Julia Child. Meryl Streep. Blogging. Beef Bourguignon. Haute Cuisine. 365 Days, 524 Recipes Challenge. Passion. Ambition. Butter.
Who would not be fascinated by all these? It is a scrumptious feast alright. For the past three days, I’ve had back pains and the kids told me to just take things easy and rest. And taking a rest means – no gardening, no photo shots, no cooking, no romping with our two dogs – but surely I could take a peek at the computer and view my blogs and write a word or two. Nissa brought home a DVD copy of the movie Julie & Julia. Who wouldn’t have heard of Julia Child, a culinary legend? So at an ungodly hour of 7:30 am, I was in the middle of watching the movie and hubby was wondering why I was laughing out loud. I am a fan of Meryl Streep and she is at her brilliant, beguiling best here. Stanley Tucci portrays the character of Paul, the loving, supportive diplomat husband of Julia. I remember him as Nigel in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada. This is the first time I heard of Amy Adams though and Chris Messina. They played the role of Julie and Eric.
You’ll probably be disappointed because I am not about to write a review on the movie , rather, I want to share my thoughts while watching it. Somehow, I could relate to that ambitious streak of the two lead characters, that of being published. Haven’t we, at some time in our lives dreamed of being writers too, publishing something dear to our heart? They say that you are not a writer until someone publishes you. I believe it takes guts and talent to become a published author. One could still dream, right?
Julie Powell is the author of the book, Julie & Julia, 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment from which the movie was based. A frustrated office worker at the Lower Manhattan Dev. Corp. In New York, she began her Julie/Julia Project in August 2002. It’s a blog on her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Her blog quickly gained following . She has written so many blog posts since 2005 in her website on Blogger. Her blog, What Could Happen (http://juliepowell.blogspot.com), is a humorous account to find meaning in her life.
“Sometimes I can’t help but wonder, is there anyone there reading me?” Same sentiments I’ve got. But then, once they make comments on your blog, your wondering stops and it makes you really happy that you are reaching out. Blogging gives you something you have to do one day at a time. It’s not as if, you just have to sit in front of your computer and just type whatever comes into mind. Even if you are not a popular blogger, you still have responsibility not to offend the sensibilities of your readers. There are times when, you just stare at the blank screen not just wondering what to write about but how to go about it. I remember a scene in the movie wherein Julie has to cook lobster. She is so afraid that they would jump out of the pan, she covers her head but not the pan. It’s really funny, then she writes, “lobster killer, lobster killer, lobster killer”.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Anyone who is a food enthusiast would probably dream of owning these two volumes on French cooking. I saw a copy at Bestsellers at a staggering cost of more than P4,000.00. I could buy more books at that amount. For want of better things to do, Julia thought of making hats, enrolling in a cooking school and writing about her foray into the world of culinary arts. The owner of the school cannot even stand her and even told her that she could not really cook. But when one is determined to learn, nothing is really impossible. Some scenes in the move are truly laughable. In one scene, Julia was chopping a mountain of onions and she asked Paul, her husband, “Are you hungry?” and he answered “No”. He was probably turned off by the smell of all those onions. And she said that shopping for food is as much fun as buying a dress. Paul, being so supportive of her, encouraged her to write and finally she was able to publish a French cookbook for Americans together with her friends, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. At first they were rejected by their first publisher, Houghton Mifflin because they found the book intimidating. Butter is the one main secret in her cooking . Paul was portrayed as a sweet guy, telling her, “Julia, you are the butter to my bread and a breath to my life”.
The movie, Julie & Julia is actually based on these two stories of Julia Child and Julie Powell. The plot may not be that arresting but it’s a feel-good movie just the same, full of delights and adventures and an affirmation that, you can succeed if your heart and mind are in it.