Julie Powell, approaching 30 and tired of switching from one temp job to another, starts a blog detailing her attempts to cook her way through Julia Child’s famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (volume 1), 524 recipes, in one year. It’s fun to see her so excited and committed to this project. Her mom thinks she’s nuts, but her husband (the man behind the idea), some friends and her brother support her as she tackles this project and succeeds. She gets a pretty decent blog following, is written up in newspapers, makes guest appearances on TV shows, and eventually writes this book, which has since been turned into a movie with the same title.
The recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook do not seem simple to me. I’m fairly certain that there isn’t a recipe in there I would even attempt. This made it all the more amusing to read about Julie tracking down odd ingredients in strange meat markets in the boroughs of New York, struggling with flipping a crepe, and attempting to do crazy things to eggs that I don’t even understand. Plus there’s the murdering of lobsters, trying to remove marrow from animal bones, eating liver and consuming large amounts of butter. All of this interwoven with her life: her relationship with her husband, her mom, her job, her readers and, of course, with Julia.
I loved this book. The whole idea of Julie taking her life into her own hands and trying to accomplish this fascinating project really appealed to me. That being said, the book had some faults as well that I’ll describe in my rating.
Rated: High. Language: Julie swears like a sailor (she comes by it honestly, telling the readers she gets it from her mom). Sex: Julie finds a sexual comparison to be made about most of the food she is preparing. It isn’t horrible. It just seems like she is preoccupied with sex. There are parts where she is fairly descriptive (and possibly envious) of a friend’s internet affair coming to life. And she really dislikes Republicans. If you can handle all of this, the book is very enjoyable.