First off, I have to say that I LOVED both books for very different reasons. A few years ago, I picked up the Julie/Julia book on a whim, and immediately connected with Julie Powell. And I do mean immediately - from page one I was hooked!
I love to cook, and I love to try new things (see the previous few posts about my new pickling/canning obsession for proof), unfortunately, my time at home is limited, as are my resources. I do the best I can, but sometimes its so frustrating to have these desires that are not realized.
Now, before you start saying that I am just as "whiny" as Mr Parsons says Julie is - let me say that I know first hand just how much creativity is spurred by limitations. Some of our best meals have come from me just looking through the cupboards and scrapping something together. The same goes for my work life... as an Interior Designer I am constantly being challenged with budget, taste, and time limitations! But that doesn't mean that I don't sometimes wish I could have carte blanch to do whatever it is that I want!
Anyway, back to the books...
My Life in France was an equally pleasurable read, but for very different reasons. I did not connect with Julia Child on a personal level, but rather found myself putting her up on a pedestal of sorts. She was a woman who displayed amazing character and tenacity - and is definitely a woman to emulate. I loved how she not only had a zeal for the good life, but was also wiling to work very hard for her dream - it took her ten years to perfect her masterpiece!
And yet, in the back of my head there is the nagging thought that to her, cooking was something she did in order to occupy her time - she didn't want to be bored while living in France. And yes Mom, I will admit it - I am jealous. I would LOVE to be able to go to work every day and not have my take home pay matter. I would love to be able to walk to the market and have my pick of the freshest produce to turn into a wonderful dinner that will nourish and sustain my family.
Which brings me back to Julie... and so many other women of my generation who have inherited the aftermath of feminism. We are a group of women who are immensely grateful for the freedom and liberties we have been given , yet are still nostalgic for the comforting routine of domesticity.
A co-worker an I have started recounting our domestic accomplishments, and failures, every Monday morning in an effort to encourage each other's quest for domestic bliss. She is on a mission to roast a whole chicken once a week, using all the bits and pieces for various meals throughout the week. I am on a mission to eat more healthful, which means buying fewer processed products, and instead making my own (so far that means pickles, canned tomatoes, and bread).
We are both on a mission to come to the place of finding a sort of Zen in washing the dishes.
And so, here is to two amazing women who lived in very different times, and faced very different challenges.
I raise my glass to their individual accomplishments...