When I started this blog, one of my friends suggested I watch the movie Julie&Julia, a movie based on the book by Julie Powell which explores the intersection of her (Julie’s) life with that of the sensational Julia Child. The starting point of the story is Julie’s decision to start a blog about her attempt to cook every recipe in Child’s cookbook within one year. As a movie that focuses on two of my passion – writing and cooking – how could it fail to interest me? While I didn’t see any connection with my blogging or culinary aspirations, Child’s name was familiar enough, and the story intriguing enough, for me to try to get a the movie almost immediately, an easy endeavour. But days passed and the movie got pushed to the bottom of the pile. Until tonight.
Watching the movie, the most recurring thought in my mind was “How did the two of them manage to find such amazing husbands, and where do I find myself one of those?” While certain scenes explicitly make us realize just how understanding Eric is of Julie’s moods, self-absorption, etc, my admiration for Paul is much greater.
Husband-hunting aside, this is supposed to be a food blog and to the topic of food I shall return. It is of course impossible to escape visuals of food and the process of cooking while watching this film. Now usually when I read something about food, I get inspired to invade the kitchen and DO something. Except today, when I felt nothing of the sort. Maybe its the fact that it is 2 AM, but I admit I am disappointed. And a little worried.
I absolutely loved how food, and more than that cooking, have been given such a central role in the movie. Cooking is educational, creative as well as therapeutic, it is an expression of love as well as an assertion of self. It is an investment, an act of faith and hope.
I liked the movie, but I do have a problem with the concept of invoking Julia by cooking from Julia’s recipes.
When Julie cooks the Beef Bourgignion,she claims it is Julia’s Beef Bourgignion, when in fact it can be nothing other than JULIE’S Beef Bourgignion. How can one cook make another cook’s dish? How can a cook fail to invest of oneself in whatever he/she is cooking? I don’t believe it is ever possible to perfectly replicate another’s recipe. Even something as simple as tea will vary according to the person who makes it.