Julie and Julia

julie and julia

Last night, my dreams were filled with wonderful food. Good bread, fish coated with a buttery sauce, delicious cakes, the perfect roasted chicken, and did I mention, butter. Yes, I finally got around to seeing Julie and Julia.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I found the parts about Julie’s blog, and her efforts to cook 524 dishes in 365 days interesting. I didn’t eat before going to the movie, and some of the dishes she made had my stomach rumbling. But for me, the best parts of the movie were the sections about Julia Child.

I’ve never been a Meryl Streep fan and was put off when I heard she would be playing Julia Child. I was wrong; she was spot on in her portrayal. And Stanley Tucci as Paul Child was just fantastic. For me, the movie was as much about their love story, as it was about the love of fine food and cooking. Maybe I’m thinking too much about romantic couples, because we’re polling right now for favorite couples, but wow, what a love story.

I loved the parts of the movie set in Paris during the the late 1940s and early 1950s. The gardens, the architecture, the markets, and the costumes were all beautiful. I’ve never had any desire to wear dresses 24/7, but the women in the movie made it look appealing. I found myself wanting to be back in Paris – only during that time period. Admittedly, there was a lot of smoking going on, but that’s the way it was at that time.

When I got home, I couldn’t make myself cook anything with the ingredients available in my refrigerator and cupboards. Nothing there was up to the quality of the food I had just seen. Plus, I didn’t have a single stick of butter in my refrigerator.

Right now, I’m trying to resist the temptation to run out to a bookstore and purchase Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Honestly, I know I just won’t make anything from it. But, as a food lover, I’m wondering how I’ve gotten along without it all these years. The movie has really piqued my interest in Julia Child, and I think I will pick up a copy of  My Life in France, written by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.

There is one thing that puzzled me. The last dish that Julie made was a boned duck — skin on — stuffed with something (not sure what), that was then coated in a beautiful pastry. I’ve only made duck once in my life, and that was years ago, but my recollection is that the skin was incredibly greasy. I just can’t figure out what would happen to the skin when coated with pastry. Have you made this dish? Any thoughts?

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9 Responses to “Julie and Julia”

  1. SarahES says:

    I bought my Mastering the Art of French Cooking from Abebooks for $8 about 3 months ago. The prices have probably gone up since then because of demand from the movie. :(

    I checked out the recipe, and she makes no mention of what happens to the duck grease. The meat–some of it in small pieces, is browned and cooled before being placed in the pastry. Maybe most of the fat is rendered at that point. I would sure hate to put all that effort into making this dish, only to have it coated in duck fat.

  2. Anna says:

    I was not necessarily expecting to, but I loved this movie when I saw it. And the best parts for me were also the sections about Julia Child.

    I have a read a few interviews with Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and the screenwriter, and they all spoke about how much this movie was really about marriage. They were all very pleased with its portayal of how good marriages can be when so often movies only focus on the beginning, the falling apart, or just bad marriages in general. I found this aspect of the movie very appealing and romantic. What a hero Paul Child makes, and even Julie’s husband – supporting and encouraging and truly believing in their wives/heroines. Even giving them a firm talking to when needed.

  3. SaraE, thanks, that makes more sense if the meat is cooked and cooled before being put in the pastry. Oh, I’m so tempted to pick up that book.

    Anna, thanks for sharing that about the interviews. It was about how good marriages can be. That’s just beautiful, and Paul Child, wow! You’re right, Julie’s husband was also very supportive.

  4. SarahES says:

    LinnieGayl,

    I’ve only made the onion soup so far. But I’ve spent countless hours just reading the book. Yes, I’m one of those–a cookbook reader. My advice, for what it’s worth, buy it.

    For one reason or another, I still haven’t seen the movie, but I have had several friends call and tell me they have and I must. I think I’ve always heard that Julia’s relationship with her husband was one to be envied.

  5. SarahES, Okay, I’m going to look at the books in person tomorrow. I can spend hours reading cookbooks too. Julia’s relationship with her husband, at least as depicted in the movie, was just wonderful, something most romance novel couples would aspire to.

  6. Ellen AAR says:

    I plan on watching the movie on DVD as soon as it’t available. I’m a big fan of Stanley Tucci and think he’s one of our best character actors.

    I tried to read Julie’s book, but gave it up since I thought she was a foul-mouthed twit. I did read Julia’s book and loved it. I’m not big on cooking, but I do love to bake. I made a yellow cake with caramel frosting this weekend and it was delicious.

  7. LinnieGayl says:

    Ellen, your cake sounds delicious! I started Julia’s book this weekend, and so far, am really enjoying it.

  8. Katie Mack says:

    I have this on my list of movies to watch on DVD. It looks like a lot of fun. And it will probably put me in a cooking phase for a while, and that’s good.

  9. AAR Rachel says:

    Saw it tonight and loved it. Really, it was funny, romantic, and sweet. And the food looked great too.