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Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously Paperback – 22 Feb 2007
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|Paperback, 22 Feb 2007||
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Trapped in a boring job and living in a tiny apartment in New York, Julie Powell regularly finds herself weeping on the way home from work. Then one night, through her mascara-smudged eyes, Julie notices that the few items she's grabbed from the Korean grocery store are the very ingredients for Potage Parmentier, as described in Julia Childs' legendary cookbook, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". And the project is born. Julie begins to cook - every one of the 524 recipes in the book, in the space of just one year. This is Julie's story, as gradually, from oeufs en cocotte to bifstek saute au beurre, from "Bitch Rice" to preparing live lobsters, she realises that this deranged project is changing her life. The richness of the thousands of sauces she slaves over is beginning to spread into her life, and she begins to find the joie de vivre that has been missing for too many years.
From the Back Cover
`Sassy, quirky and disarmingly honest' Marie Claire
`Restore[s] your faith in eating for pleasure' Vogue
`A gem of a book ... both hilarious and touching' Glamour
`What lies at the heart is the power of food to transform the everyday act
of eating into a complex and potentially life-changing experience' Guardian
`An entertaining romp portraying the joys and frustrations familiar to any
ambitious domestic cook' Sunday Times
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Julie and Julie is a book which is at its heart self indulgent - and as a sort of a partial memoir you expect this. However what I found jarring was the person the memoir was about. Julie Powell cries at every obstacle, throws tantrums when things go wrong, yells at her husband for no reason...and this is the picture of herself she paints. God only knows what she'd be like in reality. But in a way I liked that, at first. The reality of it all, the way she'd showed a no holds barred view of who she was. Similar to an actress going bare faced in a film - it was a little liberating and strangely fascinating. However that soon got old. Really old. Really fast. No sane, happy person would react the way she does so continuously, with so little explanation.
However, saying that, there are positives. She has a nice writing style, the project she undertook was interesting and whilst I doubt I would ever read another book by her unless it was concerning a challenge equally engrossing I didn't actively dislike this book. If there was a star rating for lukewarm water this would be the book for it. In fact the only thing which gave me pains was, you guessed it, the constant childish pessimism of the author.
If it's a weigh up I'd say watch the infinitely more interesting and enjoyable movie. It tells you a lot more about the life of Julia Child and stars the wondrous Meryl Streep - what more incentive do you need than that?!
The idea of working through the whole book, cooking every single recipe, is quite remarkable & Julie Powell writes in a very easy style.
I have not made all of the recipes & of recent years have stuck to the tried & tested so this book has somewhat inspired me to return to the index & delve deeper.
I am not an afficionado of bad language but it didn't ruin my enjoyment of the book - I just feel it is unnecessary.
A good read for any cooks - particularly those who have dabbled in MtAoFC.
Now, if only we could all write as engagingly as Julie Powell!
Also, for Filipinos, it is heartening to know that someone else other than World War II veterans knows about the Bataan Death March!
This unputdownable book is a must read!
Julie in the book is way tougher! I did learn though about the tiny hole in our Cuisinarte processor which is meant for drizzling in oil for home made mayo which was useful.