Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our Lady of the Ladle

The entire food blogging community is extremely exited about the new somewhat blog-related movie coming out this Friday. Julie and Julia is based on the popular book of the same name and depicts the life of the famous Julia Child and the not so famous Julie Powell who aspires to cook and blog her way through the world renowned Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

I can not say that I am not equally excited and enthralled in the buzz surrounding this film. I read the book about two years ago before I had a blog of my own and found it a very easy, fun and uplifting experience. At the end of the book the author mentions that Julia Child's kitchen in which she cooked, entertained and filmed her show was donated to the Smithsonian in 2001. The kitchen and its contents were on display at the American History Museum. How convenient! Since I lived in DC it would be a breeze to hop on the Metro and spend an afternoon gawking at Julia's culinary possessions. There was one small detail that I forgot as I planned the excursion. At the time I read the book, the American History Museum was undergoing a two year long renovation and was closed down.

A few months ago Forrest and I found ourselves downtown with a few hours to kill before we met some visiting family members. The American History Museum had recently reopened and I knew I wanted to stop in and visit a particular exhibit. At this point in life I was completely immersed in my blog and had worked my way through about 150 recipes of my own. Cooking had a whole new meaning to me than it had a year earlier when I read the book. I headed straight to the exhibit and spent the next hour tickled pink. Her entire kitchen had been moved from her Massachusetts home and reconstructed just as she had it for 42 years. Outside of the kitchen they had displays of her cooking utensils (this women had it all), her Le Cordon Bleu diploma and the first edition of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Excuse the glare in the shots. Everything was encased in glass. Curse you museum gods!

Julia's Diploma

Julia Child hovered at six feet two inches and her husband custom built all of her cabinets and countertops in her kitchen to be the perfect height for her tall stature. My favorite was the picture below of Julia cooking in her tiny Paris apartment as a young women. She looks so at ease in a situation that looks amazingly uncomfortable.


Cathy said...

OMG, that last picture is crazy!

Molly Jean said...

I had no idea she was such a tall woman. Very interesting!

Thanks for sharing all of the pictures with me :)

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing this!

Woody said...

great post. I cant wait to go see the movie with you.



Katherine Aucoin said...

I really enjoyed this post. I don't know too much about Julia child and didn't realize until recently just how tall she really was.

Gabriela said...

I second the motion. Another excellent post. I saw this exhibit sometime in 2004 when my office was located at K and 14th streets. Imagine inventorying and cataloging each and every item in her kitchen for the move to DC. It was and remains one of my favorite exhibits. I'm so glad to know you got to experience it.

Krista said...

I would definitely love to see this movie!

I just saw the exhibit at the Smithsonian a couple of months ago. I was in town for a wedding and spent the afternoon in the mall beforehand. I wandered into the Smithsonian for a few air conditioned moments and just happened upon this exhibit. It's the only one that I saw that day with the limited time I had available. What luck, right?

Thanks for posting some pictures. I forgot to take out my camera!