Archives for category: julia child



i have had this blog for 3 years now, and although julia child is a huge influence in my cooking, i started wild, fresh + tasty a few months after my dad died.


he was an artist, writer, blogger and truly enjoyed cooking. perhaps this is sort of an homage to him? i had always loved watching him in the kitchen, but what i loved most was listening to him whistle while he worked. usually he would be playing some sort of music (coltrane, dylan, vanzandt…whatevs!), and (in my eyes) moving in the kitchen like he was gene kelly.


i think he would have been the biggest fan of my blog, but also given me the most insight…in writing, in cooking, and…kicked me in the ass to post more. i miss him.


it has become a bit of a tradition to have an ‘orphans’ thanksgiving at my place for a few years now. i start with the usual list of friends, but anyone is invited, and there are always a few last minute add ons. this year it tipped the scales with almost 20 guests. from shopping at the farmers market all the way to the leftovers, here is the feast in photos:

the farmers market fairy delivered this 18+ lb beauty on monday:

i did a majority of my shopping at the wednesday morning santa monica farmers market:

on my way to the market, kcrw had a wonderful segment with christopher kimball, of america’s test kitchen and cook’s illustrated, talking about a julia child thanksgiving. of course he spoke of her simplicity and her use of the best ingredients. it was just the motivation and inspiration i needed. this is the beautiful and colorful loot i came home with:

the pie prep: cranberries, rhubarb, and roasted pumpkin.

the veggie prep: roasted winter vegetables, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and creamed corn with crispy bacon.

the free range willie bird all buttered up, stuffed, and carved to perfection:

the buffet: the aforementioned creamed corn with crispy bacon, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted winter veggies, along with sausage + fennel stuffing, and gravy. my guests brought sweet potatoes, green beans, carrots, salad, cranberries and homemade bread.

the table as people were plating up their food:

the pies: cranberry rhubarb (as well as, a crisp from the extra fruit) and pumpkin. not shown: pumpkin cheesecake and paleo pumpkin bread.

the dead soldiers the next day:

a few of us took off for big bear the next afternoon to just chill out (and digest) for a couple of days. these were some of the leftovers by the fire at the little cabin in the woods the next night:

i made stock from the carcass yesterday, and there was just enough turkey leftover to make soup today. recipe to come…

note: more (professional) photos from the evening can be found at rafiel chait photography. the photos above were just taken by me with my crummy iphone and hipstamatic.

julia would have been 100 years old today. happy birthday ol’ girl!

photographed in her cambridge, massachusetts, kitchen, june 29, 1970. by arnold newman/getty images.

i love this photo, mostly because her kitchen looks like a workshop, with all her tools on display behind her, and her plans to create something wonderful in front of her.

of course google honored her 100th birthday by having her as their theme of the day, the new york times put out a lovely piece about how she still translates into today’s cooks repertoire, and i will continue to pay homage to my muse, my inspiration and, although unbeknownst to her, my mentor every year on the day of her birth. i wish i would have known the impact she would have on my adult life when i would watch her tv show as a wee lass, or perhaps the reason cooking and food are as important to me as they are because she influenced me early on without my even knowing?

she was interested in what was in season, what tastes good, and figuring out what is the best method in which to cook food. even though some of her recipes were a bit complicated, many were pretty much back to the basics and fairly simple…good ingredients + optimal cooking methods = tasty food. all of which are right where my philosophy of cooking lands, and ultimately what this blog is about.

it is obvious that i love to cook, but i also believe as the master said,

‘cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.’ -julia child

i love that my kitchen is like a workshop to me, is filled with the tools i need to create, and that julia is always there to remind me to enter into any experience with abandon.

thank you julia, happy birthday, and bon apetite!

when i started this blog months ago, it was during a down time for me work wise. i had the time to cook and write about it. the tag line to this blog is ‘the way to live life,’ and to no surprise julia child was my inspiration and motivator.

in my inaugural post ‘in the words of a genius…‘ i simply quote mrs. child:

‘find something that you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.’ –julia child

pie is something i am very passionate about. in fact something about the rainy weather yesterday urged me to make an apple pie, and as i was making it, i was completely in my happy space. it was beautiful going in and coming out of the oven.

sadly, when cutting into it i saw that the filling was soupy. my friends tried to console me by telling me it still tasted delicious and the crust was perfect. i was even bitchy to andrea when she asked ‘what did you do differently?’ the only thing i could think of was that normally i used some granny smiths, but they didn’t have them at the market. i was thinking perhaps the fujis or galas i had substituted had less pectin than the grannys? or they were more juicy? then it dawned on me from a question andrea asked, ‘what would make it more soupy?’ if it was the same cooking time, amount of apples, and ingredients, what would cause the moisture not to evaporate? ah ha! venting! besides the usual apple cut out in the center, perhaps i normally cut extra slits to allow more moisture to escape? instead, like andrea said, ‘i created a volcano that just hadn’t been allowed to erupt.’ upon further investigation from a previous picture of a perfect apple pie, there were indeed slits!

at my bikram yoga studio they have this quote up on the wall:

‘i have not failed. i have just found 10,000 ways that will not work. failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.’ –thomas alva edison

ironically, while i was making what was to be an epic apple pie failure (in my eyes), unbeknownst to me the announcement of steve jobs death was announced. i was truly saddened to hear this. i didn’t know steve. i have never met him. he was a visionary and a genius and changed how our world sees things. he died too young. i have used apple computers and products since the very beginning. i carry my iphone around like it’s an appendage. yet, i’ve been trying to figure out why his death has affected me so much. honestly, i don’t know why, but he has reminded me to love and live life, and to ‘think different.’

‘sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. it is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.’ –steve jobs

RIP mr. jobs. you will be missed.

on to my next pie…

as my inspiration, julia child was my inaugural post back in april when i decided to start this blog, mostly because i have always admired her adventure in cooking. she would have been 99 years old today, may she rest in peace.

photo by paul child.

“the only stumbling block is fear of failure. in cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” -julia child

exactly julia. exactly. bon appetite!

“find something that you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” –julia child

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