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Julia and Jacques

  • k

I've been enjoying the reruns of this show lately. Cracks me up when they disagree. "Don't you like this Julia"? "No, Jack, I do not"?

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  1. I've also been watching that. It's totally great. I love watching Julia hand off the menial tasks -- "here, Jack, chop this."

    5 Replies
    1. re: JonParker

      The companion book to the series is a must read. Goes in depth as to their particular preferences for styles and techniques and how their tastes have evolved over time. Jacques had a telling quote about how young chefs are all about adding more ingredients and more levels of techniques to dishes whereas, as he gets older, he's more about stripping away these levels to get at fundamental flavors.

      1. re: monkeyrotica

        I have the book but have just recently started revisiting it. I wonder if Jon and Julia and Jaques would make a good movie.

        1. re: JonParker

          I'm also enjoying "Essential Pepin." "And now we let that simmer for a while, long enough to enjoy a glass of wine."

      2. re: JonParker

        My favorite moment is when he adds port to the mushrooms, and in her opinion it's not enough. While he has his back turned, doing something else, she slowly and deliberately picks up the bottle and adds another healthy splash..

        1. re: jmckee

          That's funny. I remember something like that in the opposite way. Jaques was adding something to a dish and Julia thought it was too much and was sort of protesting as he added more. Later in the show she made some comment about how good the dish was and Jacques sort of asked with a grin if there was too much of ingedient "X" in there, and she either said it was perfect or it could use a little more, I forget which, but Jacques was grinning the whole time.

      3. I loved the show Then and I'm loving it all over again. Especially love the never ending teasing about who likes black pepper and who prefers the white.

        1. Count me in. Love this show.

          1. The only thing I noticed in Julia's later shows where she teamed up with other chefs is that she often seemed quite a bit more contrary - sometimes almost to the cranky point. I much prefered her older shows. In fact, have them all on dvd.

            1. I always enjoy the episode where they are each preparing a roast chicken, and Julia starts talking about salmonella and thoroughly washing her chicken with soap and water. Jacques comments, “I don’t wash my chicken” and Julia replies with something to the effect that in France they are not as worried about such cleanliness issues. Jacques replies, “but I live in Connecticut”. Love those two together - it never gets old.

              2 Replies
              1. re: EM23

                Have all of Julia's cookbooks & all of her television shows on dvd. Not once has she ever washed any poultry with "soap and water". A thorough rinse under running water only. Soap? Never. Think about it - who in their right mind (never mind Julia Child) would apply soap directly to food? It would be absorbed. Doesn't make any sense.

                Now cleaning up after dealing with raw poultry? LOTS of soap & hot water.

                1. re: Bacardi1

                  You are absolutely right Bacardi, thanks. My brain said "hot water", yet my fingers typed "soap and water" - doh!

              2. I also love the show. But my absolute favorite show with Julia is when Julia teams with Martha, and they each make a croque en bouche. Martha's, of course, ends up looking very delicate with these absolutely pristine drapings of the caramel. Julia's is a hot mess with the drapings of caramel going every which way -- but it looks so much more wonderful to me. I am proud to admit that I am much more Julia than Martha!

                20 Replies
                1. re: AnneM5

                  I've never made Julia's "Croque en Bouche", but have made Martha's twice - the recipe from her early pre-diva Christmas book, where the finished creation is covered in caramel spun sugar that looks like fine tinsel. Let me tell you, it came out absolutely fabulous - like a magazine cover - but pulling it apart to serve? Hell on earth. I'm surprised I wasn't presented with dental bills from the guests later on - lol!!

                  1. re: AnneM5

                    I was amused in a Martha/Julia show where Julia is making a fancy wedding cake. Martha was extolling the virtues of the eggs her chickens lay, how golden the yolks are, how firm the whites are, etc. Julia says, "next time, bring some".

                    1. re: John E.

                      I remember that episode and at the time I just didn't like the almost arrogant way Martha seemed to instructing Julia in the exact methods of achieving her pristine and perfect confection. So when Julia said, "next time bring some" I roared and thought "good for her."

                      1. re: Gio

                        Go, Julia! She was a class act. :) It took a lot of strength and determination to forge her way ahead as she did in television and publishing, but she did it with grace and dignity.

                        My mother and I 'met' her at a book signing. We had brought every single one of her books that we owned to be signed. The staff at the book store were not pleased and instructed us to put our books to the side (who knew!?!), which we did.

                        When we got to the table, Julia signed the books that we had purchased and then nodded to our bags off to the side and asked us to get the books so that she could sign them. Her handlers pooh-poohed the idea but she turned and said 'if they brought them, I will sign them'.

                        We were thrilled ... until we got them to the table and started to unload them ... Books that had looked fine in the comfort of our own homes, well, suddenly, in the bright lights of the store, lets just say that they definitely looked a little groody. Julia just smiled and started signing.

                        As she was signing she commented that the books looked well used and THEN started to leaf through them, stopping at recipes that were particularly well used, and going back-and-forth between books. She began asking us about what we liked about this or that, and suggesting that if we liked x recipe then had we tried y.

                        Mom and I were just beaming about all of this . Here we were talking ~cooking~ with Julie Child!!!! I still get a thrill thinking about it!!!

                        Anyway, we couldn't have been more pleased ... up until she opened one book and bits of newspaper clippings started to fall out. We were mortified. We tried to grab them but she picked them up and started to look at those, too! As she picked them up off the table, her eyes welled up. The clippings were from a paper in Boston where she had had her first column and she was very moved that we had them (and, clearly, had used them).

                        Wouldn't you know, she signed each and every one of those little newspaper clippings. What a lady!

                        1. re: AnneM5

                          What a great story. There aren't too many famous people that I wished I had met in my life, but Julia Child would be one of them.

                          1. re: John E.

                            It was wonderful and she was very kind to spend so much time with us (at least 20 or 25 minutes).

                            Also, I just called Mom to read her my post. Mom refreshed my memory and asked me to correct something. Julia Child did ~not say that our books looked well-used; she said 'you really like to cook'. :)

                          2. re: AnneM5

                            What a superb story and a memory to treasure. Like John E., I wish I had had the opportunity to have met her.

                            1. re: AnneM5

                              Shivers and tears - lovely story, Anne.

                                1. re: AnneM5

                                  Im tearing up as I read this...at work!

                                  1. re: AnneM5

                                    There are tear puddles on my keyboard as I type. Thanks for sharing the wonderful generosity of Julia Child!

                                    1. re: AnneM5

                                      This is wonderful. I so wish I had the chance to meet her.

                                      1. re: AnneM5

                                        Amazing story! I wish I had met her too!! I was trying (desperately) to meet Jacques Pepin at a book signing but was extremely disappointed when I missed him by a half an hour :( I STILL watch their shows at every opportunity. They're both legends.

                                    2. re: John E.

                                      Ditto. I used to be a big-time Martha fan back when she published her first book. Still have the premier issue of her magazine as well.

                                      But as time wore on & her supposed "mystique" (more like a cult) increased into an empire, her appeal lost most of its lustre for me. And I've yet to see her anything BUT condescending towards ANY guest on any of her holiday specials (the only time I've watched her on tv for years - mostly just to mock). Hell - she even makes her own relatives look/feel small.

                                      1. re: Bacardi1

                                        I'm not a Martha fan, but I am a Martha observer. Don't misunderstand. I do NOT dislike her. But as a former psychiatric occupational therapist, I find a bit too much OCD in all she does. She is driven to achieve perfection, and I don't think she does it maliciously. It's just part of her make up. It also, in my view, shows up in her speech pattern. VERY precise, and her method of delivery is very deliberate. I think it was her speech mannerisms that did her in on her trial. But I had to admire the way she took it all in stride and with aplomb. In prison, she organized sewing circles, or some such, and managed to do some positive things while she served her time. I admire that.

                                        Somehow I missed each and every Julia and Martha appearance together. This is the first I've heard of them, and if it was a series, I cannot imagine a more mismatched pair! I'm not the least sorry I missed them.... '-)

                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                          Re: Martha's diction - in one biography of her I read, the author interviewed a number of Martha's early school friends/acquaintances. It was funny how they all said that they were/are amazed & amused at how she speaks today versus how she spoke then. Apparently she had a very pronounced "Joisey" accent back then.

                                          1. re: Bacardi1

                                            "Apparently she had a very pronounced "Joisey" accent back then."

                                            Having been born and raised and lived all of my 51 years in New Jersey, I know what it is like to overcome that accent. I moved from urban Jersey City to the suburbs at 13 years old. I was ridiculed for the way I spoke by my high school freshman classmates. I had to make a concerted effort to overcome this and have done so successfully over the years. I've actually had people ask me if I am British because of my pronunciation (this always mystifies me). I suspect once Martha traveled out of her hometown circles and started working her way up the social ladder, she too was "forced" to change her diction.

                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                              In college, I remember many a NJ girl losing their accent between freshman orientation and graduation day four years later.

                                          2. re: Caroline1

                                            Oh, it was fantastical. I seem to remember Miss Piggy being on the same show. Anyone?---

                                    3. here is a thread i started in 2007 (wow!) about one's favorite julia child "moments." my favorite occurred between julia and jacques, in a back and forth about spinach stems --> http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/447709

                                      bon appétit! ;-).

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: alkapal

                                        Thanks for that. I just read the entire thread. Great stuff!

                                        Although not appropriate for this thread, the 2007 thread reminded me of a great appearance she did on Letterman (when he was on NBC) which you can find on youtube.

                                        She was supposed to be cooking a hamburger, but the burner didn't work so she ended making steak tartare on the fly ad libing and improv'ing through the entire show. Some of her funniest lines were when she kept bring up Good Morning America (an ABC show that she was just on) telling Dave how their burner worked, and they had this and they had that.

                                        Dave was cracking up the whole time and Juila was priceless.

                                        Look for it on youtube.

                                        1. re: Bart Hound

                                          I remember seeing that video. It was Classic Julia.

                                        2. re: alkapal

                                          Wow, those are great postings -- each one kept getting better and better. And the links to the clips are wonderful! I was torn between wanting to click out to watch them or keep reading on! Thank you so much for sharing! What I love about this site is how a great thread like that stays alive with continued postings. :)