Julia Child’s Birthday

 

Remember,  you’re  all  alone  in  the  kitchen  and  no  one  can see  you.  Julia Child

Tomorrow is Julia’s birthday!  She would be 99 years old.  I wrote about her in my diary in 2004 a few days after she passed.  It was just before my Autumn Book came out, where I finally thanked her properly, on paper:  I made a heart with lettering that said, “I wonder if Julia Child can hear the echoes of the laughter at the millions of dinner parties that she inspired?  She taught me and all my friends to cook which gave us so much in life. She changed the world and she is loved.”  But she never read it.  I was too late.  Not that she didn’t hear plenty of it while she was alive; she was loved by so many. 

I did get to thank Julia in person once.  Joe and I met her at a small dinner in Boston, when she was in her late eighties. She was very bent, even when sitting down; I had to get down on my knees and look up into her face to see her bright eyes and wonderful strong face.  Perfectly fitting as there is worship in me for her. That’s how it is when someone changes your life.

I’m sure you all saw the wonderful movie Julie Julia?  But if not, you would love it!  Meryl Streep was brilliant as Julia Child!

When the movie first starts and the old 50’s station wagon pulls up in front of Julia and Paul’s apartment in Paris, I knew I was in for it.  Joe, pass the hankie please.  Might as well get ready.

I was a young bride when I bought Julia’s first book —  I learned to cook, fall in love with cooking, and see it as an art because of Julia.  Just like Julie in the movie (only without the blogging!), I tied on an apron and cooked my way through her book, turning out one fabulous French thing after another, (and only burning up two stoves in the process).  My friends and family would ooooh and aaaah when I walked in with a roasted crispy chicken cooked Julia’s way, which helped me realize that cooking could be another word for love.  It gave me self esteem. She taught me to do something wonderful that let me do something wonderful for others! That’s what Julia Child did for me.  And for so many others.  That’s why I love her.

There’s no end to the imagination in the kitchen.  ♥ Julia Child

♪ Happy Birthday dear Julia. ♫   She was an original, the real deal.  Makes me think of the quote by John Shedd: “When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes.” Julia changed the lives of cooks and eaters all over the world.  Took it up a level, never to return to canned asparagus again in this lifetime. Hooray!  Do you have a Julia story?  Love to hear it . . . xoxo

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88 Responses to Julia Child’s Birthday

  1. Donna Szybowicz says:

    Julia is the reason I love to cook. I use to watch her on PBS when I was a young girl. I would use my brothers as my tasters. My kitchen now is dedicated to her, I have a B&W picture of her hanging in my kitchen. Thank you Julia!!

  2. Joan says:

    I believe it was Julia Child that said asparagus should not be cooked until limp and that it was perfectly proper to eat it with your fingers – and I do! Have not seen the movie, but I must. Bless Julia for all she did in teaching people to cook! I loved watching her TV program.

    • Kathy Stephens says:

      Seriously?! Julia Child said that? I LOVE to eat roasted asparagus straight from the pan with my fingers! My parents like it’s so funny to watch that they forget to eat… So good to know that that is the proper way.

  3. Rachel Lucas says:

    She even touched a little girl all the way over here! I didn’t know who she was, but I used to spend all my pocket money on cookbooks even then. Bizarre child. At age 7, I saved up and bought ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’…one volume one month, the other the next. 75 new pence they cost…riches! I bought them at the Abbey Bookshop in Great Missenden, still have them (I was drawn to the wondrous red lobster on the cover of one) The first thing I cooked from them was a peasant soup…tomato finished with white rice! Oh, the pride…& I adored Julie & Julia but really only the Julia bits! The Valentine dinner party…oh my! So romantic. She touched so many lives. Bless her memory & thanks to you my sweet friend for honouring her! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      Me too, didn’t want to say it, but really, only the parts about Julia! Keep me out of that NY apartment! Let me go back to Paris! Joe and I got hearts to pin on us for last Valentine’s. Bless her memory, and bless yours too, smart child. 🙂

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        And who could have done such a good job of playing Julia but Meryl Streep? I was amazed at how believable she played Julia. I watched Julia Child on television, too, growing up–loved watching her show. But watching the movie really gave me a chance to see her as a real-life person and gave me even more of an appreciation for the effort it took for her to share her love of cooking and teach cooking as an science and an art! 🙂

    • Dawn says:

      Oh Rachel, you are so darling! I can just see 7 year old you, stirring up peasant soup! xoxo

  4. Doreen Strain says:

    Morning Susan, I did see Julie & Julia and thought it was good too. Julia Child is a common in a kitchen as dinner plates and pots & pans. Julia was the one who taught me how to roast a Thanksgiving Turkey. I can remember my mother and I, sitting in our livingroom when I was in high school watching the educational tv station at 4:00 in the afternoon, everyday to see Julia. My mother used to say it was her inspiration to get up and start dinner when the show was over. We used to rate what Julia was making on a scale of 1-10 on if we thought we would ever make the recipe she was preparing that day on the show. I still to this day have one of Julia’s cookbooks and refer to it when cooking roasts and sauces. Thanks once again for your wonderful ablility to cause a stilling in my heart that brings back wonderful memories of years gone by. Love ya girlfriend! FOSB 4~Ever! ~ Doreen ~ xxoo!

  5. Anita Potter says:

    I have never done this before, and in fact this is my first laptop with wireless internet – which allows me to even load pages like this so quickly! I love your page and have it as my home page – had it before, but it took literally 30 minutes to load on my old dinasaur!!! Anyway,

    I am not much of a cook myself. Sewing is my creative outlet of choice!!! But reading this today put tears in my eyes, My Mom passed away in 2008 and she LOVED Julia!!! I remember hearing her accent on TV while Mom watched her. Mom could cook up a storm – food was Mom’s way of saying I love you and laughter abounded in our house over the table. Even though my kids are 24 and 15 years old, we still enjoy Sunday dinner together around the table. Thanks Julia for inspiring my Mom — and thanks Mom for loving me.

  6. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Thank you dear Susan for your dear story on Julia, and to all other replys. I wish I had watched Julia, but I never did. I did enjoy the movie though, and took my dear Daughter-in-law to see it, she LOVES to cook, and has Julia’s cookbook, so I can borrow it whenever I want! Meryl Streep did do a wonderful performance didn’t she! I just adore her acting!

  7. Pom Pom says:

    When I was little, I can remember lounging on the nubby old sofa in the basement, watching Julia perform and cook. I only liked the Julia parts of the movie, too. I often think about the pen pal part. I love that.

  8. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Good morning! I was sitting sipping coffee & reading “My Life in France” while waiting for the newspaper. I’m really enjoying the book, and Julia’s delightful sense of humor! When I refilled my cup, I thought I’d best check on Susan – and behold, a birthday celebration blog about Julia! I loved the movie “Julie & Julia”, gotta watch it again after the little preview here! Many years ago I watched Julia on PBS, and now, because of her, we get to enjoy lots of cooking shows & a whole channel dedicated to cooking! Amazing! Happy Birthday Julia, tomorrow! Thank you Susan, and, I loved peeking at your journal! ♥ Joan

  9. Dawn says:

    You should know, Sue, that you are my Julia Child. 🙂 My inspiration and a great light in this world.

    My favorite moment in the movie is when they are in France, in a restaurant, eating fish, and she just melts, and is almost speechless, trying to find words for how delicious it is, and Paul just nods and says “I know, I know.”

    I have a hug appreciation for people who ENJOY things. Who are passionate and know how to revel in delicious food, good humor, simple little things….people who embrace all the goodness there is to find in life, instead of feeling down-trodden or pessimistic. People who share that joy, who are uplifting and make you feel good just by smiling and saying a few words. You and Julia are definitely two of those people.

    I had a boyfriend (for about a minute and a half) who, to my utter dismay, ‘wasn’t interested in food.’ It was the most odd thing I had ever heard of and I dropped him quick!

    Here’s to the many feasts, picnics, brunches and breakfasts that make our lives rich and whole!

    xoxo Dawn

    P.S. I am so glad I am not too late with you…how sad I would be if I were born in 100 years, discovered your books, and was never able to tell you just how wonderful you are!

    • sbranch says:

      Ohhhh Dawn, thank you for all those sweet words! You are too nice! I have to tell you, just as I was really getting interested in cooking, I had a boyfriend who didn’t like certain foods including tomatoes. He had to go! I am glad you’re not too late for me either!

    • Doreen Strain says:

      Oh Dawn, I’m so glad that boyfreind you had only lasted that minute and a half! A man that’s not interested in food….no such animal!!! You know the saying…” The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”…well…I guess your one & 1/2 minute boyfriend didn’t have a heart(or a stomach for that matter, LOL !). And, since you seem to be a kindered spirit it would have never lasted anyway! LOL ! So happy to see that you have found Susan’s blog too. It’s a wonderful place to come and get filled with inspiration, friendship, memory sharing and some good old fashion belly laughs at some of the posts and things we share here. I sometimes get the feeling that a few of the girlfriends here must have lived next store to me when I was growing up because we share a lot of the same childhood memories. Well, I didn’t me to go on and on but I’m happy your here. I experienced a few moments of your joy when I read your post, knowing you were enjoying being here at this moment in time. The more girlfriends the better. Especially ones that have a kindered spirit! Once again! Welcome! FOSB 4~ Ever! ~ Doreen ~

    • Terrie says:

      Oh, Dawn ~ That fish scene was just to die for, wasn’t it? And, I think she writes of it in her book on living in France. As far as dating men who don’t like food, well…perhaps that’s an even bigger red flag than if they say, “I’m not much of an animal person.” GONG! Thank you for playing, kind sir…now please lose my number.

  10. Jackie says:

    My mother (who turns 86 on Tuesday) once stood in a line in “very hot” southern New Mexico with a good friend, just to get an autographed copy of one of Julia’s books for me. It did not matter what book it was, my Mom knew how much I loved Julia and she was determined to get a book signed by her no matter what. Mom was only three persons away from getting that autograph when Julia stood up from under a canopied table and announced that “its too hot and I’m done” and had to leave. . .my Mom was devastated! That Christmas, she gave me a lovely copy of “The Way to Cook” but it was not autographed…but when she told me the story of what she tried to do, it brought tears to my eyes…not because she did not get Julia’s autograph, but because she took time out from her tour to stand in a long line in the hot sun in New Mexico to get Julia’s autograph just for me. Tomorrow I will bring out all my Julia books and display them, put on my pearls and randomly select a Julia dessert to make in her honor. Boy, do I miss her!

    • sbranch says:

      Such wonderful memories!

    • karen saunders says:

      Jackie, perhaps you could buy an autographed book on e-bay? I know it will not replace the one your dear Mother was going to get for you. If I had one I would gladly send it to you. k

      • karen saunders says:

        ps….this is not so great a day for me as my Mother died on this day. A bitter-sweet day it is!!

  11. Judith B. says:

    Happy Birthday, dear Julia….you are remembered with love and gratitude !! I have the dvd Julie and Julia and I watch it frequently – the part where Julie places the butter (as tribute) next to Julia’s picture (in museum) always gets to me. Thanks Susan for sharing your memories…you always awaken memories in us.

  12. laura lee hayes says:

    good morning Susan! today is my birthday..so the first thing i wanted to do was read your blog! I thought for a moment that I shared my birthday with Julia..but read more to find out it is tomorrow. After my morning fix, I proceeded with my day. Suddenly I realized that I share my special day with a really awesome guy!! Happy birthday to Joe!!! lalala…please send him my wishes in your best singing voice! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      You are right! I sang to him when I took him his tea, I will be happy to do it again…you are so smart to know this! Happy Birthday to you!!!

  13. Deborah says:

    Such great thoughts about a great lady! I did see the movie, and I think what I really liked was at the end when Julie put the pound of butter on her picture …as a token of sisterhood and love! Ahhhh butter!

  14. Cindy says:

    Whenever I think of Julia Child I think of my sister, who died 2 years ago. Linda adored Julia, and was a great cook because of her. Thank you Julia, indeed!

  15. Judy C in NC says:

    I echo exactly what Dawn said earlier … it is so true.

    “When there is an original sound in the world, it makes a hundred echoes.”
    ~ John Shedd

    This quote could definitely be about you – our dear Susan… Judy C in NC

  16. Nellie says:

    It was on PBS more than 40 years ago that I first saw Julia in action. We soon knew we would have a “date” for her show each week, and it was a high point for us. We were both in awe of the way she effortlessly (so it seemed) tossed a turkey around in preparation for roasting. I was never completely sure that the turkeys I had attempted to “toss” were actually no longer alive, as it seemed they struggled to oppose me in my preparations.:-) She truly was an inspiration! It was without hesitation that we headed off to the movie. How special that you had an opportunity to meet her in person!

    • Terrie says:

      Does anybody remember the hilarious skits they used to do about Julia on Saturday Night Live? I think Dana Carvey might have taken on the role. Live turkeys popping out of the oven, frequent fires, blenders with no lids, loss of limbs and fingers to sharp knives…but through it all, “she” kept the show moving forward in a good-natured, Ain’t Life Grand? sort of way.

      • sbranch says:

        I still can’t look at the bloody one where she was played by Dan Ackroyd — and cut her finger….I’ve never seen it all the way to the end, have to look away!

  17. Carla Meredith says:

    I saw Julia in a bookstore in Cambridge, MA in 1978. I was giddy with excitement. She wasn’t selling anything, just browsing. She was a towering presence and I didn’t want to interrupt her solitude, so I didn’t. But I think of her often, in her trench coat, looking through books, especially when I look through hers.

  18. Marilyn says:

    Aside from her marvelous cooking, she was such an interesting, down-to-earth personality. I remember watching a cooking show with her and Jacques Pepin. He was trying to lighten the calories and fat in the dish they were making, and she was saying, More butter….More cream! Polar opposites in that respect, but clearly, close friends.

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  19. Ann says:

    My mother introduced me to Julia in our living room, watching her shows on Boston public tv. Mom loved her sense of humor and ability to not get flustered. I have been a fan ever since and have seen all her tv series and have her “How to Cook” cookbook. Probably the largest cookbook I own (and I own a lot of them, including all of Susan Branch’s!). Last Christmas I was gifted with a large framed black and white photo of Julia cooking in her Paris kitchen. My youngest son was interning at Harvard then and he found the photo in the bookstore. Immediately after opening the gift and hugging him I hung it in my kitchen where Julia has been cooking with me ever since.

  20. Lori says:

    Julia inspired so many – just like you Susan! As for the movie, you can’t go wrong. It is one of my favorites. “You are the butter to my bread, you are the breath to my life. “

  21. Kimi says:

    I remember Julia from the 70s she was my helper in the kitchen I was just married and I remember having Chanel 11 PBS on everyday she made me laugh so much I enjoyed her and she gave me wonderful cooking recipes and Ideas! Boy do I miss her “God Bless you Julia” I love you and remember you… how can one forget!

  22. Deborah says:

    PS…I hope you and Joe have a wonderful day for his bd! August people rock!!! (um, yeah, mine is later this week too!). If you do up an incredible beach buffet, or birthday cake for Joe, please share pics! I just know you will do something!!!
    Joe: Many happy returns!

  23. LOVE Julia sooooooo much! I remember her well from PBS, and like you, credit her with first inspiring my love for cooking (although I must add here, “Heart of the Home” reignited it!)…Loved the movie as well, and was astounded at how Meryl Streep actually *became* Julia. 🙂

    Inspiration is such a wonderful thing, and I am so grateful to all the women who’ve sparked my imagination, and made me strive for a creative life. 😉

    ♥ Carolee

  24. peg says:

    We thought we would make Julia’s french fries. The ingredients and directions were pretty straight forward. We followed every step, followed every detail; it only took us 2 hours to make 12 fresh french fries! We still laugh about this culinary experience!

    btw…we love to pop in a Julia dvd when we are cooking togther….its like she is n the kitchen with us! Love the PBS series….and, of course, Julie & Julia! Happy, happye 99th birthday, Julia! ♥

  25. Suzanne says:

    Good morning Susan, I too have an August birthday, and Julia has been such a source of inspiration for me as well as you have. My love of cooking and baking is to me the best way to show someone just how much your care. I’ve seen the movie 3 times already (I bought it) and as I know that you love Beatrice Potter too, I think you would love the movie Miss Potter, its one of my favorites! Hail to Julia who forever changed the way we cook today…..I hope to visit Paris one day.
    Thankyou to you too, as you keep me so inspired to with your recipes, views of the Vineyard, and your love for all the beautiful simple pleasures.

  26. Country Gal says:

    That movie was one of my favs ! I learnt to cook and bake from my mum and she learnt from an English women whom was famous for her books named Mrs Beatin , her books were writen a published during and after the 2nd world war ! My mum was British she cooked and baked British dishes as do I ! Awesome post ! Have a wonderful day !

  27. Sandra says:

    My favorite Julia story is when she entered the dining room, carrying the Thanksgiving turkey and…it slipped off the platter, landing on the floor! Calmly, she picked it up and said, “it’s a good thing I made two turkeys this year!” She returned to the kitchen, dusted off the turkey, re-plated it and returned to the dining room bearing her offering proudly.
    Ya just gotta love a woman with that kind of moxie!

    • sbranch says:

      That reminds me of a quote attributed to Mrs. Calvin Coolidge who, after witnessing total disaster (a maid dropped the turkey as she was serving the White House guests) said calmly, “Never mind, Mary, just take this turkey back to the kitchen and bring in the other one.”

      • sarah says:

        That Mrs. Calvin Coolidge quote is fantastic! I love when people with impeccable manners use them to seamlessly diffuse a situation, and no one is the wiser, while saving the one in peril from embarrassment. 🙂 I hope I’m as quick on my feet as Mrs. Coolidge if ever in that situation!

  28. Siobhan says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe! I took Julia quite seriously, until I saw the famous SNL sketch about her in the kitchen, and it took that for me to see how funny she was, and I heard she loved the sketch too. But, my Julia story is how she wrote an essay at the back page of Gourmet magazine about this wonderful little Mexican restaurant in Santa Barbara called La Super Rica and my husband and I looked at each other and headed for the door! We took the 90 minute drive, and got in line (cuz there’s almost always a line) and ordered and sat down and ate and ate and ate and thanked Julia all the while. We would never have found it on our own and continued to go there every time we headed north. He passed away in 2005 and I have only been back once, with a dear girlfriend. It is a very precious place to me. So please, girlfriends, if you find yourself in Santa Barbara, make the pilgrimage to Milpas Street, very easy to find off the 101, and whoop it up. You won’t regret it!!

    • sbranch says:

      I just wrote that down; we’ll be heading that way soon, and we’ll stop! Thank you Siobhan!

      • Siobhan says:

        You will LOVE it! And I’m so delighted for you, to be trying it for the first time, via Julia, via me! I hope you blog about it (subtle hint…lol).

  29. Marianne says:

    First of all, I watched Julia on PBS with my mom after school…she LOVED her and her “spirit”. Mom is gone also and it makes me homesick for them both. If anyone has the chance to visit her kitchen at the Smithsonian, it’s so worth it! Thank you Susan for all those warm thoughts of Julia, and of mom sitting on the sofa waiting for me to show up while watching, and laughing sometimes before heading out to the kitchen to “create” dinner for the family.

  30. Noelle says:

    I have a Julia Child cookbook that I got through a book club 20 years ago and have never made any of the recipes in it. I’ve been going through things in the house and had set this one aside to take to the used book store. I don’t like to cook much anymore because of health problems and picky eaters in my house, but after reading this post, I’m going to keep the book and see what I can make 🙂 Thanks! xoxo

  31. CindyK says:

    I started watching Julia on PBS in the 70’s when I was a new bride. I too learned to cook so many things by watching her. And because she was my first cook instructor, she holds a very dear and special place in my heart. I did not see the movie because I couldn’t find anyone to see it with me. I will have to rent it and watch it alone. Many years later, my dear husband would watch her together when she was on in the evening with a dinner party type show she had. We loved her then, and we love her still. I was very sad when I heard she had passed away. Cooking utensils everywhere saluted her when they found out she would no longer be lifting a spoon. Thank you for honoring her Susan!

  32. Nan says:

    Thanks so much for your post on Julia – she changed my life, too! I learned to cook from her books and TV appearances and loved her indomitable spirit and love of life. I have all of Julia’s books (and yours, too!) and they are treasures to me (and yours, too!!) I’ll raise my glass to Julia at dinner tonight. xo, Nan

  33. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Happy Birthday to Joe from us, too! Did you bake a birthday cake for him? That was clever and observant of Laura to catch that! 🙂 Incidentally, I made the Brazilian Lemonade (Limeade?) today and served it to company–we all LOVED it! It was hot out on the deck and it was very refreshing…I wasn’t so sure about the basil at first but it really adds an interesting touch of taste and I will definitely make it again. Re the hearts you got to pin on you and Joe last Valentine’s Day–does that mean you have a picture to share with us next February? LOL (just teasing…) 🙂

  34. Nancy says:

    Her kitchen, complete with pegboard wall, is wonderful at the Smithsonian in DC.

  35. Ginny Stanley says:

    If I don’t have company on warm, sunny Sunday afternoons, I spend most of my day sitting outside enjoying Mother Nature and a book. Today, I was looking through a Gooseberry Patch book I just bought and say a Julia Child quote:

    “Sometimes it takes an entire day to write a recipe….it’s really like writing a little short story.”

    What a nice coincidence! I haven’t seen the movie but think I’ll order it though Netflix. Thanks Susan for reminding us all of a very special “sister”.

  36. Sandra Gillanders says:

    What a lovely tribute to Julia. She was so natural in front of a camera. I love that you keep such a nice diary. I need one so I can remember when I do things, lol! Guess that’s a trait of a true writer to always want to write things down. I just found another Julia book a few days ago in a thrift store. It was published in 1970 when she had her t.v. show. It’s called From Julia’s Kitchen and is a great read. Love that she included recipe for boiling eggs.

    Happy Birthday to Joe!

  37. Virginia says:

    My parents divorced when I was 7. My father got full custody of my 4 year old brother and me. Highly unusual considering this was 1959. I grew up feeling somewhat different, as you might expect, and searched for role models where I could find them. Julia Child was one of them and I loved watching her show on our old black & white TV. I never mastered the art of French cooking, but I think Julia was one of the reasons I took so many home ec classes in jr. high and high school. She was fearless in the kitchen and helped make cooking fun. On a trip to Washington DC many years later, the first place I visited was Julia’s kitchen in the Smithsonian.

    Love reading everyone’s stories. And a big happy birthday to Joe!

    • Virginia says:

      Oh, and add me to the list of those who enjoyed only the Julia/Paris portions of “Julie & Julia”. Meryl Streep was a joy to watch. And Stanley Tucci was perfection as Paul Child.

  38. Billie K says:

    I still watch reruns of Julia when I come across them. I love to watch cooking shows then and now, but still prefer my DHs cooking to mine. Thanks for the post and reminding me about the movie. I intended to watch that, but somehow never did.

    Happy Birthday Julia!

  39. Mary-Anne Helms says:

    Wonderful Julia Child!!! She changed the way Americans cooked and led the way for all the foodies to come! I tried cooking my way through every recipe in her first book but never succeeded athough I learned a lot. Loved all her TV shows and more recently found the ones with Jacques Pepin quite amusing! Love the way she is always trying to sneek in more butter and the like! The movie was okay when it was the Julia bits but everyone should read
    MY LIFE IN FRANCE for the whole, true story. And there is the most interesting book whose name escapes me at the moment about Julia and Paul’s life together and their amazing adventures during WW2 and afterwards. Julia had a very interesting life and a truly great long marriage. (and not everyone has a car accident right before theier wedding)Theirs is a true love story. And she was the inspiration for my generation of rookie cooks. There will never be anyone quite like her again!! Happy Birthday Julia. And a big thank you!!!

  40. Peggy Cooper says:

    Julia has taught us all so much. I don’t even own one of her cookbooks, (though I plan on fixing that very soon. Mostly cook from Susan Branch books :o) ), but I do remember watching her, and learned so much. Most important, don’t use a garlic press – makes the taste too strong. Don’t use corn oil – wouldn’t dream of it. Butter and olive oil all the way baby. Cut off the ribs from a rib roast to let the men gnaw on while you’re getting the rest of the meal ready. I also remember an interview she did where she said she’d rather have a McDonalds hamburger than airplane food. Well, she wouldn’t have to worry about that one any longer since you’re lucky to get a pretzel. Loved how she interacted with Jacque Pepin and would give him a hard time about some things, but he was always such a kind gentleman with her. You could tell he loved her like the rest of us do. Saw her with “Martha” one time. They were making the same dish, but of course Martha’s had to “look” perfect. Julia’s didn’t look as perfect, but I bet tasted a whole lot better. Susan, don’t want to make you uncomfortable, but you are now our Julia. Thanks for being you.

  41. Jean says:

    I too loved Julia and always thought she could be a good friend if our paths should have ever crossed. I loved that she wasn’t afraid to make mistakes and then laughed if she did. No big deal.
    My all time favorite story of Julia was one written into Time magazine after her passing. A Gentleman wrote in telling about how he and his roommates many years before, unable to go home over the Thanksgiving holiday, decided to cook a turkey. Since none of them knew what to do, they called Julia! They looked her name up in the phonebook and called her. She directed them and even called them back that night to see how dinner “turned out?”. He marveled at the audacity of their youth, but they all became lifelong cooks because of her willingness and graciousness to share her love of food with lonely college boys unable to make it home for Thanksgiving. I love this story as it shows what a wonderful generous person she was. I only wish it had been me!

  42. Hi Susan,

    Thanks for this article. I just wrote one about Julia on my own blog a few weeks ago. She was a favorite of mine, too.

    My Julia story is on the blog, but I’ll give you the short version here… When I was a kid (probably 8 or 9), Julia came on every Saturday evening at 7. I was a pretty lonely kid, my parents had divorces and I lived with my dad, although I desperately wanted to live with my mom. When I was at her house every other weekend, I watched Julia. When I did finally get to move permanently, Julia was a regular fixture in my calendar. Because of her I started really cooking at a very young age. She was like my friend! I even remember that her show’s theme song at the time was “These Foolish Things”, a sort of jazzy instrumental version.

    Once I was married, Julia was back on PBS every Saturday night. I’d watch her, just after our little babies got to sleep, and plan meals for the week ahead. I’ve tried so many of the recipes from the “Baking With Julia” series, “Cooking With Master Chefs” (the Sunday Night Spaghetti from Lynn Rosetto Kasper makes a very frequent appearance on my family’s menu) and, finally, “Home Cooking With Julia and Jacques”.

    Thinking of people like Julia, I wonder if public figures like that, individuals who aren’t just famous but who teach and enrich other’s lives, realize what an impact they can have. All the time she was cooking for the camera, did she have any idea that she was keeping a rather sad little boy company? That she was inspiring him and giving him something happy and constructive to think about?

    All the best,

    Jake

    • Kimi says:

      Dear Jake

      Your story is sad and happy and I’m sure Julia knows now how she has help you in your life Jake, that’s what life is about to help each other out even if unaware! We all play a roll in this world and never walk it alone someone somewhere is helping someone else and in someway! and Julia help you.

  43. Susan… I am not a cook…. Don’t know why I’m not as my mother worked in restaurants her entire life…right up until she passed away in 2009. I just did not get that trait burned into my head… I had rather be quilting. My oldest daughter can out cook me 10 to 1!!

    You now have me going to Google to find Julia’s cookbooks!! I did go see the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for the dedication to this fine lady!

    And thank you also for the sponsorship prize over at Madame Samm’s this morning! 🙂

  44. Rosemary says:

    My parents loved the PBS Julia cooking show (as did I)and we would often watch it together at their home in Houston. I took them to the Sakowitz store to see Julia do a cooking demonstration and got an autographed copy of her cookbook. That was years and years ago. She was a wonder…and so funny!

  45. Paula B. says:

    Phew! First I read Susan’s posting then I have to read all the comments where I nod, cry (sometimes), laugh (usually), agree, reminisce, and then feel pretty well ready to face whatever comes my way the rest of the day. What a sisterhood there is here. Exceptional post, here’s to Julia Child, forever in our hearts, and a shout out to Joe, bday boy!

  46. Jeannie M from NC says:

    Happy Birthday Julia, and a special Happy Birthday to Joe! Hope you had a great one, don’t know how you couldn’t with Susan on the home front!
    Thank you Susan for your blog! If I come on to your blog to early, I always come back to read all the wonderful replys! Thank you all!

  47. Angie(Tink!) says:

    ♫♥ Happy Birthday Dear Julia♫♥ Thanks Sweetest Sue for Sharing Your Precious Memories of Julia…I Love that You & Joe Met her in Boston that is Beyond Special….& had to Be a very Magical Moment in Time for You & Joe…My Mom Owns the dvd of Julie & Julia & I actually Kept that DVD for 3 Months watching it once a week…so good! & Herbster & I have Been watching Julia’s Shows on PBS for years! they Still Put Her shows on most Saturday Afternoons…I too have learned so Much from Julia…I know She is Having a Huge Birthday Party in Heaven! Bon Appetite! Hugzzzzzzzzzzzz & L♥ve xoxo Poof!

    • Angie(Tink!) says:

      Sue is it Joe’s Birthday too?…. Happy Birthday to Joe may all Your Birthday Wishes come true! xoxo Poof!♫♥

  48. Mary says:

    I just watched this movie again a few nights ago – I LOVE it sooooo much!! As you said, Meryl Streep is AMAZING!! I laugh and cry every time I watch it!

  49. Gert says:

    Julia’s birthday was listed in our paper today…as Julia Childs 99th birthday and that she was known as a TV star…I thought ‘oh my she was so much more than just that’. We shall always love her in our hearts for the person she truly was!!

    Blessings…
    xoxo Gert

  50. Julia was a gift to everyone who has a culinary bone in their body. What a sweet tribute.
    You have had the same influence on me as well!
    Thank you for all your inspiration and culinary brilliance over the years and years!
    Yvonne

  51. Jacqui G says:

    Oh my goodness! I almost missed commenting on your blog:) I’ve been busy because my daughter Lacey shares her birthday with Julia (and Joe) too. She’s 21 today.

  52. Danielle says:

    I first discovered Julia in elementary school. I remember coming home from school and watching The French Chef with my mother and grandmother. I was facinated by everything she did. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have my own “Julia inspired” dinner parties. Those were the days before The Food Network or the internet. She was a pioneer and changed the way we thought about cooking and food in general. She was and still is one of my heros : – )

  53. Gumbo Lily says:

    I remember watching Julia’s TV Show when I was a kid. My mom watched, but I don’t ever remember her cooking anything like what Julia made. Mom was a good cook, but we still had canned asparagus (ugh!).

    When the movie Julie and Julia came out, I took my girls — daughter and daughter-in-love and we had a wonderful time of it. My sister bought me The Art of French Cooking and I’ve made a few recipes out of it since. The buttercream frosting is so good.

    I found a quote from Julia in one of my books today…..”Life itself is the proper binge.” Amen!

    ~Jody

  54. CAROL O. says:

    Well Joe…the quiet one…HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU….I just finished reading Danielle Steels BLOG…also….as I follow her…and JOE…you and Danielle Steel share the same Birthday….I hope it was a good one…knowing Susan…she made sure it was…Hurry back to California you guys….looking forward to seeing Susan at Remnants……Maybe you as well Birthday Joe……

  55. Lori Lynn says:

    Hi Susan – love your post about Julia. I also celebrated her birthday on my blog yesterday, as I have since 2007.

    I keep wishing Meryl Streep would do another movie, maybe a sequel. She really brought Julia back to life, absolutely positively brilliant.

    Toujours Bon Appétit!
    LL

  56. Elizabeth says:

    I met her once. Well, I should say, I said “hello” to her and said it was an “honor.” I was at the Santa Barbara Saturday Farmer’s Market, in town visiting from LA area, and I heard her voice. Close. Turned and she was right next to me, in a wheelchair. She was having a discussion — or should I say an instruction –with a vendor about the “tomatoes”. That was pronounced “toMAtoes”. She asked the vendor about their quality which of course, the vendor said was very good. But Ms. Child did not think they were by the feel. She was about to be off when I said “hello”. Although she acknowledged and was polite, she was off in search of the perfect “toMAto”. I understood, thanks to her. Lovely.

  57. Karen P. says:

    I adore Julia Child! She was just the most sweet, sincere, down-to-earth person, EVER! I remember watching her shows on TV when I was a child when my mom would devour them and I used to think back them what a cute character she was! Most recently, I became re-acquainted with her by watching Julie and Julia and I have to agree that the best parts of the movie were those about Julia and Paul…what a sweet couple! I discovered that they have her old shows on the Food Network by us so I’ve started recording them, watching them, and taking notes on her demonstrations. (I sit and laugh as she stumbles through trying to get the burners to work properly…or flicks food on the floor and explains that she has “people” who pick that up for her and if you want to do that at home it’s okay but you’ll probably have to pick it up off the floor by yourself! – no one else gets my fascination with her nor why I think she’s so funny…it’s a Julia “fan” thing, I guess). My favorite show to date has been the brunch one where she taught us how to make English Muffins and Eggs Benedict which I’ve since made for weekend company who said it was the best they’ve had! Thanks, Susan, for your tribute to Julia. I love that you shared your journal pages with us and your “heart.” xoxoxo….kp

  58. Carmel says:

    Hi everyone! Someone may have already commented on this and I missed it, but don’t forget that when you’re in the Washington, DC area that Julia’s kitchen (from her Conneticut home, I believe) is on display at the Smithsonian American History Museum (lower level). It’s amazing how everything looks so well used (in the best way!) and you can imagine her doing her magic in her kitchen.

  59. Wendy says:

    My husand and I moved to Houston in 1977 so he could go to grad school, I was thrilled see PBS on the channel there. We had moved from Alabama with no PBS. I had Juila & 2yr old daughter Sesame St. pure heaven. I bought her books and fell in love with cooking! She taught me to cook…Julia was the one who started it all… yes before Martha, HGTV,Food Network there was Juila, brave,wonderful Julia…
    When THE WAY TO COOK came out we where up here in Boston, Julia was always in the news around here by then. She came to a bookstore in Copley Plaza to sign books. I got there early, a long line already,I was down the a bit,but a great spot for her arrival, this very tall lady came walking down with many people around her. She was smiling so saying over and over..”I can’t believe so many people are here”… we were clapping as she walked by. I know at that time she couldn’t know that the line went the length of the first floor and then back. When my time came, I had my 3 daughters with me, young kids,I was expecting daughter #4. Juila said oh you have 3 girls, “oh my and another on the way?”… she was so sweet….
    I have her books, still in my kitchen,splatted, she would approve…the new books on her life, and a sweet memory of a dear lady who came into my life and changed it.

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