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Julie and Julia

Thanks to the recent Meryl Streep movie, everyone's heard of our book club's pick for this month. Julie Powell was the first famous food blogger. Back in 2002, when blogging was a relatively new, unheard of pastime, Julie set herself a challenge to cook all the 536 recipes in Julia Child's iconic "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in a year. She then converted her Julie/Julia project into this book.

Now understand that this is an enormous task. Julia Child taught Americans to cook French food, and the copious amounts of butter and cream she threw in every recipe are enough to scare most sane people. Then there are dangerous acts involving live lobsters and whole ducks. Julie surely had a mammoth project, and she tells it in a way that makes it sounds very real.

Yet, in reading the book (as in watching the movie), I found something missing. I thought the book was more about someone bored who's trying to get the spark back in by doing something, anything. And a lot less about someone passionate about food the way Julia Child was. I really wish there were more stories on how something tasted - after all, this was before the gorgeous pictures took over the food blogging world - but there seemed to be a lot more of "what a struggle it was to get this done".

That said, I know a lot about Julia Child's cooking after reading the book. Now shouldn't this inspire me to cook something special this month. It didn't - trust me, I had a few recipes shortlisted, but I got way too much awed by Julia Child to try any of them.

And there's another reason we don't have a recipe alongwith this review. I was way too busy creating a new home for the book club. Yes, This Book Makes Me Cook now has a blog of it's own. Here, you can see all the books we have read so far and meet all our members. Look forward to seeing you at the club.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I loved the book (it inspired me to start my blog). The movie, not so much. I haven't even watched the whole thing, just pieces of it.
s said…
my thoughts exactly though Im a LOT harsher ...and I too didnt post a recipe..as I'm travelling for a month starting tonight so REAL busy..
Curry Leaf said…
I loved the book,and yes the project was a result of boredom and not passion.But I was intrigued by Baked cucumber recipe and will be posting it today.Thanks to Julie I tried a Julia Child recipe
PJ said…
yes, i felt the missing part too. i agree, it at times felt less about food and more about julie trying to prove something to herself.
Janaki said…
I agree .. completely.. I am at sea I am about what to cook ... :) Hopefully will post soon. Sorry about the delay and new home for the book club looks fabulous.
Aparna said…
Haven't read this book (:D) but saw the movie. I found that entertaining, but like you said Julie Powell doesn't comethrough as someone passionate about food, but someone who was driving herself to cook through the book!

Of course, Meryl Streep saved the movie, as far as I'm concerned.
Rachel said…
Great review.... .
jayasri said…
I know as always I am late!!, My thoughts have exactly been told by lot of people here in different ways and versions, I second to their opinions, I don't blame you for not cooking anything!! and to make this new blog.., it is extremely good.., A great job well done..
I can totally understand how you didn't make anything. The movie left me un-inspired too. It was too 'adapted for the general audience'

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