During my Spring Funk I spent a lot of time curled up with a giant cup of tea making my way through a large stack of virtual books on my kindle. All of the books were interesting, but a few really caught my attention. The one that I felt the most drawn to was My Life in France, by Julia Child and her grand-nephew, Alex Prud’homme. The book is about her life in post-WWII France with her husband, and the beginnings of her culinary career.
In the spirit of full disclosure I have to tell you that I have never seen an episode of her show and I don’t own her cookbook. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed her book. I downloaded it on a book buying spree and wasn’t sure if I would ever get to it, but from the first chapter I was hooked.
She starts the book explaining that she did not learn to cook as a child or young adult. This really resonated with me because I also lacked a talent for cooking when I was a child/young adult. This lack of talent kept me out of the kitchen for the most part. It wasn’t until I moved to California in my early 20’s and couldn’t afford to eat every meal at a restaurant that I started using my kitchen as more than storage for my microwave. Once I got the hang of it, I began to love cooking. The great Mrs. Child enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu as a way to occupy her time in Paris and I can’t imagine that she would have guessed at the time how her new hobby would change the trajectory of her life.
The way she described the meals she and her husband enjoyed both at Parisian restaurants and in their own home made me salivate. One of my favorite smells in the world is onions being cooked in butter, and butter gets plenty of press in the book. Another thing that gets great press in the book is the city itself. She spends her time in outdoor markets and on small unnamed streets, not the huge tourist attractions that you find in the travel guides. Like I said before, I am more excited to experience French food than French tourist attractions, and this book is a big reason for that.
I included the link to the Amazon page for the book if you want to buy it, but I am sure you can check it out from your library.