I had a well-thumbed copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, of course I did, and didn’t we all? My results, even when I followed her recipes precisely, never quite rose to perfection. I watched her TV show occasionally, and found her a hoot. She once did a show on a vegetarian Thanksgiving that involved some sort of complicated souffle, which fell on one side as she took it out of the oven. She dismissed the epic tilt with a brisk, “We’ll just cover it up with the roasted chestnut sauce, and no one will be the wiser.” She gave all of us confidence to make the best of our disasters in the kitchen, as long as the ingredients were fresh and the outcome edible if not the gorgeous presentation the recipe promised.
She lived in Boston, long after Paul died, and continued cooking and sampling various local restaurants. Once, when Matt was in college, he took Jerry and me to a fine restaurant for a special meal. An elderly, very stooped woman came in with two younger friends, and sat quite near our table. I didn’t recognize Julia Child, whom I thought of as a tall, imposing person — until she spoke to the server. There was no mistaking her voice.
There’s a new book out, photographs taken by her husband Paul of Julia as a young woman. I love photography, and I love the ten or so photos included in the article. She was, all 6’2″ of her, gorgeous when she was young. And Paul captured what made her special; he had the eye of a photographer as well as the eye of her husband and lover.
Enjoy the article and the pics. If you ever entered a kitchen, you knew Julia too — didn’t you?