Today would have been Julia Child's 95th birthday.
Champaign Taste is having a bloggy anniversary party for Julia and I just had to join in. Julia's - yes, I never met her, but she's Julia to me - Julia's been a part of my life since I won two prizes in a junior high school French class cooking competition - using her recipes for onion soup and an apple clafouti.
I've posted a couple of her recipes over the past year, for said apple clafouti, and for garlic mashed potatoes. And my very first post was her crack about butter.
Her cookbooks take place of honor on my cookery bookshelf:
- Mastering the Art of French Cooking, volumes 1 and 2
- From Julia Child's Kitchen
- The Way To Cook
- Baking with Julia
I grew up with a cartoon framed in my mother's kitchen - a woman swilling straight out of the sherry bottle while her husband asks "Been watching the French Chef again?".
And my standard pie crust, the one I make with my eyes shut? Straight from Julia:
2 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 T. sugar (if it's for something sweet, leave it out otherwise)
1 stick unsalted butter
3 T. shortening or lard
2-3 T. ice water
Combine in the usual manner.
For her birthday in 1961, her husband Paul wrote a sonnet for her - here 'tis, if you've never had the pleasure.
O Julia, Julia, cook and nifty wench,
Whos unsurpassed quenelles and hot souffles,
Whose English, Norse and German, and whose French,
Are all beyond my piteous powers to praise --
Whose sweetly-rounded bottom and whose legs,
Whose gracious face, whose nature temperate,
Are only equalled by her scrambled eggs:
Accept from me, your ever-loving mate,
this acclamation shaped in fourteen lines
Whose inner truth belies its outer sight;
For never were there foods, nor were there wines,
Whose flavor equals yours for sheer delight.
O luscious dish! O gustatory pleasure!
You satisfy my taste-buds beyond measure.
Julia, thank you and Happy Birthday.