I finished reading Julia Child's My Life in France last week and wow, what an inspiration. I picked it up a few weeks ago, at the same time I was beginning to edit the text for my website. I was a little self conscious about my tone - I'm pretty happy go lucky, and tend to overuse the word "lovely." I wanted to be myself but not be over the top. As I was reading Julia, it dawned on me that she had her own unique, happy voice and I doubt it ever crossed her mind how she came across to others - she was strong in who she was.
In addition, Julia has inspired me in so many ways. Her curiosity to research and experiment - when she wanted to teach Americans how to bake French bread, she didn't just throw together a recipe. She tried every possible flour, yeast, water combination. When she still wasn't yielding the results she wanted, she went to a Parisian baker who gave her some pointers. Months later she figured it out, due to her dedication to her craft.
Another moment that stood out: after her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking was such a success, she dove in to write Volume II and also was just getting the TV program going. She and Paul were super crazed and debated putting off plans to visit friends in Provence. They looked at each other and said nothing is more important than friends; work can wait. As I am busy building my own career, I take this piece of advice to heart.
To me, the book is about a woman filled with love - love for cooking, for learning, for teaching, for working hard, for her husband & friends, and love for her life. Thank you Julia!