Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell

About Julie and Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell: Powell needs something to break the monotony of her life. So, she invents a deranged assignment: She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," and cook all 524 recipes in the span of just one year.

My two cents

“How one girl risked her marriage, her job, and her sanity to master the art of living.”

With a teaser like that, who could resist? Have been wanting to read this ever since I ran across the Julie/Julia Project blog during one of my foodie blog trottings. Even just a few entries (recent to old) made me laugh out loud, so when I read that Julie snagged a publisher to transform her blog into a book, I knew it had to be good. As fate would have it, and being the cheapo that I am - I was able to get this as a gift!

I could immediately relate to Julie. Who hasn’t felt like life was passing you by? I have these strange urges to launch into projects to give myself a sense a fulfillment. But probably not as insane as Julie’s assignment of cooking every recipe in the Julia Child classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. No skipping recipes, no substitutions. Every egg, every aspic (gelled calves feet), every brain, liver, offal had to prepared as Julia said so. And to heck with the number of sticks of butter to be used.

But right off, you know it’s not as much about the food than it is about the cook/chef, Julie.

Take for example, the simple (and pretty typical for Filipinos) on extracting, cooking and eating bone marrow. Who would’ve gotten thought you could get these (tongue-in-cheek) nuggets of wisdom?
I clawed the stuff out bit by painful pink bit, until my knife was sunk into the leg bone past the hilt. It made dreadful scraping noises – I felt like I could feel it in the center of my bones. A passing metaphor to explorers of the deep wilds of Africa does not seem out of place here – there was definite Heart of Darkness quality to this. How much more interior can you get than the interior of bones? …

I am a fanatical eater of flesh. But bone marrow, it struck me, was something I had no right to see, not like this, quivering on my cutting board. Unbidden, the word violate popped into my head. “It’s like bone rape. Oh God, did I say just say that out loud?” …

The taste of marrow is rich, meaty, intense in a nearly too-much way. In my increasingly depraved state, I could think of nothing at first but that it tasted like really good sex. But there was something more than that even. (Though who could ask for more than that? I could make my first million selling dirty-sex steak.) What it really tastes like is life, well-lived.
Don’t want to spoil it for you. Go read Julie, she’s got a knack for words. Cooking should never be a serious affair. This book really made me laugh! It also made me realize that French cooking seems to be pretty dangerous! I am officially albeit late Julie/Julia “bleader” (blog reader)!

More about Julie here:

{Originally posted on my foodie blog, 26 November 2006.}

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© guiltless readingMaira Gall