The bestselling story of Julia's years in France—and the basis for Julie & Julia, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams—in her own. Historical storyteller Lynn Rymarz will enlighten you about how Julia discovered her passion for cooking French food in her late 30's after she married Paul Child . Read “My Life in France”, by Julia Child online on Bookmate – When Julia Child arrived in Paris in , a 'six-foot-two-inch, thirty-six-year-old, rather loud and.
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Editorial Reviews. caite.info Review. Book Description. Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking with her cookbook. In her own words, here is the captivating, bestselling story of Julia Child's formative years in France, where she found "her true calling." Although she would later. Here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with for the USIS, arrived in the fall of , Julia had an awakening that changed her life. Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files.
If you own Mastering the Art of French Cooking, this is a perfect companion piece. How did you first become involved in the writing of My Life in France? The how-to portion of this book is fascinating. The two Julias were one and the same. I hope you like it. And hungry.
She was a liberal Democrat, he was a conservative Republican. And therefore, it seems to her, naturally a boob compared to the sophisticated Julia. Except that as she admits, it was only due to his generosity that she and her husband, living on his salary as a government employee, could live an affluent lifestyle consuming fine wines, escargot, truffles, Camembert cheese and foie gras. Admittedly, one can understand her bitterness towards the GOP given what she related about her husband's brush with McCarthyism.
And while Child paints her father as xenophobic--well, her comments on the English made me cringe, and she characterized Germany as a "land of monsters. As for the English, she didn't care for their cooking--and that seems to have been a capital crime to Julia Child. Did I mention this is about a love affair with French cooking?
Because it is. This made me salivate at the descriptions of Brie, bouillabaisse, baguettes. On the other hand, my vegetarian friend would probably find this book nauseating, and there's enough odes to red meat, cream, mayonnaise--and above all butter--to make a cardiologist weep.
Nor could I imagine putting the effort, the time and expense, into cooking that Child described here. I'll happily leave the making of brioche and quenelles de brochet to professionals and limit myself to recipes no more complicated than tabbouleh.
But I did enjoy the picture of post-war Europe. This was written by Child with the help of her grandnephew and based on the letters her and husband wrote at the time, so her reminiscences, especially of her time in Paris and Marseilles, are vivid and evocative.
View all 7 comments. Mar 14, Izzy rated it really liked it Recommended to Izzy by: I think the reasons I wanted to read this book are that Julia's always thought of as a late bloomer, and because her travels were so influential in helping her discover herself. Certainly, her life had great adventure. So we packed up our bags and off we went. And thank heaven we did! I want to sail to Europe; how much more fun than flying!
I want to see my car brought out of the cargo hold on by a crane. I just saw a biography about Julia. It really was Paul who introduced her to food. But should you fault where you hear about that which you're destined to know of? And she pretty much comes out and says he dated every woman in Ceylon before he considered her. The biography used his letters to show how he was critical of her at first and then warmed up.
What am I supposed to feel about this? I admire her tenacity; yet I'd be unwilling to date someone who noticed me as late as second. She has a different kind of attitude about life that really makes me think. She mentions that they would have welcomed children. I think, though she was very liberal, you couldn't call her modern. Maybe that's not so bad; I just don't think most people would do things this way. And maybe she stayed up nights crying, but she really seems too no-nonsense for that.
Meanwhile, knowing I'm fairly young, I still worry about the appropriate time to have children, oh, nonstop. I kinda wish I could just make that kind of commitment to my own husband, so that I could focus on something else. But, for me, I always am never really sure if I'll want to be with him in five years. What do you think it's like to be not restless? But maybe she finally found that in cooking? Maybe I'll find myself someday. Dec 06, Dana Stabenow rated it really liked it.
Some of them wanted to take a cooking class, and the Sorbonne organized it for them. They needed one more student to make it go, and I was browbeaten into filling the empty space. If we didn't get our moose that year we didn't eat meat, except on my birthday, when I got pork chops no matter what.
We got all the salmon and king crab we could eat for free. The salmon was mostly fried. The crab was mostly boiled. The first fresh milk I ever drank was in college. The first real cheese, same. Remember those Kraft Cracker Barrel packages of four logs of four different kinds? Until then I thought I hated cheese. So at the time I went to this cooking school, my most complicated prepared meal was a hamburger. Claudine, our chef, went around the class, asking where we were from, and when I said Alaska her eyes lit up.
I've been playing catchup in the kitchen ever since. I can't believe it's taken me this long to discover Julia Child. This book is the story of her life in France, from the first oyster in Rouen to the last pot roast at La Pitchoune in Provence. It's a love story, of her marriage with Paul Child, who is about the most intelligent, charming man I've ever met between the covers of a book. It's a voyage of discovery into French cuisine, into the science of cooking, into collaborating on and writing a cookbook, or any book for that matter.
And it's a mesmerizing walk through Paris looking over Julia's shoulder. The first year she says By now I knew that French food was it for me. I couldn't get over how absolutely delicious it was. Yet my friends, both French and American, considered me some kind of a nut: Well, I did! And Paul encouraged me to ignore them and pursue my passion. You'll remember what I said about Paul being intelligent and charming.
The how-to portion of this book is fascinating. French ingredients are different from American ingredients and the French learn cooking by watching, not reading recipes, so Julia would take the recipes of her French collaborators and translate them and the ingredients and the measurements of the ingredients into something an American cook could, first, buy the ingredients for in America, and second, understand and recreate.
And then she'd test them and test them and test them and test them again, and she and Paul would eat them and eat them and eat them and eat them again until it was foolproof enough to unleash upon American cooks.
In a more perfect world I would have been their child. She concludes with a remembrance of that first, marvelous meal in Rouen It was an epiphany.
In all the years since that succulent meal, I have yet to lose the feelings of wonder and excitement that it inspired in me. I can still almost taste it. And thinking back on it now reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite -- toujours bon appetit!
Both volumes. View 2 comments. Jun 30, Diane rated it it was amazing Shelves: If you love books about food or about living in France, this is a must-read. It's the story of how Julia Child learned to cook French food and how she came to write that famous cookbook.
The book is filled with charming anecdotes about Paris and Marseille, and includes dozens of photographs that her husband, Paul, took. It's one of the most delightful travel books I've read in years.
What's wonderful about Julia Child is the conf If you love books about food or about living in France, this is a must-read.
What's wonderful about Julia Child is the confidence she can inspire in a new cook. I liked this quote toward the end of the book: 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! May 25, Kavita rated it it was amazing Shelves: What a beauty! It's been a week since I finished reading this and it's still stuck in my mind. I had never thought a biography of Julia Child would be of much interest to me.
I only picked this up out of curiosity after watching Julie and Julia. I hated Julie but was intrigued by Meryl Streep in the role of Julia. But even so, I didn't have high hopes from the book. My Life in France proved to be a beautiful piece of work. It is written by Alex Prud'homme, Julia's great-nephew, who spent days try What a beauty!
It is written by Alex Prud'homme, Julia's great-nephew, who spent days trying to get to the essence of Julia's love of French food. He used old letters and his discussions with his great-aunt to write this book. What is wonderful about it is the way it evokes feels of post-war France in a way I have never seen anywhere else.
It's like watching a wonderful Jacques Tati film, only without the satire. I enjoyed the utter fascination of Julia and her husband, Paul, with France and French food.
But Prud'homme deserves his own accolades for the writing. I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between Julia and Paul. They had genuine love and respect for each other. Here is one man you can say is the man behind the woman. Paul encouraged her in every venture and was content to play the second fiddle.
Most of the women Julia talks about appeared to be working in the 50s, which I found quite intriguing. It was also interesting to read about Julia's relationship with her extreme right-wing father right in the midst of the McCarthy regime. Julia herself was left-leaning and appeared to be quite rational about her country's foreign policy. Paul was a diplomat who was posted in France. This is how Julia got introduced to the country. It was instant love for her. None of these places are described in quite the same way as France, so they were not as interesting to read about.
The book does become less interesting in the second half once the couple leave France but by then I was so hooked with Julia's life and career that my interest remained strong. The author's descriptions of the various friends, acquaintances, and relatives of the couple gave a depth to the story and were sometimes quite funny.
And finally, the food! Julia was obviously passionate about food in all forms, but she was crazy about French gourmet food. I must admit the French have a great food culture, especially the way they take their time to actually eat. Even though I am a vegetarian, I actually began to appreciate Child's dedication to finding the freshest and best ingredients for her dishes. Her commitment to learning new dishes and experimenting on new ways to cook was inspiring.
Sadly, I could not use most of her recipes because they were not vegetarian, but I found a couple of aubergine recipes that I totally intend to try out.
Julia Child was a remarkable woman, and Alex Prud'homme is a remarkable writer. This book is eminently readable and enjoyable. Jan 12, Kathryn rated it it was amazing. A thorough delight! After all her marvelous culinary contributions, Julia Child with her nephew, Alex Prud'homme has created a literary gem--one that will no doubt fill your tastebuds with longing but will satisfy many other senses as it is a joyous, exuberant, intelligent and touching memoir sharing her love for husband Paul, for France, and for good food!
I admit that I was fascinated by Julia Child's cooking shows when they aired re-runs on PBS during my childhood--what a big woman, with su A thorough delight! I admit that I was fascinated by Julia Child's cooking shows when they aired re-runs on PBS during my childhood--what a big woman, with such a delightfully funny voice, so very excited about cooking chickens and chopping onions!
I've maintained a sort of distant fondness ever since, although now that I'm grown-up and have my own kitchen, I really hadn't given her much thought until I watched the charming "Julie and Julia" and was enchanted by Julia and Paul's heartwarming marriage and Julia's intelligence, determination and spirit. Reading her book made me wish the entire movie had just focused on her life!
It did a very good job of capturing the essentials but the book is, as always, so much MORE! For those who know Julia Child through her cooking shows, and her down-to-earth personality full of warmth and humor, you will find all of that in her book.
And while Julia said that her work really had helped her develop as an individual she really was so much more than just a good cook. Her intelligence led her to work for the OSS a predecessor to the CIA during WWII where, in China, she met Paul, ten years her senior, a highly intelligent and artistic man who loved painting and photography and joined her in her liberal political views.
His fascinating government job as a sort of cultural ambassador and PR man--designing exhibitions in foreign countries, maintaining good international relations, etc. It was upon her arrival in France and her very first meal at a French restaurant that Julia had a self-proclaimed "epiphany" and realized that she wanted to mold her life around good food. Julia learned French, began to take cooking classes--to give her something to do as a way of making Paris "home" Yet her passion and her talents grew beyond her home kitchen.
The rest, as they say, is history! Paul's support of Julia's endeavors was paramount even as she had to uproot every few years to move for his new assignments--they truly seemed a team. I loved the details about their life, from the sweet French stray cat that adopted them in Paris, to the delightful characters they met in the French countryside, to Julia's confession of loving rubber stamping, to her frustration over not being able to express her political views eloquently enough. The Childs thrived on intellectual society--"eggheads", as Julia called them, but those who enjoyed discussing ideas and weren't too stuck in their own ideology--and those who appreciated the arts, too.
The writing style is engaging and delightful and the descriptions of France and of food made me long to visit and partake of the feast though my vegetarian tendencies caused me to cringe at a few of the recipes, I must admit!
Though the entire book does not take place in France it follows into their stationing in subsequent countries while Julia worked on her cookbook and to America when she began her TV series everything in it is rooted to Julia's French epiphany and how her calling in life really began in France. It's also a marvelous glimpse at history since it briefly mentions Paul and Julia's war-time assignment, a France still raw from the war, the rise of the Communist threat and McCarthy-era hunts, and the Apollo flight!
Julia's "The French Chef" cooking show was the first successful television cooking instruction program and I loved how she always referred to it as "teaching. For those who saw and loved the movie, hurry up and read the book! You will learn so many more fascinating and charming details about Julia's life. But, truly, I would recommend this book to anyone--Julia Child fan, Francophile, gourmet, anyone interested in spending a few hours with an intelligent, warm-hearted and humorous woman whom you also wish could stay and help you cook and then eat dinner!
This in my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook--try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun! In all the days since that succulent [first: The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite! View all 9 comments. I love Julia Child, it turns out! This memoir is fun and I want to live her life. I want to live in Paris, Marseille, Oslo and Boston too, creating sumptuous recipes, hanging out with James Beard and decorating a summer house in Provence.
Seriously, why am I not her? I wouldn't even mind being dead since I am totally convinced that her cookbooks are the foremost authorities on French cooking, now that I've seen how many times she would experiment with a basic recipe to get it right. Makes m I love Julia Child, it turns out! Makes me want to read her cookbooks cover to cover to actually learn how to really cook. Good thing her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" vols.
I am nothing if not subtle.
View all 5 comments. Well what can I add to my loving Julia Child as a food personality and chef. She is iconic in her love of life and someone I have always admired. Never Apologize!! I didn't grow up knowing much about Julia Child. Child that first drew my attention. I don't consider it insulting, but a tribute to someone who was obviously a media icon of the 20th Century. That in itself is amazing, as Julia Child would never have been considered the emblem of stardom.
She wasn't thin or beautiful or full of herself, but she blossomed into a star of public-funded television. We had expensive haird "Let's eat! We had expensive hairdos, put on our nicest dresses, chicest hats, and best makeup. Then we looked at each other. That's why I love this book and that's why, after reading it, I grew to love Julia Child. She never tried to be something she wasn't.
She didn't believe she was the greatest cook who ever lived. She simply enjoyed bringing her love of French food to the Americans, at a time when most people living in the United States were well into frozen tv dinners and the ever-growing fast food world.
It was her obsession with practice, practice, practice that made her experiments with food so fascinating. By the end of my research, I believe, I had written more on the subject of mayonnaise than anyone in history. I was simply enthralled with this book, so much so, I tried not to finish it, which is what happens when I love a book.
Her memories of post-war Europe are tantalizing, yet it was just a fantastic journey for her. While others would have become upset at the way life unfolded, she saw everything and I do mean everything as sheer adventure. As fun! Even when failure hit. And I have chosen to focus on "pulling a Child" with peach ice cream. Not able to find any at the local store, I will make it myself with the same obsession to detail that Julia Child brought to her food and her life. Sep 06, notgettingenough added it Shelves: Written after reading the first thirty pages or so.
Every now and again I pick up a book by a chef which isn't a recipe book This time shouldn't have surprised me. I'd seen the movie loosely based on the book and it was merely innocuous. It could have been made 20 pages shorter, just by taking out the exclamation marks. I guess if I were American and she was my cooking icon maybe? But I'm not. Nov 17, Melora rated it liked it. I can't say I was crazy about the style, or Julia herself, for that matter, but her enthusiasm and energy came across clearly relentlessly!
Though I'm not actually interested in French food as a general thing, I do remember Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking as a fixture on my mom's cookbook shelf, and I find the social history aspect of the thing — the growing curiosity and excitement about gourmet cooking alongside the incre Interesting. Though I'm not actually interested in French food as a general thing, I do remember Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking as a fixture on my mom's cookbook shelf, and I find the social history aspect of the thing — the growing curiosity and excitement about gourmet cooking alongside the increasing availability use of convenience foods among American home cooks in the 50's and early 60's — an appealing subject.
As I read I found myself swinging between aggravation at her brash, self-congratulatory tone and admiration for her passion, curiosity, and drive. I can only imagine how exhausting she must have been to work with, but what a dynamo! Her letter to a McCarthyite committee member at Smith College, Child's alma mater, who was recklessly communist-hunting among the school's professors, inclined me to forgive her a fair number of condescending generalizations about Americans: We are fighting for our hard-won liberty and freedom, for our Constitution and the due processes of our laws; and for the right to differ in ideas, religion, and politics.
And I am convinced that in your zeal to fight against our enemies, you, too, have forgotten what you are fighting for. Multi-course, complicated meals aren't my thing, but visions of luscious slices of beef wrapped in delicate buttery pastry were dancing in my head.
I've never seen her on television, but I'm going to look for some episodes of her show now — her excitement about delicious food really comes across in this book. The challenge of writing down complicated recipes in a way that fully explains but does not intimidate was something I'd not thought much of but learned to appreciate here, and also the issue of translating recipes for readers whose ingredients may be different from the ones the author is using French flour vs American flour, French chocolate vs American, etc.
Who'd have thought? Still, there were several aspects of the book I found annoying. The writing itself probably well conveys Julia's storytelling style — it is very breezy, enthusiastic, and sincere. The way the book was written — Julia told stories to Alex Prud-homme and he wrote them up and showed them to her to approve — is very evident.
Sometimes things are mentioned which seem as though they will have some relevance to the unfolding story, and then they never do. There are some things that struck me as odd that may simply be a function of a ninety-two year old looking back on her life. She describes a restaurant dinner that she and Paul had in France: The service was deft and understated, and the food was spectacular.
And, similarly, she tells about her younger sister visiting them and making obnoxious prank calls to Parisian shops. To hear Julia describe it she clearly thought her sister was engaging in adorably youthful hijinx, but her sister was 31 at the time. In places her dated slang also was a distraction. Still, the story of how an aimless new bride developed into an internationally known cook and author, and how she became an iconic figure on television, rises above these peculiarities and flaws and offers some interesting insights into American social history.
Three and a half stars. Aug 17, Sterlingcindysu rated it really liked it. I really liked the style of how this book was written--very organized, just as Julia was! Can you imagine writing such a cookbook as she did with no computer to keep tabs on all the testing, changes, etc?
She would have loved Good Eats when Alton Brown does all his chemistry talk especially with all the testing of mayonnaise, of all things! I realized early on that Julia and I would not be friends--she was so focused and intense.
Was anyone else surprised that she didn't watch tv until after she I really liked the style of how this book was written--very organized, just as Julia was! Was anyone else surprised that she didn't watch tv until after she was on PBS?
Everything for her was cooking, writing, testing and eating. I was shocked near the end when she said that golf was her favorite game--when did she have time to golf?
She says at one time that she likes "eggheads"--I always thought that meant bald men! Not intellectuals. Oct 21, Larissa rated it really liked it Shelves: Years ago, in preparation for a class project in a YA Lit class in library school, my professor asked me who my hero was.
The having of a hero apparently being a given. I told her that I didn't really have heroes and she was aghast.
Julia Child: Met the love of her life, with whom she shared a love of travel and good food, never had kids. Stumbled upon her life's work in her late thirties, learned a foreign language fluently and several others semi-conversantly in her late thirties, made a splendid success of herself in her forties. Had a wacky high-pitched voice to match her wacky, high-pitched personality. Could make fun of her height over six feet and her 'gargoyle feet' without seeming to feel secretly bad about those qualities.
Clearly enjoyed her wine. Not embarrassed to be goofy. Self-motivated, ambitious, curious, unapologetic, and a big fan of making mistakes in public that is to say, on air and then learning to live with them. Yes, I'd say that Julia Child is at the very least going to be my emotional-professional-spiritual guide going forward, if not simply being referred to as my absolute most favorite person I've never met ev-er. Bon Apetit! Feb 26, Yvonne rated it it was amazing.
This was a Christmas gift from my best-friend-forever Ariel, and a perfect read not only for foodies and urban farmgirls like myself, but anyone who's going through the "if not now, when? As some previous Goodreaders have already noted, it's a bit of a revelation to read about someone so famous or infamous, if you've seen Dan Ackroyd's histrionic impersonation of "Jules" being such a late bloomer.
This is America, and even though Miss Thing found herself in France, we prefer our great This was a Christmas gift from my best-friend-forever Ariel, and a perfect read not only for foodies and urban farmgirls like myself, but anyone who's going through the "if not now, when? This is America, and even though Miss Thing found herself in France, we prefer our great ones to know their calling and find their way as early as possible.
In the womb, if you can swing it. Child is an engaging writer, and the book details the almost decade of Child slowly, carefully building herself up from someone who truly had difficulty boiling water to the grande dame of the culinary world we know and love today.
She found a passion and followed it without worrying much about how it would pan out, no pun intended. Mastering the perfect oeufs was it's own reward. Doesn't sound like working for The Man has changed much in 70 years. There are some eyerolling tales here of the Childs being tossed about like an old Raggedy Ann doll by their employer, the U. Sxcept that startling part about husband Paul being investigated by the government for suspected homosexuality.
Apparently they sussed out such tendencies back then by making you take a trip to the home office and requesting you take your pants down. If you refuse, apparently you weren't gay and could keep your job! But yes, if you love food, travel, cooking, late bloomers, France, tiny cars, dogged pursuit of unlikely passions and hobbies, and maybe Julia, this one's for you.
Dec 21, Lisa rated it really liked it Recommends it for: This book was largely ghost-written by a nephew of Julia's husband. Despite that, it was really quite good, and he spent hundreds of hours with her, listening to her stories and capturing her distinct vernacular. I had always suspected that Julia was an exceptional woman, and this book verified that for me. I expected a limited memoir of her years in France after she and Paul married, but it covered her time from then until around the time of her husband Paul's death in She arrived in Fran This book was largely ghost-written by a nephew of Julia's husband.
She arrived in France knowing nothing about food or cooking, and this book is first and foremost about her learning process as a cook and a chef, an author, and a TV personality. Second, though, it's a story of her life with Paul.
She arrived in France a fairly new bride, very nervous, speaking minimal schoolgirl French, and knowing nothing about food. They got off the boat, and started their drive to Paris, stopping for lunch on the way. She let Paul order, due to her terrible French and her feelings of unworldliness.
It was a transformative meal. And the waiter brought the lunch, set it down in front of them, and exclaimed, "Bon appetit! It might be a tougher read for people who aren't genuine fans my mom: Feb 21, Jeanette "Astute Crabbist" rated it really liked it Shelves: Julia was a remarkable woman! I doubt she even realized just how extraordinary she was. Her greatest successes came at an age when most people think their best years have already passed them by.
I'm not fond of French cuisine or rich foods in general, but there is much to enjoy in this book, even if some of the food doesn't sound appealing. I admire her enthusiasm and eagerness to just dive in wherever she was and learn the language and experience absolutely everything.
It was a revelation to me Julia was a remarkable woman! It was a revelation to me how much went into creating her cookbooks. Years and years of research and testing, re-testing, re-re-testing recipes!
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EMBED for wordpress. Want more? Advanced embedding details, examples, and help! Publication date Publisher New York: Anchor Books.
Collection inlibrary ; printdisabled ; internetarchivebooks ; china. Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. Contributor Internet Archive. Language English. Includes index I: French recipes for American cooks -- Mastering the art -- Son of mastering -- The French chef in France -- From Julia Child's kitchen -- Fin Here is the captivating story of Julia Child's years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found "her true calling.
Soon this tall, outspoken gal from Pasadena, California, who didn't speak a word of French and knew nothing about the country, was steeped in the language, chatting with purveyors in the local markets, and enrolled in the Cordon Bleu. She teamed up with two fellow gourmettes, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, to help them with a book on French cooking for Americans. Filled with her husband's beautiful black-and-white photographs as well as family snapshots, this memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, particularly in the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly.
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