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Happy Birthday, Julia Child

Happy Birthday, Julia Child

“Life itself is the proper binge.”
— J. Child

Happy Birthday, Julia

As "food people," it's borderline passé to wax romantic about Julia Child; between the posthumous biographies, fan clubs, blogs, and that movie that Amy Adams kept interrupting, it's tough not to fall into the trap of:
"we get it; she could cook."

Regardless of this, and regardless of how automatically I tend to sneer and ignore popular/trendy things (often to my own chagrin, but alas, it's a pop-culture reflex), Julia Child is still a hero and inspiration of mine. 

I throw her a birthday party every year, which we enjoyed yesterday evening, and at the opportunity for a toast, I explained why she's so important and inspirational for anyone, not just the francophiles and food-obsessed:

She couldn't cook at all until her mid 30's, but decided there was no reason not to start pursuing something she loved. She swore like a sailor - not out of crudeness or shock or anger, but because she thought it was fun. She messed things up often - burned things, dropped things, ruined dinner - but laughed and shrugged:
"je m'en foutisme!" - I don't give a damn

But the "damn" she didn't give wasn't general - she cared deeply, passionately, about everything. The attitude she professed in French so well was moreso the idea of
don't worry about it.
everything will be fine.
learn, adjust, refill your wineglass,
and repeat. 

The lessons to learn from Julia aren't about souffle-techniques or how much you should spend on dinner.
 Never stop. Change, grow, do better,
           and don't give a damn if you stumble.
       Recognize your own humanity.
                   Julia wasn't perfect, and didn't care.
               Own your triumphs
                        and stop fretting your shortcomings
                   Love every moment.
                               Food, drink, work, sex, people.
                       Find passion and joy in everything.

"Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is."
         "I think careful cooking is love, don't you?"

Eat More Snails.

Eat More Snails.