~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #155
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~Julia Child’s kitchen as seen at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., as it was in Cambridge, Massachusetts~
The more I read about Julia Child, especially in her own words, the more I find inspiration regarding how to successfully journey through life. Saying yes to life, remaining curious and refusing to be intimidated by obstacles, unknowns and not knowing how to do something, we all could probably learn something from Julia Child whether we enjoy cooking or just eating good food. And the lessons she provides are applicable in every arena of our lives.
After reading and loving My Life in France, the Petit Plaisir in episode #152, I wanted to come up with a list of some of the life lessons unearthed about how to navigate each of our journeys successfully in Julia’s own words. Below are six, but there are far more. If the list intrigues you, I highly recommend picking up her memoir which was published just after her death, as she herself, along with her nephew having completed it just prior.
1. Listen to what stirs you. When a passion worth pursuing presents itself, you’ll know.
“Now that I had started writing, I found cookbookery such fulfilling work that I intended to keep at it for years and years.”
2. If we choose to, we can change.
“After driving to Rouen, we stopped in for lunch at La Couronne, where we ordered exactly the same meal that we’d had on my first day in France, more than two and a half years earlier: portugaise (oysters), sole meunière, salade verte, fromage blanc, and café filter. Ah me! The meal was just as sublime the second time around, only now I could identify the smells in the air quicker than Paul, order my own food without help, and truly appreciate the artistry of the kitchen. La Couronne was the same, but I had become a different person.”
3. Self-doubt is natural, and a sign that you truly care about what you are trying to do. Continue to push forward.
“Ah me. There was still so much to learn, and cooking was only half of it. I felt I’d have to teach at least a hundred classes before I really knew what I was doing.”
4. Often the first rejection is a test to determine your true desire.
“I sighed. It just might be that The Book was unpublishable. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself.I had gotten the job done, I was proud of it, and now I had a whole batch of foolproof recipes to use. Besides, I had found myself through the arduous writing process. Even if we were never able to publish our book, I had discovered my raison d’être in life, and would continue my self-training and teaching.”
5. The key to delicious food is quality ingredients.
“This is the kind of food I had fallen in love with: not trendy, souped-up fantasies, just something very good to eat. It was classic French cooking, where the ingredients have been carefully selected and beautifully and knowingly prepared. Or, in the words of the famous gastronome Curnonsky, ‘Food that tastes of what it is’.”
~TSLL Capsule Menu (how to create it and the Fall Sample Menu)
6. Time, perseverance and asking for help from experts does pay off
“It would eventually take us two years and something like 284 pounds of flour to try out all the home-style recipes for French bread we could find. We used two French textbooks on baking and tutored ourselves on the fine points of yeasts and flours, yet our best efforts still fell short . . . One day I read a newspaper article about Professor Raymond Calvel, an eminent baker and teacher at the École Française de Meunerie . . . Professor Calvel showed us what we’d been doing wrong, and taught us all about making proper French bread . . . By the end of the day, our loaves were turning out just right, and I was feeling euphoric. It was as though the sun in all his glory had suddenly broken through the shades of gloom!”
~Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume II by Julia Child & Simone Beck
~SIMILAR POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVES YOU MIGHT ENJOY:
~Dark Chocolate Truffles, click here for the recipe