The Julie/Julia Project

julie_juliaCan I just say that watching Julie & Julia this weekend was like watching my wildest dreams unfold– only it was a dream I didn’t know I had until  I saw this movie.

If you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s the true tales of two women: Julia Child’s life in Paris before she was the famous chef, and Julie Powell, a young woman from Queens who, miserable with her job, decides to do something incredible and blogs her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking — committing to make 524 recipes over 365 days.  

The movie hit home on so many levels, and I took a lot away from it.

First, I could totally relate to Julie Powell. We’re about the same age as she was when she began blogging. Like Julie, she started blogging about a passion of hers (food), not knowing –or caring — if anyone out there in the giant blogosphere would be listening.

Blogging becomes a very self-absorbed hobby/passion of Julie’s; I can certainly relate to that. There are several scenes where her husband is trying to be cutesy or romantic and she pushes him away in favor of working on her “art” — I can relate to that, too.

I’ve gotten a lot better about it (I try to blog during times where it’s not taking away time we could be spending together) but in the beginning, I was very obsessed and while he was very supportive of my bloggig, my husband often felt rejected — like I was always choosing the computer over him.

Like Julie, I get excited when I see a comment. It means not only are people listening, but they’re engaging … wanting to be part of the conversation. Suddenly people are sending Julie food items; likewise, I’ve gotten books to review.

The movie is food porn at its finest. The scene with the bruschetta had me drooling most of all; bruschetta is one of my favorite foods and we order it at every Italian restaurant we go to. In fact, in Italy learned how to pronounce it (br00s-ketta) — I’d always pronounced it “brush-etta”.

Julie Powell gets a book deal and a movie based on her blog … what a dream come true … I realize the topic of my blog doesn’t warrant a book deal or a movie, but how incredible for her that it worked out that way for her. Becoming a real writer would be seriously amazing. This movie gives me hope that blogging can lead to incredible things, things we never expected — things beyond recovery, beyond raising awareness. Maybe even a career shift later on?! Who knows.

Anyway, the love of food is at the crux of this film. The way it’s treated — like a friend, like a lover … literally shifted things around in my mind. Watching it, I wasn’t looking at food as fuel but rather as beauty, sensual pleasure. And it was a great way to see it — the way I’ve perhaps needed to see it all along.

Using real ingredients, food is meant to be enjoyed. Savored. Swooned over.

So last night, I channeled my inner Julia Child. Instead of just cooking dinner, I prepared dinner while my hubby mowed the lawn. I made it an art, savoring the time I had and the energy I had to make it something special.

As I was cutting the peppers, onions, and zucchini for our BBQ, I focused on sensory cues, even allowing my eye to tear a little as I sliced an onion.

Slicing sweet potatoes to make homemade “fries,” I doused them in a little EVOO, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder before laying them flat on a baking sheet.

Making stuffed tomatoes, I hollowed out the tomatoes and took the time to let the insides dry before stuffing them with mozzarella, parmesan, basil and oregano, finally drizzling olive oil on top of each beautiful tomato. 

When I made the burgers, I didn’t just hurry through the process to beat the clock — I  folded the beef with peppers, onion, Worstershire, garlic, and hamburger seasoning. Then I formed the burgers using a burger press — a step I’d usually skip when short on time. (Of course, it ended up POURING and so we wound up grilling on the indoor Breville grill — but it still tasted magnificent).

Putting extra effort felt, oddly, effortless. And I have to say, it made it all the more delicious — compliments to the chef 🙂

While I’m not going to start using sticks of butter in my cooking a la Julia, I’m going to try to broaden my palate a little more. I’m going to try to keep the messages of this film in mind this week: food as pleasure, love, lust — wanderlust when it comes to food!

I think I needed this reframing now … one more affirmation that everything does, indeed, happen for a reason, and for the best.

How about you? Have you seen the movie? If you come from a DE background, id it change/alter how you think about food?


7 thoughts on “The Julie/Julia Project

  1. I was excited to see the movie before but your take on it really has me going! I just can’t wait. It doesn’t come to the UK until September, so maybe I’ll read the book before then.

    I’ve been trying to SAVOR food a lot more lately and I think it really does help you appreciate it and respect it. I can also relate to the obsession that blogging can become, and I’m working on that, too 😉

  2. I can’t wait to see this movie! I don’t think it would change my mindset because that was already changed when I read the book “Fat Fallacy” which talks a lot about the so called “French Paradox”. Savoring food was one of the key points of that book. Also, the importance of moderate amounts of fat for satiety (physical and mental).

  3. I would really love to see this movie!

    I think I forget that cooking doesn’t have to JUST be about the food. I’m not a natural “cook,” so it tends to be more laborious for me and just about putting food on the table. But here lately, I HAVE been trying to enjoy just putting a meal together. I try new recipes all the time, and when I make an “oldie,” it’s so much more enjoyable because I know what to expect – I can enjoy the process more. 🙂

  4. This is a great post! I’m dying to see this movie. Everything you said I feel like I can really relate to. I need to see it!

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