Monday, January 04, 2010


There have always been women I've looked up to, admired and respected. They haven't changed much over the years because, I like to think, I've made some good choices. They're strong women who made it because they deserved it, not because anyone ever handed it to them. They're the kind of women we need more of.
Julia Child has been one of those women for a long time.
I like to cook, I always have and I love to bake. I'm perfectly happy to spend all day working on one project while friends and family shake their heads and wonder. I love kneading bread by hand or spending two days making perfect cinnamon buns. I find something special in cookies that are all just a little different. I find an amazing comfort in the smell of freshly baked pie. And when I found this bliss, I found Julia.
When I'm at a loss for what to do, when things blow up in my face, when I'm trying to get the goddamned waxed paper to curl in to a proper piping bag for the thirtieth time, I turn to Julia. She doesn't always hold the answer or fix everything but she does make me feel like it's okay to fail. For me, that's a BIG thing.
I know that Julia isn't the best chef to have ever taken up the ladle and whisk and I think that's part of why I love her. She was fallible and readily admitted it. I've watched hours and hours of her show and it always makes me feel so much better about my efforts. I don't get that feeling from any other cooking show. They're all so perfect and clean cut, everything works out right every single time. How is that supposed to help?
Julia routinely had things go wrong, and you know what? It wasn't the end of the world. She took the opportunity to show you how to save the day, to salvage the wreck or at worst, to just carry on because sometimes shit happens.
But you want to know one of the biggest reasons I love Julia as much as I do?
She was 32 when she started cooking.
I often panic that I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. I went to school and I love doing fx make-up but I know it will never be what I "do". There's nothing I can really point to and say "I want to be THAT forever and ever". I worry about reaching lots of life's milestones and I often feel like I'm so far behind that I'll never catch up.
Julia gives me hope.
I know it was never her intention and I know it's more in my head than anything. But I'm okay with that.

"Upon reflection, I decided I had three main weaknesses: I was confused (evidenced by a lack of facts, an inability to coordinate my thoughts, and an inability to verbalize my ideas); I had a lack of confidence, which cause me to back down from forcefully stated positions; and I was overly emotional at the expense of careful, 'scientific' though. I was thirty-seven years old and still discovering who I was." - Julia Child (1912 - 2004)


Robin said...

Oh that quote rings so very true in a really scary way.

Gwenhwyfar said...