For about a year now, I’ve been pondering over whether or not I should read Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. The other day, while perusing cookbooks at the ghetto library, I saw it and couldn’t resist. Now I know that I should go back and kick my former self for not picking it up sooner. This book is great.
For those of you not in the know, the author took on cooking her way thru Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. She wrote about her victories and mishaps on a blog that I could look up were I not so lazy. Then, she turned it into a book.
Julie Powell, you should know, was not a known author before she started this project. She is witty, funny, and has a great way of describing an aspic, or a method of cooking omelettes, or her friends love lives. She’ll have you in stitches, not only when you are actually reading her recollections of the weekend she tried to make Bavarois a l’Orange for a little dinner party, but also when you are cooking scrambled eggs in your own kitchen and you remember how oddly kinky she describes various cooking tools and methods.
One reason I really like this memoir is that it has a base to it that we can all understand: wanting to be a better (or at least different) person. Anyone can pick up a cookbook and start to cook their way thru it. Hoever, she also brings her personal and professional life to the forefront. Her hysteric breakdowns over boiling a lobster, for instance, make me (a mother professed drama queen) feel a little better about that time I tried to make pumpkin soup. And her descriptions of failed dishes make it a little easier for me to laugh at myself, too.