Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously
by Julie Powell
Back Bay Books,
Little, Brown and Company, 2005
I checked this book out from the library when it first came out in hardcover. I didn’t finish it before I had to return it. Then I heard they were making a movie of the book. Anna, at Hatchette Book Group, was offering paperback copies for review, so I said, “please.”
You see, I really wanted to read this book originally because I love food books. And this one was going to be about the Master – Julia Child. Nearly everyone who has held a copy of the book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking or perhaps watched Julia Child’s TV shows, has fantasized about cooking her recipes. I have. Well, at least some of the easy ones.
So did the author, Julie Powell. She was at a low point in her young life: a series of temp jobs, a physical ailment, horrid NYC apartments, no future. The only good thing in her life was a great husband, Eric. In a moment of very low despair she told Eric she was going to cook every single recipe in the Julia Child book. Maybe she could at least become a good cook. Always supportive, Eric suggested she start a blog and write about her experience.
Julie didn’t know what a blog was. This was 2002 when blogs were new. With help from Eric she learned how to manage a blog. And recipe by recipe she learned how to master the art of French cooking and she wrote about it on her blog.
524 recipes is a lot of cooking in one year. Most nights they didn’t eat until very late. Gradually she worked her way through chapter after chapter. She called it The Project and it consumed much of her non-working life; Eric’s too.
Still, we wound up eating before nine o’clock that night, for the first time in ages. Eric washed all the dishes; I mixed up some gimlets. I still had a glow on from finishing the fish chapter . . . There was a reality show on TV. A pregnant silence settled over the apartment, as we tried to remember: now, what is it, again, that people do when they aren’t cooking?
Cooking French food is at the center of this book but it is also about her life and her friends and a bit about Julia Child’s life as well. Julie Powell was able to take her blog to the book level and now it’s going to be a movie. Amy Adams plays Julie and Meryl Streep plays Julia Child.
I do have to warn you that Julie Powell’s language is rough. It’s actually beyond potty mouth. It didn’t keep me from reading and enjoying the book but I know some people like to know that beforehand. This is a memoir of sorts so it’s about Julie Powell. Rough but hip talk is who she is.
I made myself read the book before the movie comes to town (tomorrow, August 7). I’m hoping the movie will be as much fun as the book was. I found the movie trailer. Watch and enjoy.