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My Thing About Julia

Those of you who know me are probably aware that I have a ‘thing’ about Julia Child. It’s not an obsession, quite, but I admire the woman she was and feed into the legend she has become.  We own a two-volume set of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” though I admit I’ve only ever made a few recipes from them, including her famous Boeuf Bourguignone.  I’ve borrowed nearly all the videos of her TV show from the library (I was a bit too young to see them on TV.)  One evening we watched one of her videos with some friends who were visiting, and we were inspired to write limericks about her.  Unfortunately, they are not fit to print in a public forum, but trust me, they were hilarious.  My favorite Saturday Night Live skit is when Dan Ackroyd plays Julia in the kitchen and has a slight accident with a knife.  “Oh dear, I’ve cut the dickens out of my finger,” he says.

Several years ago, a friend suggested that we plant a “Julia Child’ rose in the garden. So naturally I bought five. We planted them in one spot where they didn’t thrive, moved them, gave a couple away, and the remaining three are absolutely magnificent now.  She personally selected this rose to bear her name because she enjoyed that it opens ‘butter gold,’ fades through ‘medium cheddar’ and ends as ‘pale lemon.’  Can’t you just hear her saying that?  It is a floribunda rose, it’s easy to grow, and it has won plenty of awards in the plant world.

My interest was piqued again when I was researching Heirloom Tomatoes, and much to my joy, I discovered a tomato named ‘Julia Child.’  Again, I found that she was asked to choose a previously un-named tomato to bear her name.  The owners of Tomato Fest seed company were close friends with Julia, and when they asked her what sort of tomato she would like to have named after her, they expected her to say ‘Red,’ or ‘Beefsteak,’ or ‘Yellow.’  Bet she simply replied “Tasty, my dear.”  After reading this I, of course, ordered a packet of the seeds, and began growing them in my garden last year. They were beyond tasty. They were large and pink and some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten.

So, I own many of her cookbooks, I have three roses named after her, and grow a tomato that bears her name.  That’s really not an obsession. It’s just a thing about a great lady who changed the world of cooking and inspired millions of women.

And my friends tell me that my impression of Julia is pretty darn good too.


(I need to get me one o'them tomato plants...)

Great article about Julia. I admired her because she was exceedingly tall, and made no

apologies for it. Now, THAT'S a strong woman.

Rachel Dowling's picture

What a great piece. LOVE Julia Childs. Years ago my mother gave each of her three adult kids The Way To Cook.  It's still my favorite cookbook. The Julia Childs rose and tomato both sound as inspiring as the iconoclastic lady.