Friday, August 7, 2009

Julie & Julia opens today...My thoughts

Today is the day every food blogger has been looking forward to. One of our own achieves the trifecta... Book deal, movie deal and played by an actress weighing substantially less than the average blogger. For the rest of her life, when people think of Julie Powell, they will think of that skinny perky girl on the big screen.

OK, aside from the obvious joke about Tom playing me in the movie about my blog (sadly, more likely to be Tom Arnold than Tom Cruise), I have some thoughts about this milestone for bloggers everywhere.

I have not read the book, and her blog has been taken down (I assume to increase book sales. Buying the cow and free milk comes to mind). The advance publicity has been more about Julia Child than Julie. Julia is now my goddess.

Like me, she started cooking late in life. She started in her 30's, I started in my 40's.

Like me, she had reached a turning point in her life. She followed her husband to Paris, leaving doubt about her career, I retired early.

Like me, she found a passion. She loved food, and wanted to discover how,why and share. I love food, and getting better has always been the point of my blog.

I was not one of the lucky souls that got advance tickets, but I will be at the early showing today. But, before I leave the house, I will be smoking two chickens (never smoked a chicken before). Those chickens are sitting in brine as I type this (never brined a chicken before). I will be following two recipes for chicken in Steven Raichlen's HOW TO GRILL book that I am trying to work my way through in my tribute (rip-off) of the Julia/Julie Project. I will also be making a Barbecued cabbage today. And finally, I am going to adapt a recipe featured in a fellow bloggers recipe that I fell in love with from her photo... Girlichef's Walnuts + Maple Syrup + Phyllo = Heavenly Bites. All of these experiences are new to me, yet I have a confidence that I know what I am doing, know why things cook and combine the way they do and most of all, am confident that I can indeed make this meal and will be ... above average.

The idea of Julie & Julia has made me a better cook. The resources I can find on the Internet are amazing. Years of experiences are there for the finding. New recipes are there for the taking, and those same recipes can be adapted to something personal. I am in awe of the knowledge and experiences others are willing to share. I am pleased to be entering the established community, and hope that I have something to contribute. In the last month and a half since I started my blog I have stepped out of my comfort zone. Every day I at least consider something new, and that comfort zone is getting bigger.

2 years ago, I could make burgers and hot dogs on my grill. Now I am brining chickens, stuffing cabbage for grilling and planning a Labor Day party for 40 people and 40 pounds of pulled pork. I am a better cook than I was when I started this blog, I have more confidence and I owe that to the Internet food blogging community and the Internet food blogging community owes a great deal of it's strength from Julia Child and the inspiration we all gain from Julie Powell.

And finally, here's you a little insight into my kitchen. Most of the time, I cook alone. Mrs. My Year on the Grill works days, and I try to have her dinner ready when she gets home. I love my Ipod, and have different playlists for different meal preparations. I discovered that this song is best for applying a rub. So, in the future, anytime you see me blogging about rubbing my meat (please, you are not in 8th grade, I mean rubbing a brisket), picture either Tom cruise or Tom Arnold dancing around the kitchen slapping his Pork Butt and singing...

I don't know much about Julia Child and even less about Julie Powell, but if they liked showtunes, I imagine this would be one of their favorites.

May you all be favored with the future of your choice,

May you live to see a thousand reasons to rejoice!


  1. Nice post! I don't know if I'll get to see the movie any time soon as I don't live anywhere near a decent theatre...But one day I'll take a look. Enjoy!

  2. What a beautifully worded post!! I hope to go see the movie over the weekend and yes, I already feel a connections. I grew up loving Julia and she was truly one of my biggest cooking influences. I never even thought to look for Julie's website...hmmm.