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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 hulu.com 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.

                  2. Oh I do miss Julia. I think I watched every single one of her PBS shows and clearly remember that wonderful demonstration of the whole fish and slapping that huge fish down on the counter, dropping all sorts of things on the floor, and all the labels she had on everything so she would put things back in their special places... especially her "Spoonery."

                    She played herself on Sesame Street and recited Tubby the Tuba with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I think she had a great time with anything and everyone. I really do miss Julia.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: Gio

                      When she was making omelets on her PBS show..and it didn't flip over but fell apart. She laughed it off, threw it in the garbage, and started over. Love that! I loved all of her shows with Pepin.

                      1. re: melly

                        Can't remember if it was omelets or a fried potato cake that she was flipping (one of the early, early B&W shows), and she announced that "one just must have the courage of one's convictions." Of course the flip failed. Handled it marvelously.

                        "The Courage Of One's Convictions" is a phrase in our kitchen even now.

                        Gotta love her aplomb, through and through.

                        1. re: melly

                          Julia and Jaques were the most wonderful Odd Couple. He never gave an inch and she never stopped hounding him. One could tell they respected and loved each other implicitly. What a pair they were. I have their co-written book, Cooking at Home.. I bet many of you do too.

                          1. re: Gio

                            sure do, and signed by both of them!

                            I don't know anyone who knew Julia who didn't love her (except for Madeleine Kamman ;>( ) and don't know anyone who doesn't love Jacques. Both = incredibly caring, giving people who have set the standard for the modern industry.

                            1. re: Gio

                              Julia and Jacques was one of my favorite shows as a child (sometimes I would fake sick so I could stay home and watch it)

                              ...my favorite episode they were making a chicken pot pie or something and Jacques told Julia to put in 1/2 a cup of white wine...as he turned away to grab the next ingredient she proceeded to pour about half the bottle into the dish. When he looked back he said "that's not half a cup!" and she laughed and said it was 1/2 a cup to her!

                              1. re: bluemoon4515

                                They were doing a mushroom duxelles once, and Jacques was stingy with the port, and they disagreed about whether it needed more. She waited until he turned his back, then deliberately reached over, grabbed the bottle, and gave the pan another good splash.

                                1. re: jmckee

                                  Being part of the film crew for these shows must have been a blast. :-)

                        2. I loved watching her interact with just about anyone else. She was great on Emeril -- he was clearly in awe having her on his show, and she was so laid back and supportive. And I saw her once with Martha. I think actually Julia and Jacques were on the show. Martha can be a bit of a bossy host -- she tends to interrupt her guests, etc. But Julia and Jacques did their own schtick from decades of collaboration, and failed to pick up on Martha's cues that she wanted control back.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: momjamin

                            I'll never forget the episode of "Julia and the Master Chefs" when Emeril got her to suck the head of a crawfish. I went out and bought his first cookbook immediately. I figured if anyone can get Julia to do that on national TV, I want to cook like him. HA!

                            1. re: momjamin

                              I loved it during the taping of the wedding cake episode, I think, when Martha asked Julia if she wanted to separate about 8 eggs to make the cake. Julia said, "Uh, no."

                              1. re: maria lorraine

                                In that same episode, Martha made a point of telling Julia that she was used to using the eggs from her own chickens. Julia asked if they were better than storebought (I'm sure she knew the answer but was asking in order to educate viewers). Martha was crowing about how superior her eggs were, when Julia interjected, with just the right touch of monotone brusqueness, "Next time bring some". It was perfect - not quite tetchy enough that you could say for sure she was annoyed, but clearly allowing the viewer to conclude thusly.

                                1. re: greygarious

                                  >>"""Martha was crowing about how superior her eggs were"""<<<<
                                  oh, greygarious, i'm picturing a cartoon drawing of martha-as-hen sitting on a bunch of eggs! LOL! cluck-cluck!

                                    1. re: alkapal

                                      I'm actually a fan of the later Martha, but when she had her first TV shows she emphasized high-end ingredients so much that it seemed elitist. As time went by she toned that down. The Julia episode was before Martha had her own show. If you were an up-and-comer, appearing with a beloved icon, would you not want to make the best possible impression on her, and bring your own eggs if they would make the cake so much better? Perhaps Martha was nervous...she'd have come off better had she said something like "I wish I had thought to bring some along". That would have precluded Julia's somewhat-annoyed tone.

                                      1. re: greygarious

                                        my sister went off when she heard martha talking about how martha would personally clean her little chickens' tuckuses. fo' sho!

                                        1. re: greygarious

                                          I doubt Martha Stewart has been nervous since she was twelve years old.

                                          1. re: FrankDrakman

                                            I'll bet she was nervous the day she walked into jail.

                                2. A couple of "regular" stories and a couple of "insider" stories:

                                  I loved it when she talked about not burning the little suckling pig's curly pig tail: "Well, you can wrap it in foil, but there is this very convenient little hole here you can just tuck it into."

                                  Also, early on in one of Boston TV shows, when things were quite unpolished, the doorbell unexpectedly rang during taping: She ad-libbed "That must be the gas man!"

                                  When Kendall-Jackson Wines were a sponsor, one day all the KJ head honchos were in the audience while Julia and Jacques were taping an alfresco lunch show. They made piles of foccacia sandwiches, and then at the end of the show, Jacques asked Julia pointedly, "And what would you like to drink with this, Julia?" She brings up two small bottles from below the counter and says "I like BEER!"

                                  The same sort of thing happened a while ago when I think Parkay margarine was a sponsor, and Julia extolled, "You know nothing is quite like the flavor of butter!"

                                  1. A few years ago there was a hamburger episode she did as a guest on Emeril live. They made hamburgers and she made hers very simply with tomato, mayo, etc.; A very basic all-American style burger. Emiril, like he is prone to do, when off on a tangent and made something like a burger with confit, gorgonzola, organic sprouts on a recycled bifurcated Lebanese roll with ginger soy and pepper vodka remoulade. You get my drift.

                                    She looked straight at him and said "I don't think I would like that at all".

                                    Gotta lover her!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: bkhuna

                                      Wait, you forgot the caramalized peaches, tarragon butter, sauce veloute , several dustings of his magical spice mixtures and then deep fried.

                                    2. The Baking with Julia episode with Nancy Silverton. Nancy made a brioche tart with white sauce. Julia took a bite, and with tears in her eyes exclaimed "This is to cry for!" I get emotional just thinking about it!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Flour Child

                                        Oh, I remember that one too. It really was affecting. But that was Julia's lesson to us all, wasn't it? That properly prepared, beautifully done food can affect us emotionally as much as the finest opera or the loveliest painting.

                                      2. "julia and jacques: cooking at home" tonight on create, making salad nicoise, placing the anchovies over the boiled eggs and mayo:
                                        julia, "if you don't like anchovies, well that's just too bad."

                                        i love their interaction.

                                        hawking the cookbook from the series, the pbs spokesperson says, "loving photographs and differing opinions about food." LOL!!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          My strongest memory of Julia was a remark that she made during an interview (I dont think it was part of a cooking segment) when the discussion turned to kitchen disasters and what to do about them. She told a story about carrying a roasted bird (chicken or turkey) into the dining room, tripping and dropping the bird on the floor. Scooping up the fowl and placing it back on the tray, she'd gaily chirp "Oh, thank goodness I made two!" and whisked the errant bird back into the kitchen, rearrange it on the tray, and brought it back out again.

                                          1. re: alkapal

                                            There's an especially touching photo in that book...it shows two hands. One is a woman's hand resting on a table and a man's hand lightly resting on top of hers. Julia and Jacques. Even though they ribbed each oither it was obvious they had enormous respect for each other.

                                          2. In the "Cooking With Master Chefs" series she was filming a segment on roast lobster with Chef Jasper White.

                                            Julie was in speaking when, in mid-sentence, White used a razer sharp chef's knife and split a live lobster lengthwise in less than a second leaving the two halves squirming on the cutting board.

                                            Julie said: "aheh" as she stepped back in surprise. It was priceless. (His recipe is awesome.)

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Leper

                                              I read somewhere that the producer wanted to edit out Jasper killing the live lobster but Julia insisted it stay in to show people how it was done. Good for her.

                                              1. re: Leper

                                                speaking of why one needs to quickly and efficiently dispatch the lobster....here is an object lesson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lu9A0L...

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    GREAT ! Oh God, now I am addicted to the Swedish chef which is a bummer because I have alot to do today besides stare at youtube !

                                                1. This morning, I was watching a Julia Child DVD while working out. It was the Roast Suckling Pig episode. At one point she creates a Chinese-style baste (as she called it)--soy sauce, dry mustard, honey--and proceeds to say,"The French would find this horrid. They don't like anything they haven't come up with themselves." Great line!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: nofunlatte

                                                    Julia learned to "eat" in China. Quite a few years before France.

                                                  2. My favorite episode took place at a dude ranch somewhere. Julia steps out of swinging doors wearing full cowboy gear--hat to spurs. What a moment.

                                                    1. All of your stories made me smile and giggle. Julia was quite a gal!

                                                      My own story was that I moved from Boston to Southern New Hampshire in '78.

                                                      My young son watched Bob Villa and after that he would say "mom, junior child is on", knowing she was my favorite.

                                                      Needless to say, there wasn't a good bakery or a real loaf of bread to be found. So, we bought that limp, soft crusted loaves at the grocery store, blech!

                                                      Julia was showing a loaf of real french bread and to do so, she held two loaves straight up, one in each hand. The (soft crusted) baguette folded in half, to which she then sent it flying over her shoulder on to the floor. And proclaimed the hard crusted baguette still holding the erect loaf in her hand. "Now this is real French Bread!". Boy, did I miss Boston and did I love Julia Childs.

                                                      Thanks for the memories. ;)

                                                      1. I waited to respond to this thread because there were so many good moments for me.

                                                        I grew up in a very low middle class home, money was tight, and I was the oldest of seven. I loved watching The French Chef, and my mother would let me make some of the recipes for the family. Julia's crepes were an amazing hit. We had one small fry pan and it took me an hour to make enough for everyone, but they were so good, no one minded the wait.

                                                        Some of my favorite moments were Julia with a whole row of chickens of all sizes and shapes, and the funny way she referred to them as Mr. and Mrs. and such.... Julia with fish, always a good visual..... Every time Julia folded egg whites into something she always explained exactly how to move the spatula so as not to deflate the egg whites...Julia and Jacques making hamburgers, Julia's real Americanism came through with all the stuff she piled on her burger, including mayonnaise! When Julia and Jacques made an Apple Charlotte, Jacques' mortified look as Julia kept adding more and more butter...

                                                        Miss you Julia.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                          trish, that was sweet of you to share. thanks for the smile....

                                                          1. re: maria lorraine

                                                            Also there are many Julia Child bits on ABC's Good Morning America's site - some with David Hartmann (making an omelet) and some with Charlie Gibson. I'm loving watching them!

                                                            Scroll down to "Cooking with Julia on GMA": http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JuliaChild

                                                          2. I was little when I used to sit with my mom and watch Julia on PBS- but what I still remember- every time I use eggs is "and put the eggies in the fridgie!" ...my mother and I often say it together when cooking together now...

                                                            1. hey hounds, this thread or "article" has been "syndicated" -- i .e., excerpted and linked by "great chefs"! cool, huh?


                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. I'm a purist. My favorite Julia episodes are all from the original series, The French Chef when it's just Julia by herself shot unedited. I was just a baby (literally) when the show started and we lived in Boston so it was my earliest TV memory crawling around the house while my mom had Julia on the TV. I didn't comprehend any of it except she made my mom happy, so I thought she must be great.

                                                                Later when I was old enough to watch, I fell in love myself. My favorite moment has to be the first time I saw her make an omelette in 20 seconds and flip it out on to the plate. I was in college and lived on omelettes. Every day we pretended to be Julia, even if our omelettes never quite came out like hers.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I know many, many people talk about how Julia influenced them and it's true for me as well. Julia came on PBS in the afternoon when I awoke from my nap and I loved her. . my mom would sit me in front of the television and I would watch, mesmerized by her - I loved her voice. When I was 14 years old I started to cook my way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Tired of sweet and sour hot dogs over Minute Rice and Betty Crocker Potatoes au Gratin, I cooked in self defense of my mom's cooking. Cooking for her was a chore that had to be done, to me, it was the greatest form of expression. It built my confidence and taught me what a pleasure it is to feed people food that your hands have created. When I wanted to go to cooking school after high school, my mom rejected the idea telling my I was "too smart" to be a cook. So I shelved those dreams for a while, all the while cooking out of Julia's books - Baking with Julia and Julia's Master Chef series. She was always so close to my heart. I finally went to cooking school later in life and actually met Julia Child once. She was doing a book signing with Jacques for their new book and I swear to god, for me, it was like meeting the Beatles! I was shaking and teary-eyed and as sweet and charming as Jacques was, I only had eyes for Julia. She looked me in the eye, asked my name, signed my book and then took my hand and it was electric. . . it's as though she instinctively knew how much she meant to me and she smiled, asked me what I did and when I proudly told her that I was a chef, she squeezed my hand and told me that it was a good thing as we needed more professional women in the kitchen. I tell you now, I almost fainted.
                                                                  I was working as an executive pastry chef at a vineyard in the middle of nowhere on August 13th 2004 - 18 hour day in an off-site kitchen that was very isolated. As I got in my car to drive home, I had many hang ups on my cellphone voicemail. Weird. I was heading home - my commute was an hour. I turned on NPR and there was the dulcet tones of my beloved Julia. I was so happy and thought that they were doing a show about her since her birthday was coming up. Then they announced her death. I had to pull over and cry. And cry. And cry. The hang ups were loved ones trying to reach me to tell me about her death - not wanting to leave it on voicemail to upset me. She left an indelible mark on my life and I just adored her.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: pastryqueen

                                                                    pastryqueen, thank you for sharing that warm and moving story with us. now i'm going to get my kleenex -- honestly. best wishes!

                                                                    1. re: alkapal

                                                                      Thank you so much, alkapal - I woke up this morning mortified that I had written so much and hoping I wasn't a crashing bore. . . I just find it hard to properly put into words her influence.

                                                                      This morning I am starting a beef bourguignonne to share with friends before we head out to see Julie and Julia. :)

                                                                      1. re: pastryqueen

                                                                        pastryqueen, i think it is one of chowhound's gifts to me that i get to share in the joys and sadnesses of people who care about food as much as i do.

                                                                        when chowhounds, like yourself, give us heartfelt insight into their lives, it is truly wonderful. and your post was at the other end of the spectrum from a "crashing bore"; indeed, it was eloquent, compelling, and very touching. thanks again, and have a fantastic day.

                                                                        "BON APPETIT!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OP08h...

                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3u1lj... -- first of a series of six interviews for "archive" (total about 3 hours!). fascinating interview!!! brava, julia!!!

                                                                        part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwrIAP...
                                                                        part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdnXws...
                                                                        part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaAcm0...
                                                                        part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcFR2m...
                                                                        part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TwZTZ...

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          Cool! Will sit and watch all when I have a moment!

                                                                          These are sweet. . there are two stories, part I and part II along with some great links to other Julia tales.


                                                                          Heartwarming and a fitting tribute as the 5th anniversary of her death as well as her birth date approaches!

                                                                          1. re: pastryqueen

                                                                            pastryqueen, I had to wipe the tears from my eyes after reading your post! Just lovely.

                                                                    2. My personal favorite and I don't remember the dish she was creating, but she in her voice that no one can recreate cheeped " Oh i think this needs a bit more wine and she pulled out the bottle and poured herself a glass. Priceless....

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Jayzee

                                                                        While visiting with friends last night, one reminded me of an episode on cooking a whole fish. Julia's comment was, "Now if the eyes bother you, just *pop* them out!" What an amazing woman.

                                                                      2. Julia did an episode (Dinner at Julia's?) on steaming a whole fish using a fish poacher. Her comment was something like , "If you don't have a fish poacher, borrow one from your neighbor."

                                                                        My roommates and I thought that was so funny... we went through the dorm asking to borrow a fish poacher... Twenty-five years later, I still don't know anyone with a fish poacher.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: dave_c

                                                                          Come onna my house! I have one. ;)

                                                                          1. re: dave_c

                                                                            Actually, it was something like "If you don't have a fish poacher, borrow one from the restaurant at a local hotel". We laughed at the time and said that might work for Julia, but not too well for the rest of us.

                                                                          2. There were a couple of times when she would sternly tell Jacques he shouldn't pour the brandy for the flambe directly from the bottle. She warned him the flames could jump back at the bottle and cause an explosion. Jacques would just smile and look at her sideways. Then I noticed a few episodes later that he would indulge her and use another container to apply the brandy, and he would smile. They had a great relationship.

                                                                            My favorite moments... when the food was was done and Julia would take her first bites of the dish - the look on her face as she savored the food - priceless.

                                                                            1. With the release of the film Julie and Julia based on Julia Child’s experiences in France and then as author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and food blogger Julie Powell’s experiences as a blogger cooking her way through Julia’s cookbook over the course of one year, I thought it would be fitting to recount one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
                                                                              My husband and I became involved in Julia’s 80th birthday celebration – Merci Julia.

                                                                              What made this event unique is first the number of great chefs that were involved. Secondly, not only did they work “the line” for the actual meal (we had 2 huge screens in the dining room so we could watch the action in the kitchen), but we started the evening with a French market place. Each chef was given a market place booth and they had appetizers or amuses or hors d’oeuvres for us to taste.
                                                                              For pics see here:

                                                                              You will see some very famous chefs circa 1993.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: lizziee

                                                                                I would have had no problem paying $350.00 to be a guest at that dinner! And oh, those amuse bouches served in the marketplace booths - how wonderful they sound!

                                                                                1. re: lizziee

                                                                                  Thank you for this link, lizziee. I found the Marian Burros article especially interesting, given that last evening I watched an interview with Ming Tsai and Michela Larson talking about Julia's visits to their restaurants, in which she was specifically interested in the female cooks. Perhaps that reflected a changed point of view or an attempt to atone for the slight at the Merci Julia event. On the Charlie Rose interview, both Nora Ephron and Meryl Streep mentioned Julia's early dismissal of attempts to promulgate organic produce and her discomfort with the idea that butter and meat consumption could adversely affect health, but stressed that she did eventually change her mind.

                                                                                  The discussion of the state of French cuisine in America was also interesting. I don't think much has changed in the intervening years. There's a nugget of truth buried in the farcical "Cafe Boeuf" sketches on Prairie Home Companion, which is that the customer feels looked down upon by certain French restaurants. I noticed that items like seaweed salad and guacamole were listed amongst the list for the chef's booths. I don't imagine Julia was too happy about that.

                                                                                  1. re: lizziee

                                                                                    I need to hunt up all my "stuff" from the Boston dinner of the same vintage. That was quite the experience, as well.

                                                                                  2. yesterday on create, julia and jacques were doing various steaks and then, finally, hamburger. julia really piled on the stuff, and put -- on a buttered toasted bun -- ketchup (twice!), along with mayonnaise, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion. jacques, letttuce, pickles, onion -- maybe butter on the toasted kaiser roll.

                                                                                    when they were ready to eat, julia remarked that she didn't make bigger, rounded burgers like jacques' because it was too hard to [fit in your mouth and] chew. then jacques referred to her burger, which was higher than jacques', once loaded up. she had to laugh, "you're right." i think they enjoyed their burgers more than any steak they'd fixed earlier. it made me want a burger! ;-)). [btw, they like 85-15 ground beef for burgers].

                                                                                    our local pbs was showing an old french chef, where she was making boullaibaisse. you should've seen julia hack the halibut carcass into pieces. when she brought down the cleaver, she said -- with enthusiasm -- "whack!!" then, again with the second stroke, "whack!!"

                                                                                    1. I remember watching her as a child and her saying that when making crepes, the first is always a mess. It is very true and whenever I make crepes I expect and have no problems with the first one being tossed in the garbage.

                                                                                      @ momjamin: I loved the Frug, also as a child. I know he had a bit of controversy, but I would love to see those old programs again. More than anyone, as a 12 yr old, he made the most sense to me.

                                                                                      1. My husband and I were newlyweds and living in Cambridge, MA when Julia made her first television series. We were mesmerized and she became a huge presence in our lives.

                                                                                        Each week, we'd send in our self-addressed, stamped envelopes to WGBH to receive a mimeographed copy of the recipes from Julia's newest program. We bought our meat at her butcher (Savenor). We bought our fish at her fish monger (Legal Seafoods). Socializing in our circle of friends consisted exclusively of Julia Child-recipe dinner parties. I even used to cook Julia Child recipes mid-week after working (total insanity!).

                                                                                        I felt she was very much a friend and a positive presence in my life although I never met her.

                                                                                        The one detail that is driving my husband and me crazy is the place where Julia shopped for vegetables in the early days. There used to be a great farmer's market in the space now occupied by the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, extending under the elevated highway that used to exist before the big dig project. We'd shop there on Saturdays for fruits and vegetables, always ending in Little Italy for some rum babas. Is that where Julia Child shopped for her fruits and vegetables?

                                                                                        Side note about Legal Seafood: Yes, the chain of restaurants began as a fish store. The founder, the grandfather of the current president, plunked two tables in the front of his fish store. He'd fry up the freshest, the most precisely cooked fish and shellfish, and serve this in cardboard containers with plastic utensils. I think he also served fries and cole slaw with the fish. Food bliss!

                                                                                        7 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                          Indy, I think you're talking about Haymarket for the fruits and veggies:


                                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                            Thanks. I was indeed talking about Haymarket, although the name had slipped my mind.

                                                                                            My nagging question is whether Julia also did her shopping there. As I said, my husband and I followed in Julia's footsteps in all things food. I'm confident about Savenor's and Legal Seafoods, but her source for fruits and vegetables is a mystery. I know Savenor's carried some limited fruits and vegetables, but these were never of quality equal to his meat and were always wildly overpriced. I also know that Julia did some shopping at the Stop and Shop on Memorial Drive, but I don't think she bought fruits and vegetables there.

                                                                                            1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                              good question, Indy, cause I don't think she went to Haymarket. I want to say Wilson Farms in Lexington. Russ Morash was her producer, and he lived(s?) across the street from it.

                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                Wilson Farms makes sense for sourcing the television studio kitchen, but I doubt she shopped for her own kitchen out in Lexington. For personal comsumption, that was significantly farther afield than her two Cambridge sources for meat and fish.

                                                                                                This thread is definitely turning into a stroll down memory lane. I used to teach in Lexington, so I often shopped at Wilson Farms. I haven't thought about that place in ages. Now that you mention Wilson Farms, I can still see their wooden bins holding the glorious produce.

                                                                                                1. re: Indy 67

                                                                                                  They still have those bins. And I don't recall seeing any pictures of Julia around Wilson Farms' store (not that they'd have had to taken then, but if Julia regularly shopped at a store I owned, I think I'd have one or two taken with the owners or staff!).

                                                                                                2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                  I think I heard about her frequenting Formaggio (Cambridge). I know it mostly for cheese, but they do/did have some produce, no? Bread and Circus was a Cambridge institution long before Whole Foods, too. Wilson's isn't really that far afield for Cambridge area food folk.

                                                                                                  1. re: momjamin

                                                                                                    Formaggio did not carry produce till the mid-nineties. The original store occupied what are now the first two rooms (starting from the cheeseside). They started carrying produce when they expanded into the Le Jardin space next door (and LJ contracted to a counter).

                                                                                          2. the other day on the show, julia was repeatedly (really, just twice) "testing" a beurre noir, and jacques told her to stop tasting it because they needed some sauce for the fish!

                                                                                            jasper white said that julia always had oysters in his restaurant (summer shack), and then lobster. he said that she went to different restaurants for certain things, and that she was not fond of "surprises" from the menus, apparently.

                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                              Julia always had oysters at Jasper's, as well. long before Summer Shack was ever thought of. ;)

                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                i know; you are correct, madam! (was summer shack even around when she was alive?) this blurb from"great chefs and julia" doesn't mention summer shack -- only jasper's. http://www.pbs.org/juliachild/meet/wh...

                                                                                                1983-1995 was jasper's

                                                                                                and in 2000 he opened summer shack (it seems). http://www.bostonchefs.com/restaurant...

                                                                                                julia died in 2004, so i guess she might've eaten in summer shack. but, i think he was referring to jasper's when he was talking about julia on sara moulton's show.

                                                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                  I had oysters at Jasper's too, once, and they had replaced the little "foot" that attaches the oyster to the shell with a similarly-sized piece of filet of lemon. That in itself was worth going to Boston for. Would be great if the restaurant still existed.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Jasper is a good friend, and Jasper's was my "neighborhood hangout" back 88-94 when I lived in the north end. ate many bowls of soup and oysters, and other goodies at the bar. But nothing lasts forever. ;) and if you still want to eat Jasper's cooking make sure he will be "in" at Summer Shack when you go. It can be amazing.

                                                                                                    BTW: pretty sure Julia didn't eat at Summer Shack, bc she moved to Montecito in 2000. But if she went back to Boston, she might have. She loved Jasper.

                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                      And Jasper's signature pan-roasted lobster dish from Jasper's (restaurant) is on the menu at Summer Shack. Quite simply, one of the best lobster dishes I've ever had.

                                                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                        Please tell Jasper that that oyster treatment is one of my top gastronomic memories of all time. It was genius. The whole meal was wonderful and the restaurant beautiful, comfortable, and well-run.

                                                                                              2. In celebration of la Julia's upcoming would have been 98th birthday August 15th, have a look at the below review of books on her - the Nancy Verde Barr one is especially fun for an insider's perspective on la grande doyenne américaine de la cuisine française.

                                                                                                1. I worked for many years in Cambridge, at a neighborhood store with fresh, wonderful fruits and veggies and flowers - This was waaay before Whole Foods was around...

                                                                                                  Julia was famous for turning her great meat purveyor (Savenor's) into a go-to place (again, many years before the Internet) and my boss was hoping she might do the same for his shop!

                                                                                                  BUT!! What day did she finally make it in? The day the whole front wall of glass was being replaced!! He was mortified, but she was charming and delightful! Thanks, Julia!

                                                                                                  (BTW, another favorite customer was Margret Rey, who wrote Curious George!)