Julia, Revisited

Julia Child in her kitchen in France

I fell in love with Julia Child a few years ago, when I read the fantastic book Dearie, about her life.  It’s still one of my favorite books and one I’d love to pick back up and read again one of these days.

After reading and loving Dearie, a friend suggested I read My Life In France, Julia’s book, written with her great-nephew, Alex Prud’homme, about the years she lived with her husband Paul in France (during which she studied at the Cordon Bleu and developed her passion for cooking).  I didn’t end up picking the book up then, for some reason (likely, the fact that I was reading five other books, as I tend to do).

But then, recently, while spending time in Santa Barbara, California, I (re)discovered that Julia lived here in Santa Barbara during the final years of her life.  One of her favorite restaurants, La Super-Rica, which serves Mexican street food, is still here, and I totally want to check it out while I’m here.  Being reminded of Julia has made me want to pick My Life In France back up.

So I just started reading it.  Just the introduction has me excited.  Julia was such a joyful presence, and so full of life.  Her spirit comes across on the pages.  In fact, this review of the book by the New York Times, describes it well: “[the book] is really a love story: she loved Paul Child, 10 years her senior; she loved France; she loved French cooking; and she loved life.”  The review goes on to describe the book as “a delight.”

Her joie de vivre is so present in all descriptions of Julia, and it’s contagious.  And it’s doubly exciting to be reading the book in the town that Julia was in when she wrote it.  It makes me feel even closer to her.

And I’m hoping it’ll also launch me into a massive cooking spree.  I could use some Julia Child inspiration in more ways than one.

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