A quickie on Julie/Julia

October 27, 2009

Yesterday the Empress, the Parsnip Princess and I went to see the Meryl movie, Julie & Julia. And loved it, as anticipated. That Julia Child was a woman of appetites, if this film is any kind of a biopic. We left the cinema drooling and wanting boned duck stuffed with pate and cooked in pastry for dinner.

And the other thing we all seized upon was that despite eating their body weight in butter each day, smoking and drinking and generally having a high old time of it, Julia Child and her husband Paul lived to the ages of 91 and 92 respectively. Don’t you love those stats?

The Empress declares this one more piece of evidence for her theory that home cooking (i.e. good home cooking, with fresh, varied, unprocessed food) is the key to a long and healthy life (hmm, I won’t mention my own parents and their early deaths despite lifelong home cooking here – except to remark that to my mind, their growing up in postwar England did not equate to being reared on good food!) .

My last word on the Julie/Julia phenomenon is to point you to By Designa terrific Radio National program my friend Mark Wakely produces, hosted by Alan Saunders – and the fact that years ago, long before Hollywood found Julie Powell, RN interviewed her about the blog that led to this whole hullabaloo.

By Design just replayed the interview this month, and it’s great – she talks about the actual cooking, and how she went about working her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking (and the strange fact of her having never eaten an egg until the age of 29!) Listen to the interview on By Design’s website here.


  1. Studies also show that those who have more birthdays live the longest. Thank to lovely cousins R&L for providing that piece of research.

  2. Loved the movie too – then we dined at Tabou in Surry Hills and had a yummy French butter binge. But, having never seen any Julia Child on TV, I wondered whether Meryl’s hi-pitched voice was an over-the-top caricature or fairly close to the mark. Then I went to You Tube and watched great TV snippets like this:


    Close to the mark, Meryl!

  3. That is HILARIOUS, Jamie. Even better than the one I think i linked to some time ago – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBQD3aSZ9R4 – and you’re right, Meryl is not exaggerating. Hysterical.

  4. Great link to Julia and the Chicken Sisters. That’s really a big cooks knife.

    Speaking of which, I celebrated my post-Julia&Julie calorific/emotional high a week ago by slicing the top off my thumb with a sharp new knife. Is this a smaller scale version of the ChainSaw Massacre movie effect?

  5. As soon as I read Julie’s comment about slicing off the top of her thumb (wince), I thought of Sylvia Plath, and her poem ‘Cut’, from Ariel.

    “What a thrill-
    My thumb instead of an onion.
    The top quite gone.
    Except for a sort of a hinge.

    Of skin,
    A flap like a hat,
    Dead white.
    Then that red plush.

    ….etc etc

  6. How apposite Jamie!
    Though – and I’d hate to imply Sylvia was a whinger- mine didn’t have a hinge left. I had to sit down.

    Spookily enough, Sylvia Plath loved cooking too didn’t she – whipping up tasty fruit pies in cheerier days; delighting in tomatoes in Spain. I’m pretty sure from the letters she had a copy of Irma Romabauer’s, The Joy of..

  7. Oh my, we are taking a macabre turn here … Julie I had no idea of your absent thumbtip! Actually it reminds me that I was going to post some time about kitchen injuries, having cut myself a bit lately and my right hand and wrist are permanently covered in small burns. It’s an attractive look, sort of a cross between old leprosy wounds and junkie tracks.

    But I see now, thanks to Jamie, that we are in highly literary company. Excellent! Thanks for the Sylvia tip, I’m going to forage among her wares for some culinary tidbits now.

  8. If you think being a burn-prone, sharp-knife-clumsy cook is bad enough (and I’m an occasional victim both ways), combine that with a gardener’s many prickly misadventures and all I can say is I am glad I don’t get stopped in the street by sceptical detectives. I could never credibly explain all my cuts, burn marks and scratches by blaming them on Charmaine Solomon and Peter Cundall.

    However, Charlotte, I do look forward to your blog on kitchen injuries, although I will adopt the same policy I apply to horror movies and will close my eyes during the really yucky, scary bits.

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