Let’s say, for example, that you are in your late twenties, living in New York City in a something-is-always-going wrong apartment, and working at a miserable dead-end secretarial job at a government agency. What do you do to stir up your life? Well, cook every recipe – 524 of them – from Mastering The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child in 365 days of course! And that is precisely what Julie Powell, the author of Julie and Julia, set out to do.
Living in one of the most exciting cities and having a loving and supporting husband aside, Julie Powell was stuck in a rut. On a visit to her parents’, Julie rediscovered the cookbook that appealed to her so much when she was a child; at her husband’s urging, Julie decided to cook and blog her way through the entire Mastering The Art of French Cooking, dubbing it the “Julie/Julia Project”. What followed was a year of entirely too much butter, aspic, things that refused to gel together, extracting bone marrow, the trauma of killing lobsters, and the list goes on. Through her cooking triumphs and disasters, frozen pipes, a freezing apartment and sludge filled sinks, Julie discovers a new meaning to life and comes to the realization that anything is possible.
Julie and Julia is a joy to read; you might find yourself laughing (or at least smiling) at Julie’s remarks and her susceptibility to calamities of all kinds. Julie spares no punches when it comes to her beliefs, – her anti-Republican remarks may be offensive to some – but her memoir is straight forward, witty, inspirational and often flat-out hilarious.
Be sure to check the Julie & Julia movie with Meryl Streep and Amy Adams releasing on August 7th!