Mastering the Art of [Any] Cooking

A few years ago, my friends David and Ryan joined me for a screening of Julie & Julia. Of course, I freakin’ loved it. David and Ryan, however, were only marginally taken with it. Because I grew obsessed, Colby later bought me the movie along with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. As far as I am concerned, things that include both blogging and butter–well, what else is there to concern yourself with? That’s right, nothing.

At the end of movie, Julie’s character visits the Smithsonian installation of Julia Child’s authentic Cambridge, Massachusetts  kitchen and places a stick of butter before a (slightly character altered) portrait of the famed chef. HER REAL KITCHEN! I mean, actual cabinets, appliances, cookbooks, and those eye-catchingly awesome Norwegian dining chairs she had sent from Oslo where she and foreign service officer husband Paul had previously called home. Not quite Paris-home. But home. For a little bit.


Naturally, when I moved to DC, I wanted to march straight to the Julia Child exhibit, too. I wanted to see those copper pots, her Le Cordon Bleu certificate, and the cute cookery badge crafted by her lovey dovey hubbie.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there before it closed in January. AGHH! District of Columbia, how do you expect us to entertain out-of-towners without Julia? Good news is that it will re-open in November along with a new exhibit, one covering American food culture from the 1940s to present. But for what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday, August 15, the Smithsonian opened her kitchen for a one-month exclusive. High fives!

I dodged the tourists and managed to squeeze my way into the exhibit. I absolutely loved it, and I did my best to take pictures to share. Know that if you’re ever in the DC area, I’ll make you you can  see this plus an entire wing of TV dinner history. And fast food. Talk about a thrill…

“My gleaming batterie de cuisine”

Commercial-grade Garland Stove

Rockin’ Norwegian Dining Furniture

I spy a blue devil, just like green machine! Whip it good!

Here you can see that cutie badge, plus personal copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The I Hate to Cook Book. Colby’s grandmother gave me a 50th Anniversary Edition of the latter; it has become one of my stand-bys. Thanks, Sharon!

Apparently Child is largely responsible for introducing the mostly European tradition of having wine with dinner. She suggested wine as part of the meal, as “part of the food chain.” You owe her a serious thank you. Yes you do.

Chairs with (Scandinavian) Character. Not quite Swedish Chef character, however.

More Julia awesome-ness.

Since I was visiting solo, and because I felt weird asking people to take a picture of me with a cardboard cut-out, I resorted to this.


3 thoughts on “Mastering the Art of [Any] Cooking

  1. A fan myself…and as the legend put it herself….People who love to eat are ALWAYS the best people. A sign that should hang proudly in kitchens of those who love to cook! 🙂

    • I agree! One of the things I missed most while in Thailand was cooking in my own kitchen! It’s so relaxing and rewarding, ya know?

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