Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Reading Can Make You Hungry

lake at sunrise
A small painting I did this weekend.

I spent forever trying to come up with a clever, or at least mildly entertaining title for this post. (And by forever, I mean at least a whole minute.) I'm not convinced I succeeded.

You see, I've been reading Julia Child's autobiography (she wrote it with her nephew). She was a very fascinating lady. It helps that she lived through very interest times (there's a saying about interesting times ...)

The Life of Julia Child: Fun Facts

  • She was over 6 feet tall.
  • She worked for the OSS in India, China, and Sri Lanka. That was where she met her husband, Paul Child.
  • She was in her early thirties by the time she started OSS work.
  • Her husband worked for the US Embassies in Paris, Marseille, Bonne, and Oslo. (She made fun of the Americans for drinking their light beers while the dark beers of Germany were on offer.)
  • She took classes at the Cordon Bleu during their time in Paris.
  • Her husband was investigated by McCarthy's goons who accused him of being a homosexual (apparently that was a big thing - which I had no idea about). They asked him to drop his pants, and he laughed at him.
  • She was in her forties by the time her cookbook was published, and she'd been working on it for about ten years.

Book Publishing For Julia Child

The most weirdly encouraging bit for me was just what she went through to get her cookbook (which she co-authored with a French woman named Simca) published.

She went through three publishers until she could get one who felt The Book (as she called it) was publishable. They did not see it as appropriate for an American audience.

She spent years perfecting the recipes and revising without ever knowing if The Book would be see an audience.

And then it came out, and, my gosh, reading about it makes it seem all too easy. She got television interviews and great reviews and important gourmands gushing over the book. So it's easy to forget just what she went through to get there.

In summary, it's a pretty fascinating book, and if you don't mind a smidgeon of Republican-bashing, it is a great read. Oh, you also have to deal with her describing mouth-watering food as you sit and read, sad and foodless.

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