Notes to self from Julia

PBS just aired a documentary on Julia Child, "Julia Child: America's Favorite Chef." Its last 30 minutes nicely coincided with a load of laundry that needed folding. I wish, however, that I'd turned it on earlier. It was so fascinating that I was compelled to lay aside the unfolded t-shirts, risking wrinkles, so that I could make note of a couple points.

  • Julia and her collaborator (whose name I didn't write down, I'm sorry) spent about 7-8 years writing the manuscript for Mastering the Art of French Cooking, the book that would become her breakthrough masterpiece--only she didn't know it at the time. When it was completed they submitted it to a publisher but it was rejected. They then spent 2 years rewriting the manuscript before it was finally accepted and published. Julia was 49 years when she held a copy of her first book in her hands.


  • A number of years later, when it was time for the second edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she spend 2 years and used 280 pounds of flour to master the perfect loaf of French bread.


It seems like "dreams" take so long to come true, goals so distant, projects so full of tedious details and redundant tasks. Julia Child saw her work as an encouragement, an example, to her viewers and readers. Through these two notes alone, her work continues to be an encouragement, an example, at least to this viewer.