Jul 23

Celebrating with Julia Child

in Family, Food History

I have always loved food. My mother tells me that I have always eaten everything, unlike my siblings who tended to be pickier at times (with the exception of an 18-year period where I didn’t eat yams because they made me sick). My love for food was even used against me once when my mother conned me to stop crying for a picture by bribing me with a Swedish fish. I got even by insisting that the Swedish fish get its picture taken too.
Both my parents nurtured my love for food–exposing me to a wide variety of foods and flavors, teaching me to always taste before passing judgment, and just being good eaters themselves. I am like my dad in so many ways when it comes to food. We both have many memories centered around what we ate on a particular occasion. I can often remember more detail about a good meal than I can about other parts of an experience. I have very vivid memories of what I ate on significant days/events of my life, whether it was my birthday dinners lovingly prepared by my mother, my first afternoon spent in France nibbling on a fresh baguette and struggling to stay awake to beat the jet lag, or the hospital food I was served in Japan after the birth of Squirrel. I have also loved being in the kitchen since I was a little girl. The credit goes to my mother for that one, as she herself is an amazing cook and taught me the basics in the kitchen starting at a young age.

To say I have been a foodie all my life would probably be an accurate statement. I can, however, pinpoint my obsession with food and cooking to a very specific period in my life. On August 30, 2000, I boarded an Air France flight bound for Paris, France.

(August 31, 2000–My first view of the Eiffel Tower)

I spent the next semester of my undergraduate life living with a wonderful French family in le Pecq (a suburb of Paris), and commuting to the center of Paris for my studies.

(My Carte Orange–a pass for the public transportation system in Paris)

My journal, which I faithfully wrote in every night (actually the only time I have ever faithfully written in a journal), details the revelatory experience of my first bite of a fresh baguette from a corner bakery, the smells wafting from the bakeries in the early morning when I was walking to the train station, the multitude of cheeses and pastries that I sampled (which ultimately resulted in a fifteen pound weight gain before I returned to the US), and the time that I spent in the evenings several times a week helping my host mom to prepare the family meals.

(The kitchen in France where my French culinary education began.)

My life since that time spent in France has played out as one gustatory experience after another. So why is it that it took me so long to become a food blogger? As I look back on my “food history,” I see that the writing was on the wall, yet I was completely blind to it. I started this blog back in February of 2007, right after the birth of my first daughter (Squirrel) in Tokyo, Japan. I started writing to journal my experiences and thoughts on my expat experience in Japan. When we moved back to the US during the summer last year (wow, it’s amazing to think we’ve already been back a year!), I realized that my blog was either going to become a family blog to detail the everyday “goings on” of our family, or that I needed to find a new direction. In a post last year detailing the reincarnation of LFM as a food blog, I wrote,

The answer to that question [what to write about] slowly evolved over the summer as I found myself writing more and more about food in some form or another, whether it be cooking and eating or the discovery of new products and places. Finally, . . . the light bulb turned on in my head and I realized that one of my other passions was a big part of my everyday life: food.

All I can say now is, duh! A year has passed since that revelation, and although my “official” blogiversary is in February, I think my true blogiversary is now at the end of July–marking my passage into food writing.

Foodbuzz has a monthly event called “24, 24, 24,” meaning “24 Meals, 24 Hours, 24 Blogs,” in which posts are spotlighted from 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publishers who describe 24 unique meals occurring around the globe during a 24-hour period. As I was thinking about my “foodie blogiversary,” I thought it would be fun to come up with a proposal to submit for one of these 24 meals that would help me celebrate my first year as a food blogger. As I was trying to think of ideas, I saw a preview for the upcoming release of the movie Julie & Julia.*
I realized that the release of the movie (August 7) closely coincides with Julia Child’s birthday (August 15th) and a lightbulb turned on in my head. I submitted a proposal to Foodbuzz titled “In the Kitchen with Julia Child,” detailing a meal to be prepared for friends and family using only recipes from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
As you might guess by the fact that you are reading this, my proposal was accepted. This coming Saturday night (July 25th) all of the Fujis, my parents, an aunt who will be in town, and two of our close friends will be sitting down to eat a meal made possible by the wonderful Julia Child. As a result, I’d like to christen July 25th as LFM’s new official “unofficial” blogiversary. I find this to be particularly appropriate considering that it was about this same time of year that my own exposure to French cuisine began. It’s a good time of year to celebrate a food blog’s birthday, don’t you think?
*The movie Julie & Julia is based on Julia Child’s memoir My Life in France and Julie Powell’s blog-turned-book, Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. (It tells the stories of Julia learning to cook at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and writing Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Julie’s story of cooking all 524 recipes in Julia’s masterpiece in just one year.)

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Tinasquirrel July 23, 2009 at 10:26 am

I absolutely loved the book My Life in France. I can't wait to see what you decide to make!


Bob July 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I used to have an autographed copy of Mastering the Art, but I have no idea what happened to it. It's very upsetting. But I'm looking forward to seeing what you do from it! :)


Tartelette July 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm

How funny that you stayed in Le Pecq where my uncle and his family are! It sure is convenient to downtown Paris!

Happy Blog Anniversary!


Jenn July 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I would LOVE to stay in France for a summer. That's really been the one wish I've had in years. How lucky are you?! Can't wait to see what happens with your 24, 24, 24. I'm sure it'll be superb!


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction July 23, 2009 at 12:59 pm

What an adorable picture of you and your Swedish fish! Can't wait to read all about your FB 24, 24, 24… What a great idea!


Chow and Chatter July 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm

what a lovely post and cute pics oh Paris changes us all!


Frieda July 23, 2009 at 2:46 pm

Excellent post & happy blogaversary! I can't wait to see your 24,24,24…I'm not surprised it was accepted. Have fun!


Lo July 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Fantastic idea!
One of those where I find myself thinking: Gosh, now why didn't I think of that??!! :)

Can't wait to read all about your adventures with Mastering the Art. We're tackling a recipe from it ourselves this weekend!


Helene July 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Super! Can't wait for 24,24,24. So glad that you were accepted. Will be back tomorrow :)


Semsavblanc July 23, 2009 at 7:01 pm

The thing that really struck a cord with me is how much you have done and achieved since your first trip to Paris! When you decided to go from Japan blog to food blog I was kind of sad (of course) but I love your new direction and still love your blog totally!! Happy 1st Blogiversary! Sending you many chocolatey best wishes and may the coming year be filled with fabulous gastronimic adventures and much love!!


Darina July 23, 2009 at 8:43 pm

What a wonderful, eloquent post. Bribing a little kid with fish. Too funny. I envy your stay in France. Wish I had done that.


Meg July 23, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Congrats on 24,24,24! My little sis was making something from this cookbook tonight when I called. I think she said it was braised cucumbers. Fun.


Michelle July 24, 2009 at 1:09 am

Congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading all the entries!


Fuji Nana July 24, 2009 at 7:36 am

Ah, I can hardly wait to be your lab rat. I'm looking forward to your Julia Child Extravaganza!


Bobbie October 3, 2012 at 1:04 am

Do you have the recipe for your French host mom’s crepes you’d like to share? Thanks.


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