Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 22:08
Cue the French accordion music and let yourself escape to Paris circa 1948 – a place and time most of us have never been. When my imagination can’t take me there, I clear ample space on my kitchen table to prop up Julia Child’s massive 524-recipe anthology “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”
Although I love to cook and occasionally experience bursts of culinary inspiration, sticking my hand in an oven mitt and gluing my hip to the stove for nearly four hours isn’t always my cup of tea. In fact, it hardly ever is.
But I can’t ignore my fiancee’s increasing number of requests for boeuf bourguignon, his favorite recipe from Child’s cookbook. While composing a mental grocery list, I recalled hearing about the recent passing of the 100th birthday of the late Child on August 15.
It could have been a dry news day that caused television networks to lavish time, attention and praise on Child’s honor. Even if I weren’t an admirer of the television personality and pioneer, I could not admit this to be a possibility. Julia Child is not filler news.
Looking back, I remember my 13th birthday when I was in the seventh grade. More than five hours had passed, and not a single one of my friends remembered the occasion. Of course, I eventually poked and prodded their memories until they discovered why I had been so glum. However, the fact of the matter is that many of you may share a similar story. If it weren’t for Facebook, even more people’s birthdays would likely pass unnoticed. But here’s Julia Child, so much an icon that her fame lives far beyond her physical years.
I understand that not everyone can be significant in the manner and capacity as Child was through her nearly 92 years. Not only was she a wildly successful cookbook author and contributor, but she also distinguished herself as a powerful, yet amiable television personality. Most people don’t know that Child traveled the world for volunteer work during World War II. In these days, prior to attending the Cordon Bleu cooking school, Child worked for a government intelligence agency dealing with top-secret documents.
Needless to say, Child’s arduous labors did not go unrewarded. Consequently, Child was not only passionate, but also successful. Without her devotion, I doubt that she could have reached her sensational status, and look how she’s remembered because of it.
Like I said, we can’t all be at Child’s level of prestige, but can’t we all dish up a couple extra plates of passion every now and again? Just a little bit more effort may not be a ticket to you famed remembrance, but it may get you through this year’s birthday.