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My Life In France by Julia Child

September 27, 2009

mylifeinfranceI finished reading My Life In France, by Julia Child.  It was my choice for the next book club book.  I have to say I liked it a lot.  I loved that Julia was really such a normal person that wasn’t bigger than life.   I loved reading about her relationship with her husband Paul.  Again such a normal couple.  I found some quotes throughout the book that I especially identified with or liked a lot and thought I would share them here.

My first quote is about a time when her parents came to visit her in France and she travels around with them without her husband Paul.

     “The country (Italy) seemed poverty-stricken.  The food didn’t strike me as anything special, either; it didn’t have much finesse.  Maybe that’s why Italy didn’t hit me with the same vibrations that France did.  Or maybe it was because I hated being without my husband.
     Paul and I liked to travel together at the same slow pace.  He alsways knew so much about things, discovered hidden wonders, noticed ancient walls or indigenous smells, and I missed his warm presence.  Once upon a time I had been content as a single woman, but now I couldn’t stand it!” 

I read that to Keith after I read it and told him I know exactly what she means and that’s why I don’t like to travel without you because it just isn’t as good! 

This next quote was just such a perfect dream of what friendships could do.   Julia and her husband now have their primary home in the Boston area but long to be in France for vacations or summers.  An agreement is made with her friend Simca and her husband.

     “Le Mas Vieux (Simca’s house) sat on about five hectares of land.  Jean didn’t want to sell off any of the family property, so Paul and I agreed to lease what used to be a potato patch from them, about one hundred yards away from Le Mas Vieux, to construct a house on.  Once we had finished using it, the property would revert to the Fischbacher family, with no strings attached.  The agreement was made with a handshake.  It would be a house built on friendship.”

I have often dreamed of sharing a cabin in the mountains or a cottage at the beach with friends.  A place to retreat to with people you cherish.  Mostly lack of money has always stopped us from pursuing this but maybe someday we’ll share some land and a place to go.

And my last quote that I liked was really I think Julia showing us her soul  in what she hoped to accomplish with her books and her life.

     “My hope was that readers would use Julia Child’s Kitchen as if it were a private cooking school.  I tried to structure each recipe as a class.  And the great lesson embedded in the book is that no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.  This is my invariable advice to people; Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!”

I really think that lesson applies to more than cooking but anything in life.  Life goes by too fast to not throw yourself into what you’re learning and enjoy it and relish in each moment.   

I feel like I know Julia better.  I bought her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, yesterday and I’m excited to try some new things and dive into French cooking.  I also want to see if I can netflix some of her early cooking shows! And maybe someday I will get to go to France and experience it for myself.

I will be sure and share recipes and pictures of food we try!  As Julia was famous for saying, bon appetit!

My Life In France
by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme
2006,  Anchor Books

Two Thumbs Up!  – Pam’s Review

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