Arriving this week in bookstores is an interesting memoir:Julie & Julia,365 Days,524 Recipes,1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. Government temp Julie Powell,frustrated by her job and attempts at having a child,takes on a project togive her focus:she will cook every single recipe in Julia Child's classic Master The Art Of French Cooking(hence
the 524)for a year. Her husband Eric convinced her to step up a blog to chart her progress(it's still around,even
tho the project has officially ended)and Julie gained a group of faithful "bleaders"(her term for blog readers) and
some media attention.
Now,I'm not a foodie person(and no fan of French cusine)but the down to earth tone of this book drew me in.
Appropiately,this was one of my Lunchtime Reading titles-I'll explain. At my store,there's a large round table
used for business purposes(bookbuying meetings,mostly)downstairs in our sprawling office/recieving section.
Many of us eat our lunches there and against the facing wall is a large breakfront section where all of our
reader's copies wind up(usually in a higgly-piggly set of stacked piles). I keep a select stack of books to look
over during lunch(when I'm not grabbing with one of my co-workers). Some of the LR books find their way
back to my house,some don't.
Also,when reading a book with food as the theme,it's best to have a tuna sandwich at the ready. When I was
reading Toast by Nigel Slater(guy tells his lifestory thru food-damn good book),even the descriptions of his
least favorite dishes had me licking my chops. Julie not only made French food sound good(and was honest
about when it was not,particularly with the section on gelee)but she touches on much more than that:her
family,friends,Samuel Pepys,politics(not too much,just enough to know who she'll vote for),and ,of course
Julia Child. Julie never got to meet her(Child did know about the project but she may or may not have liked
the idea)but she did pay respect for the her memory in an unusual way(not telling-read the book!!!!).
Julie was one of my inspirations in starting this book-I don't foolishly belive that instant fame and fortune can be
gained thru this forum(and from what I've heard,alot of those interviews are a pain in the ass)but who knows?
It gives me the chance to express myself in a non Madonna video way and that's good. Julie's quest may seem
trival to some but the mere fact that she decided to do something instead of brooding about her probelms is
damn admirable and she takes us on a journey of delicious highs with very few layers of lows. Also,I really
liked her when she revealed her fandom for Buffy the Vampire Slayer-she was even cooking on the night of
the series finale with a TV camera crew updating her on the show. A Buffy fan who cooks with butter,definately
someone I'ld love to have dinner with.