Julie and Julia

Today, I watched Julie and Julia, one of my favourite films and books, and the inspiration for this blog. I already have one blog about my experiences as a Canadian living Scotland, and had been told a few times that I should write a food blog, especially after my Great British Bakeoff experiment on Facebook, (more about that later). It had been a while since I’d watch Julie and Julia, and I had forgotten how good the film would make me feel. There is just so much to love about it: the food, the passion for food, the love between each couple, (Paul and Julia Child, and Julie and Eric Powell), the Le Creuset cameos, and Meryl Streep’s incredible performance. The film also pinpoints the reason I love cooking and baking so much, and is best explained when Julie Powell is making a chocolate cream pie after a hard day’s work:

“I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing, I can come home and absolutely know that if I add egg yolks to chocolate, sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such comfort.”

Food is not only comforting, but the acting of making it, for me, is also that. I often spend a Saturday or Sunday in the kitchen, making soup, baking, or trying a new recipe. My husband loves it when I’m on holiday from my stressful job because he knows that I will be baking, and we will always have flapjacks, cookies or cake in the house. It’s my way of de-stressing, unwinding from the events at school, and letting my mind concentrate on the simple act of creating something. Each step to me is relaxing: peeling and chopping veg, measuring and weighing ingredients, sauteeing, mixing, kneading, etc. My mind is completely focused on the dish and nothing more. I can get in the zone when I cook, just like when I run, and I’m at total peace in the kitchen.

If you were to watch me, however, it doesn’t look like that. My mom used to say I was like a bull in a China shop, and my husband says that when I cook, it’s as though I’m a line cook in a busy restaurant. I did work as a line cook at Earls, where quality and quickness are everything, and although it’s been nine years since I left, and I guess it’s still in me.

Watching Julie and Julia, I had a revelation and finally understood the many reasons I love to cook. At times, I can come across as obsessive about food, and it’s something I think about quite a bit. We recently went to a family party, and everyone was commenting on how great the party was. I totally agreed because it was, the food was amazing! But it was also a really nice time spent with family. I can talk about and think about food all the time, and it can be embarrassing for me when people, who aren’t as food oriented as me, seem to poke fun at it. In Julie and Julia, I finally had relief that I wasn’t the only one: Julia Child did it too. In fact, she seemed to speak about food as much as I do! It was even her reason for going to cooking school.
When I first came to Scotland, I had dreamed that I would spend my days cooking, baking and writing recipes. Two years later, I haven’t achieved that, but my cooking has definitely improved and expanded, and thanks to Julie and Julia, I’m now writing my food (and running) blog. Maybe one day, I’ll get to do it. And like Julie Powell, I’ll have Julia Child, (Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci), to thank.

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