I can remember watching Julia Child on TV with my mom when I was little. I never sat and watched long; the distraction of playing house or a new Barbie always pulled me away, and running off I didn’t think twice about the woman on the screen with the funny accent. Then during my adolescence we took one of many trips to Washington D.C. to see the capital and visit the Smithsonian. There they have Julia Child’s complete kitchen, which she had donated to the National Museum of American History in 2001. I didn’t remember who Julia Child was and when I asked my mom she said simply, “She’s famous for cooking.”
I’ve never been much of a cook, I try and I am successful in some things, but the passion to cook doesn’t burn deep in my heart. I enjoy cookbooks though; I enjoy the idea that I too could create something so lovely and delicious. I buy them and try recipes only to be kicked out of the kitchen by my husband, the real cook in the family. But the wonderful thing about My Life in France is that you don’t have to be a cook to enjoy this delightful memoir about food, love, and life.
In the introduction Julia states “This is a book about some of the things I have loved most in life; my husband, Paul Child; la belle France; and the many pleasures of cooking and eating. It is also something new for me. Rather than a collection of recipes, I’ve put together a series of linked autobiographical stories, mostly focused on the years 1948 through 1954, when we lived in Paris and Marseille, and also a few of our later adventures in Provence. Those early years in France were among the best of my life.”
It all started in 1948 when Julia Child followed her husband, Paul Child, across the Atlantic aboard the SS America. Newly married and never having been to Europe before, though she did serve during World War II in Asia, she wasn’t sure what to expect. But to her delight France, particularly Paris, was absolutely wonderful.