Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Kindred Spirits

As many of you know, I am a lover of the written word. I mean, Lover with a capital L. ... One might even go so far as to say, LOVER in all-caps.

I heart words.

I love to write. I love to read. (I've been known to read the dictionary. ... Not kidding. Literally, pick up the dictionary and read a page, just to learn new words. Dictionary.com is one of my favorite sites, because they give sample sentences and etymology for everything.)

I'll read just about anything, but my very favorite genre is (are?) memoirs.

I enjoy both fiction and non-fiction alike. A well-told story is a thing a beauty to me. ... But a memoir? Oh, be still my beating heart! There is NOTHING that I love like the way I love hearing a person's story as told in their own words.

Right now, I am reading - and lovingMy Life in France, by Julia Child (with Alex Prud'homme).

I feel it important to note that this book was gifted to me by the lovely Kathy U, the only woman I know who might love food more than I do. That she would send me Julia Child's memoir is so fitting, I have no words. I love Kathy. I love Julia. I love butter - and so do they.

From page 136:

"We experimented with recipes, tools, and ingredients, and made several useful discoveries. In working on piecrusts, for instance, we had tested French versus American ingredients. To our horror, we discovered that French flour has more body than its U.S counterpart, and that the French needed a third less fat to make a nice crumbly crust. Why was this? I wanted to know. We supposed that, in order for U.S. flour to last forever on supermarket shelves, it must have been subjected to chemical processes that removes its fats. The French flour, in contrast, was left is its natural state, although it would go "off" more quickly and become maggoty. In order to make our French recipe work for an American audience, we tested different proportions of flour-to-butter, flour-to-margarine (a substance I abhorred and referred to as "that other spread") and flour-to-Crisco; then we tasted the crusts hot and cold. Based on our experiments, we adjusted our ratios. It was labor-intensive, but a thoroughly satisfying learning process."

Ahhhh... Julia did science experiments with food and abhorred margarine. We're basically twin souls.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this book. Julia Child had an incredible memory for detail, and tells a lovely, lilting story of her life with Paul.

I feel compelled now, more than ever, to buy The Book (her name for the cookbook). ... But first, I must get back to reading. I'm about 50 pages from the end, and I have a good half hour to kill before I must leave the house and be about my daily business.

Bon Appetit!

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