Do you feel like a failure in the kitchen or a super star? Do you wish you knew more about the art of cooking? Growing up, I got a ton of inspiration from watching Julia Child with my Mom and Sister on Saturday mornings. My Aunt Chelle, Sister Lisa and I even make a Julia Child cooking show and forced all the grown-ups to watch us. It was great fun. I loved her madly from the first time I saw her.
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Her shrill voice and careless way made me chuckle. She wasn’t breathtakingly beautiful, or young or anything like most stars you would see on TV, but even though she wasn’t as drop dead gorgeous as Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman, and oh, she STILL has those LIPS, she was a wonder woman of her own. Click here to learn more about her.
She encouraged me as a little girl to be creative, and to be okay with making mistakes. She knew so much, but was never perfect. She allowed people to feel like imperfections could be endearing instead of deal breakers.
Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.
– Julia Child
I loved cooking with the grown-ups in my life. I loved making candies to give for Christmas with my Mom or tasting cocoa powder plain with my Grandma, and then laughing and laughing because we both thought it was so yucky. Grandma knew good and well that was going to be nasty, but she not only let me taste it anyway, she did it with me. It made me love cooking all the more.
From the time I was fairly young, I loved to take the red and white checkered Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook and crack it open and make something from it. We made pancakes quite a bit and it’s still the recipe I use for the pancakes I make for my kids (although I have made a few healthier substitutions) It’s the first cook book I always grab. I was even mad when my Mom gave it away. Heartbroken, actually, so much so that she bought another one to have at home. Guess what she gave me when I moved out on my own? Yup, the checkered cookbook and guess what I bought my daughter before she left home? The same one.
I was not a good cook at all until I was well into my 30’s. I spent all of my 20’s and part of my 30’s feeling like a total failure in the kitchen with just 3 or 4 stand by recipes. I wanted to cook delicious things, but I had lost sight of that magic that food can be. That’s when I turned back to the ole checkered cookbook. I was interested in making my family really healthy, chemical free meals. It was tough without much culinary skill, but my old faithful cookbook was the beginning of my new start.
It has the basics of everything you need. If you aren’t an expert cook with seasoning or measurements, it’s definitely the best way to learn. Everything in it is simple, nothing too fancy or too complicated, and it has your basic staples to make a wonder repertoire of your own.
Let’s get back to Julia. Each day when I was learning to cook on my own and needed to create a meal, I would channel my inner Julia. I would allow myself to make mistakes, and I would feel like a superstar world famous cook as I cranked out dish after not so great dish and learned to feed my little family. Little by little my cooking improved. I still think of Mom, Grandma, and Julia when I make something amazing. I love to nourish people with my food.
Non-cooks think it’s silly to invest two hours’ work in two minutes’ enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet.
– Julia Child
Julia inspired me to keep trying. I love her books, and after watching the movie Julie and Julia, that inspiration was fueled more than ever before. The love for Julia was reborn inside me. I love her. I really wanted her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I just had to have it. My sweet daughter tracked it down and bought it for me. I was thrilled. I don’t cook a ton of French food, but I have a big ole place in my heart for it and I will always love Julia and her ways. I do use my checkered cookbook a lot more than my French cookbook, but I cherish them both and always will.
Think about the impact adults had on your view of cooking. Like me, the grown-ups gave you a good picture or a bad one. It’s important to get those kids in the kitchen as much as you can. I know it’s hard, and I know they make a big mess. Believe me, I KNOW it. We all learned by making mistakes. When my daughter was young, I expected too much, but it taught me to be more patient with my kidlets now. Click here to see some of the benefits of getting your kids in the kitchen.
If you are learning basic cooking skills, there are many simple recipes on the blog to help you produce very healthy food for your family, or grab a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking or my favorite Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook for yourself and get cooking. You can click on the pictures below to check them out on Amazon.
If you think you can’t cook, think again. Julia says anyone can learn to cook!
“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” – Julia Child