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Oct 4, 2007 11:24 AM

Favorite Julia Child "moment"?

We recall when Julia was cooking with Jacques Pepin, and they would each cook the same ingredient his/her own way. The ingredient was spinach, and Jacques did not remove the stems from the spinach (for a saute).

(hear her voice, horrified)
"STEMS!?! You don't remove the STEMS?!?!"
(then in disbelief and obvious disappointment with Jacques for this Cordon Bleu heresy) "Ooooohhhhhh, Jacques!"

Jacques was his usual smiling good natured self, "Yes, Julia...the stems are fine."

My husband and I always laugh when we are making spinach -- and in high -pitched voices shriek "STEMS?!?!" at each other. God rest her soul!

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  1. I remember seeing Julia bone a chicken, leaving it whole in the process. This was when the only food TV was on PBS -- Julia, Frugal Gourmet, and Yan Can Cook, probably, and most of Sandra Lee's ingredients weren't even a twinkle in the food laboratory's eye.

    Shortly after that, I had lunch with one culinary school student and two non-foodie friends. The latter two couldn't understand what was interesting/exciting about cooking shows, and waxed eloquent about the adrenalin rush from watching a late-game touchdown, etc. I reduced them to silence by proclaiming: "I saw Julia turn a chicken *inside out*. Tell me that's not entertainment."

    (Make what you will of their silence ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: momjamin

      I saw an episode when I was a kid of her boning a chicken. I don't know how many times she used the phrase "bone the chicken," but after a while it sounded almost pornographic. I still do an imitation of her saying "you've got to BONE the chicken..."

      She was a hoot.

    2. She did some sort of Christmas special with Martha Stewart where they made croquembouche. Julia warbled, "Oh, I like yours!" as we say Martha's perfect OCD pyramid of cream puffs. Theyn they panned to Julia's, which looked like a pile of rocks.

      Also, on one of her old original PBS shows, she made a vegetarian dish consisting of crepes layered with various vegetable custards. At the end of the show, as she's spooning tomato sauce over it to serve, she says, "Thank heavens we're having ovo-lacto vegetarians for dinner! Otherwise we'd have to have graNOOOOla with tomahto sauce!" (I cannot precisely render the hoity-toity way she pronounced "granola," but it definitely added to the charm.)

      1. On "The French Chef" series, back in the day, she did a show on some chicken dish (Chicken Morongo or something like that? I don't remember the actual name.) that was originally made during Napolionic times. She opend the show describing how Napoleon's chef would cut up the chicken with his sword, and with this wonderful gallant move she brandishes a sword and begins to cut up the chicken with it just as Napoleon's chef would have. Unfortunately, the sword doesn't seem to be all that sharp, so the poor chicken is pretty mangled by the time she's done with it. She seemd to realize this but proceeded anyway with that oh-well-you-get-the-idea attitude. Hysterical!!

        Also--the time she demo'd an omlette bar, and made one for her mother-in-law with liver. Then, almost apologetically, says "Well, I don't actually have a mother-in-law," and goes on with how unfair it is that we make mother-in-law jokes.

        I also used to like her banter with Jacques. Like how she tsk-tsked him for not rinsing a whole chicken before roasting. And it seems there were some times where she'd make very cheeky comments to him. So much fun to watch.

        Oh, I miss her so. Sandra Lee and Rachel Ray, and all the other so-called "personalities" on FN don't even hold a candle to her.

        1 Reply
        1. re: tachis

          Oh my gosh - we just saw the omelet episode during a pledge drive last year. Now, whenever we're making breakfast, we're hollering "Welcome to our omelet pahr-tee!" Julia style.

        2. I loved watching her flirt with Charlie Gibson on Good Morning America. She had SUCH a crush on him, and didn't care who knew it!

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChefJune

            Watching her early show on PBS with my Mom and then seeing her a few years ago at Sur la Table in Berkeley walking around the store, checking things out after doing an in-store demonstration. She looked fragile, but magnificant.

            1. re: ChefJune

              Agreed! I think Charlie enjoyed the banter with Julia as much as she did - they were just so sweet together!

            2. With all due respect, how about Dan Akroyd's impersonation of her when he sliced his finger and passed out from blood loss? That was priceless.

              5 Replies
              1. re: southernitalian

                She totally LOVED that piece, and had it shown to the guests as part of the entertainment at her gala 85th birthday celebration. She guffawed the loudest.

                  1. re: southernitalian

                    Save the Liver!

                    It's available on for those fo you who haven't seen it, welll worth the bandwidth.

                    1. re: Scrapironchef

                      Got a link for that??

                      I can only find the Dan Ackyrod parody.