Monday, December 07, 2009

In Honor of the DVD Release: A Visit to Julia Child's Kitchen

In honor of the DVD Release of Julie & Julia, a movie based on two memoirs (one based on a blog) and a cookbook, I thought I would share the joys of visiting Julia Child's Kitchen as presented by the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington DC.

I wanted to pretend I flew out to DC over the weekend just to get these, shots. But, these are from a couple months ago when earlier in the fall my wife and I visited DC. While there, we had the chance to see Julia Child's kitchen.

Julia's kitchen has it's own life and history. If you read My Life in France by Julia Child, you find that Julia's obsession and dedication to fool proof French cooking led her down an interesting path of kitchen gadgetry. This led to some bizarre tools, giant pestles and expensive copper cookware.

Paul Child, who to me is just as interesting to me as Julia herself, helped design and organize the various kitchen's that the couple lived in, particularly in helping Julia have access and organization to her many tools.

By the time they retired in Santa Barbara, California, Paul was able to design Julia's dream kitchen with high counters and spot for every knife, cookbook, and skillet.

One of pop culture events that define this past decade is the stories of Julie Powell and Julia Child, individually and intertwined in this film.

Nora Ephron's film adaptation has reintroduced people to the first television chef, a crazy tall American woman who's love of French food convinced her that she wanted to figure out how to make and teach the craft, with American ingredients and measurements. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci's portrayal of this crazy couple was comedic and pleasurable.

And perhaps Julie Powell's story (and Amy Adams) portrayl was less positive, perhaps because Powell is her own modern foul-mouthed woman with a less sophisticated life, as some continue to find out in her affair detailing follow-up to Julie & Julia, titled Cleaving, which in addition to telling the story of her attempts to learn about buthcery also details the failings of her own marriage with Eric.

But whether it's video's of Julia Child cooking, the cookbook, the movie, or the biography, some how Julia Child has left her mark and found her way back into American homes and kitchens.

With all this rediscover, having a chance to see her actual kitchen on display was a real treasure.

And no, I didn't leave any butter as a memorial to her.

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