Julia Child was the first chef I ever saw on a television program. Her original show The French Chef had long been off-air, but I caught a rerun of a PBS cooking episode that featured Julia and another chef, Dean Fearing. Anyone who has ever seen Julia Child on television will probably agree that her distinctive voice and carefree personality made her most memorable.
Julia is recognized as the chef who brought French cuisine into the home of every American in the 1960s, when interest in French culture was at an all-time high. She made complex meals easy to understand and re-introduced cooking with fresh ingredients at a time when canned vegetables and fruits, dessert mixes, and tv dinners were prevalent. And she believed in the joy that came from preparing a meal.
“No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.”
Because her show was on a tight budget, there wasn’t room for rehearsals or edits or splices, and many of her episodes contained mistakes. Women across the country were able to relate to this master chef, who made just as many errors as they did in the kitchen. Layered cakes that fell apart would be covered with frosting and called “parfaits” or hamburger patties on a burner that wouldn’t work would instantly become “beef tartare”.
“Learn how to cook. Try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all, have fun.”
Julia did something beyond just filming recipes for her viewers. Not only did she carry herself with grace, she never apologized and had the ability to laugh at herself and her unavoidable blunders, was her true authentic self, and taught many the joy of cooking with love.
And with that, here are a few of my favorite Julia Child quotes:
“The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.”
“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
“I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food…”
“A party without a cake is just a meeting.”
“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”
- 1 large eggplant globe
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 (15 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
- 3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- Slice eggplant 1-inch rounds. Place them on paper towels and add a sprinkle of salt to release the extra liquid inside. Let them sit for a few minutes, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and stir for 1-2 minutes, careful not to let it burn. Add the diced tomatoes (do not drain), Italian seasoning, and oregano, and simmer. Lower heat. Wait for the tomatoes to soften and for the juice to thicken.
- Using a paper towel, wipe the salt/moisture off of each eggplant. Brush the eggplants with olive oil, then add a generous amount of seasoning on top. Using a lightly greased non-stick baking pan, place the eggplants in a single layer and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and spread sauce on top. Add the cheeses (mozzarella and parmesan) on top, and place them back into the oven in a broiler setting. Broil the eggplant slices for at least 6 minutes, but keep an eye on them. Remove from oven once the cheese has melted.