Just like many others around the ‘net today, I decided to write a little something to honor what would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.
Many are paying tribute to Julia as a person, as a cook, and as an unmistakeable influence in the way we view cooking at home today. These are all very real reasons to honor her. She was a remarkable person, indeed.
But that is not why I’m writing about her.
Julia has had a rather indirect, but strong, influence in my life. I was aware of her for most of my life, through the lens of occasionally catching her show on PBS or via Dan Aykroyd on SNL. He made Julia look more clumsy than she was, but even in poking a bit of fun at her expense, he managed to capture her endearing way and warmth she projected to her audiences. When I saw her PBS show, I was only passively interested at the time. (What? I was a kid!)
Julia’s influence on me first manifested through Julie & Julia. I know, it’s so cliché, isn’t it? I see a movie wherein a blogger finds something to focus on and be passionate about…and then I do the same (only in my case, it’s mostly books). Even so, I find myself continually drawn to Julia. I find the spirit and drive she exhibited such an inspiration. I will never be the cook that she was, and truly, I don’t really strive to be. She is a standard unto herself. I aspire to be her apprentice.
You must be thinking, “So that movie inspired you to blog…that is not that remarkable“. You would be right. Recently, Julia’s influence drove me to do something I had never done before. I submitted a story to a writing contest.
Just like a lot of book bloggers, I think of myself as a writer. I have not decided if any of my stories merit publication, but Julia unwittingly inspired me to decide one of my personal stories does merit publication…even if it is online.
Biographile.net is holding a contest to write a short memoir about a “Kitchen Catastrophe”. The prize is the new book, Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz. There will be an “Editorial Winner” and a “People’s Choice Winner”, and additional books are given depending on what category you win. Due to the fact that the memoir I submitted was never something I thought I would put on the page, I can only surmise that Julia Child was behind my sudden lack of fear in total strangers reading it. “Be fearless!” she would say…and I suddenly was.
Five finalists’ short memoirs will be posted on Biographile on August 28th, and voting will be opened to choose the winner. I do not expect that my entry will make it to the August 28th posting, so I’m not here to ask for votes. All I am here to do is say thank you to Julia Child, for inspiring me to submit that memoir with nary a second thought.
So cook something good for your family (or yourself) tonight, in honor of Julia. Bon Appétit!
Here are a few tributes that I especially liked from around the Internet:
Wine Harlots: Bon Appétit Julia Child