No one's more important than people'! In other words, friendship is the most important thing—not career or housework, or one's fatigue—and it needs to be tended and nurtured.
                                                                                                      ~Julia Child

I suspect that cooking was merely a medium for Julia's particular joie de vivre. She loved food because she loved living. She loved to cook because she loved eating with people. And likewise, we love her not for her beef bourguignon, but for her huge and inquisitive spirit.

Last night some friends and I paid our own kind of tribute. The movie Julie and Julia played in the background while we assembled salade ni├žoise, warmed up quiche and mixed upside-down martinis.
Dessert? There were two: chocolate mousse, and reine de saba cake, complete with birthday candle and singing.
Whether or not you are inclined to make a special meal, I hope today that you eat well, try something new, tend to friendship, and above all, have some fun.

And if you do any one of these things, give a little nod to Julia Child.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Sam & cool kids Simon & Sophie
Two weeks ago, after more than 3 years of tweeting together, Sam and I finally met. Sam wrote about it so well on her blog, but I wanted to note it here too, as it was and will be, I'm sure, the highlight of my year.

Almost from the time Sam and I started exchanging tweets, we joked about being able to teleport into each other's homes for a cup of coffee and conversation. She came across as a warm, likable person, someone who was easy to talk to and fun to be with. More than that, she had that indefinable quality of a likeminded soul, a true friend.

It turns out that she was everything I imagined: effusive, funny, sweet, intelligent. We talked as long-lost friends right away, which felt completely natural, even as I was amazed by it. It was like we had skipped all the preliminaries of getting acquainted, going straight to the easy comfort of hanging out and cooking and laughing together; but in fact, we'd had years of conversation, brief and extended, reading each other's blogs and chatting in groups. We already knew each other.

There are all kinds of friendships: childhood pals, classmates, neighbors, fellow expats/new moms/homeschoolers. With luck, a few of them stick and become part of your lifetime community. I'm glad to now have Sam and Chris as part of mine.
twitter & irl friends Brian, Robyn, Jen, Chris, Sam, me, Lisa (photo by DH)
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