A Letter to Julia

15 Aug

Dear Julia,

Happy birthday! Today you’d be 100 years old, but its’ hard to imagine that in only 100 years so much has changed in the world. American food culture has gone from neglected, to convenient, to showy and back several times in the past hundred years. People’s food attitudes are so varied and so interesting, but you remain like some untouchable beacon of good humor and appreciation. If I could be a fraction as charming as you were when frustrated with trussing or  de-boning, I’d probably have more friends (or less irritated coworkers, anyway). If I could remember half the things you seemed to so easily tuck into your memory about sauces or braising, I’d probably have much more impressive dinner parties. If I could approach cooking with even an ounce of the unbridled enthusiasm and driving devotion that you did, well… I guess I might be famous then, too. But the world can only have one Julia, and in just being yourself, you uprooted an entire culture’s attitude about food and cooking and gender roles and sat it upside down on the counter and stuffed it. I’m in awe of your life, if for nothing else than your access to the what sounds like the best damn raw ingredients on the planet. Happy birthday Julia, I hope you’re enjoying a nice sole meuniere, as it was the first time you tasted it: “perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.”

All the best,

Sally

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