Things that Go BUMP in my Mind

Knitting, stitching, reading, gardening, cooking--I have no time for any of it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Julie, Julia, and Kirsten

I've been reading Julie & Julia, which is by a woman (the Julie of the title) who freaked out upon during 29 (wimp) and took it upon herself to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of Frech Cooking, Vol. I, by Julia Child (the Julia of the title).

There a couple of things I really like about this book--the cooking, the Julia Child bits, Julie Powell's adoration of David Strathairn. There are many things I really don't like, particularly the author's apparent inability to (a) get through a single day without a major histrionic meltdown; (b) form a sentence that doesn't inlcude the word "fuck" or some variation thereof; (c) mention a republican or government wonk without adding a knee-jerk insult. I find all of these things rather tiresome, really.

All of which is to say that the book is a so-so read. I am feeling rather inspired to be a little more adventurous in my cooking, although I don't think I'll be serving brains anytime soon, and I'm not going to ask Chuck's mom for her bone-marrow soup recipe. (I seriously thought he was joking when he told me about that, when I mentioned the bone marrow episode from the book. But no, he was apparently serious. Gah.) But frankly, I find Julie to be a bit annoying. The meltdown thing really gets to me. I mean, we all have our moments--God knows I do (check in with me on any given Sunday evening about 7:45, when I am trying to get Owen into bed after dealing with him all weekend). But when, on any given night, the *absence* of a snit is a more memorable occasion than the *presence* of one, there are self-control or biochemical issues that need to be explored in a doctor's office, not in the pages of a memoir about cooking. And particularly not in a memoir involving Julia Child's cooking. I suspect that Julia would have little patience with Julie's snit fits, no matter how difficult or disgusting the recipe.

That disconnect, and the fact that it appears that Julie is not ultimately going to pick up on it, makes the book a rather disappointing read.

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