Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie and Julia and me

Directly after seeing the film Julie and Julia, I went home and cooked supper. I was not up for making anything fancy, but I did want to make something that makes me happy, just like the film did. So I made breakfast for dinner- hash browns and eggs. I know- a meal almost embarrassing to admit to cooking after watching such great gastronomic inspiration. Yet the meal to me was comforting, and besides, I am in the middle of a larger project- pickling watermelon rind.

I first tasted pickled watermelon rind at the summer camp where I was a cook for a summer during college. This was the kind of camp where we made everything from scratch, where we scrambled the eggs each morning in bacon grease. It was serious work, and I learned a lot. I loved it there. The women who I worked for were significant influences in my fascination with food, as well as my introduction to the pickled watermelon rind.

That brings me back to the film, which I thought was great fun. It is probably the only film I can say that I liked better than the book. There was so much life in the way Julia Child interacted with food- she loved it so much, she often lost her senses. I can relate to that for sure. I also appreciated the emotional twists and turns of working on a project like both Julie and Julia encountered. Often there are times when I cannot remember why I am working on the projects I take on- sometimes everything feels so futile, other times, the work takes strides I could not even imagine.

What I do know, is that I wish I could take the best characteristics from each woman as my own- the 'courage of her convictions', as it were. I was inspired by the willingness of each woman to forge ahead with no real idea of where her path was going. I definitely wish I had either one of their precision. I am semi- famous for not reading directions, which, when making pickled watermelon rind is very important. Turns out, you need to have three days for three separate soaking periods, plus boiling in between. I am pretty sure both Julie and Julia would have read ahead in order to prepare... I am also sure they would have know what one DOES with pickled watermelon rind once on has made it, but ah, well- onward, upward and 'Bon app├ętit!'

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