Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Book Review: Julie and Julia, Food Memoir

I loved the book, Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.  The food memoir is soon to be a major motion picture starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep.

The year is 2002 and Julie Powell is a bored temp working for a government agency in New York City. She has always been fascinated by food and its preparation and takes on a project where she will cook all the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. To stick to her goal and be accountable to herself and the world, she starts a blog which gains her notoriety even in the New York Times…and eventually becomes half of the basis for the book and soon-to-be summer blockbuster movie, by the same name.  The other half of the inspiration for the movie is from Julia Child’s autobiography, My Life in France.

Some of Julie’s challenges were cooking 524 recipes in 365 days in a tiny kitchen, finding marrow bones and offal (she eventually created a demand for offal in the five boroughs), frequently living without hot water, not reading the directions all the way through before starting recipes, and gaining some undisclosed weight after eating so much cream and butter.

Nevertheless, she was young and energetic and driven by this passion to just do it because her day job was not fulfilling.

On the plus side, she had a thin husband who did a lot of dishes, a boatload of wild and zany girlfriends and their friends who were always around to help eat the richly complicated dinners, and somewhat supportive parents and a brother she called Heathcliff even though that wasn’t his real name. 

She prepared these feasts after going shopping after work when dinner was fashionably served at 10:30 p.m.

Julie described in great, funny, and frequently horrifying detail cooking a lobster, deboning a duck, and too many intimate details of intestines, innards, organs, and brains.

I would love to know how many pounds of butter she used during the year?!

If you like food, then the book, Julie and Julia, will lead you right into the virtual kitchen where you can almost taste flambéed crepes and smell the Moules a la Provencale.

If I owned a French restaurant or cafe, I would serve some of these recipes when the movie debuts or co-market myself with theatres for a dinner and movie venture or dessert and movie venture. 

Bon appetite

Karyn Zoldan

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