A couple years ago, while getting lost in Powell’s Book, I came across a book that grabbed my attention: Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen by Julie Powell. The book is about Julie, the author, and her out-of-the-blue decision to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume 1.
I immediately grabbed the book. The idea behind this journey came to Julie while visiting her mother. She hated her job, felt she was in a rut, dealing with the fact she couldn’t have kids, and was getting depressed by it all. She decided to cook something, came across Julia’s book in her mom’s kitchen, and steals it when she decides that cooking every recipe in it during the course of the year will help her find her way in life. Her husband, hearing about her plans, suggests that she keep a blog about the journey. Oh, and I should mention that Julie and her husband live in an old, tiny apartment in New York City.
The book was wonderful. Julia Child becomes her guide on this journey. And, Julia Child also does not approve of the project. As she explained, she felt that Julie was not taking it seriously enough. That she felt like it was a farce, not a true attempt to learn and enjoy French cuisine. Julie talks about this in her book. What you learn in the book – that was not necessarily clear in her blog – is that she took this very seriously. She learned a lot about cooking. She learned a lot about herself. Julia just never got to see that from her obstructed vantage point.
During the previews of the Harry Potter movie, there was a preview to the movie version of the Julie and Julia book. I had heard that idea tossed around, but never heard anything more than that. But, I learned that on August 7th, there will be a movie based on the book. And, like the book, it will intermingle Julie’s story with Julia’s autobiography My Life in France. Meryl Streep portrays Julia Child with Amy Adams portraying Julie Powell.
The trailer looks great. It is clearly a chick flick. But the scenes with Meryl Streep as Julia look wonderful and hilarious as it shows Julia learning French cooking while living in France. I may have to go see it just so I can see if the story translated to the screen.
Regardless of the movie, I cannot recommend the book enough especially if you love to cook. I found it to be a quick read because it did pull you into her journey. Add it to your “to-read” list if you are looking for something.