Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday Julia!

Today is Julia Child's 100th Birthday.     An icon in the foodie world, she took us away from jello salads and onion soup on roasts to beef bourguinon and vinaigrettes.     She was meticulous in her research when writing her first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.    

Doesn't everyone have a copy of Mastering the Art?   

An Iconic Book

I have not one but two.    One that I bought myself because I thought everyone needed a Mastering the Art and one that I found at a Thrift Shop -- a first edition that I found at a Thrift Shop for a mere pittance.   

I cook with the first and I feel the second should be locked under glass!

As a high schooler, my mother and I would sit and watch Julia.

Who doesn't remember these wonderful episodes where we all learned the basics of French cooking!

Nothing fazed her and you never new what she was going to do.    I must admit that my mother never did make anything that we saw.    But as a perpetual clipper of recipes and a lover of good food, she enjoyed what Julia was making.

As a new bride, I, too, enjoyed watching Julia.    That was when, I think, that I got that first copy of Mastering the Art.     I don't remember cooking anything from that book but it was comforting to have it as I faithfully watched Julia.

And for a while, Saturday mornings were not Saturday mornings without Cooking With Julia: The Master Chefs.

I remember this Julia the best -- and I loved her bantering with Jaques Pepin

I think this is the Julia I remember best -- the one from those shows . . . and she was the first "Queen of Butter"!     Paula Deen doesn't hold a candle to Julia and her butter!

One thing I regret -- not seeing "the kitchen" in the Smithsonian -- we were there but my knees were bothering me and I chose not to go.   I still regret it!

And Julia's kitchen -- which was featured in that show.    I adored it.    From the big stove to the wooden countertops to the "things" with a place for everything and everything in it's place.    A real cook's kitchen -- not a "show" kitchen.

Perhaps it was Julia's influence for I've always had a "working" kitchen rather than a show kitchen -- a kitchen where everyday items were within easy reach and a kitchen where those things always had a place and were always in their place.

And today is Julia's birthday -- she would have been 100.     She led a very interesting life and began her celebrity career later in life.    But it was a career that spanned decades and those early fans of hers who learned to cook French food watching the beloved Julia on their black and white television turned into a second and perhaps a third generation as she did more books and more television shows.    The later ones being filmed in that famous kitchen.

Birthday celebrations at Linderhof are a meal and then a cake.    Usually the honoree's choice of cake.   

Dinner first, dishes cleared and then on a pedestal, the cake with candles is brought in.

A birthday dessert!

Since it was a birthday celebration, china instead of the transfer ware -- my favorite gold and white cups which are so dainty and the silver coffee pot.     Noritake Marcassite dessert plates and Mrs. Boland's dessert forks.

Just one candle -- a tribute to Julia.

The recipe is in Mastering The Art of French Cooking.

The cake?    Julia's chocolate and almond cake (Reine de Saba).

And we had to light the candle even if we didn't sing happy birthday!

We did light the candle, although we did not sing Happy Birthday!     But we each had a large piece of the cake and pronounced it superb!  

Happy Birthday Julia!

You Changed the World!

It is Thursday and I'm sharing my birthday celebration with Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday.


Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Oh that looks so good. I am always looking for a first edition to give to my husband.

podso said...

A nice and delicious-looking remembrance. Julia taught me a few things I still make and think of her.

Rowan said...

I only came across JUlia Chile a few years ago when my American friend took me to see Julie and Julia when I was visiting the US. She seems to have been quite a woman and to have led a very interesting life. The cake looks very yummy indeed:)

Canadian Chickadee said...

Love Julia Child. She made good food sound simple. Even with her help, it isn't always, but still very tasty.
In her honour I am roasting a chicken tonight!

Happy Birthday, Julia!

we three dogs and me said...

I do remember watching her shows. Even when things wasn't going right she would improvise in her funny way. Never did make any of her creations but she was fun to watch.

Liz@ HomeandGardeningWithLiz said...

She seems even more special as the years tick on! I remember seeing her when I was young and thought her voice was so corny. I loved the movie they made a few years ago because I learned more about her and how significant she really was.
Your cake looks scrumptious!

Barbara said...

What a lovely, lovely tribute! I too have a copy of her book (not a first edition!) Her passion was contagious. That cake looks divine!

Susan said...

What a lovely tribute to a very remarkable woman. I think Julia would have laughed heartily and enjoyed a big slice of her cake. You made my day with this loving, special tribute.

Marlis said...

This is the most lovely tribute. I love the photo of the lit candle.. the cake looks fabulous.. Love Julia.. thanks for the memories.. xo marlis

Savannah Granny said...

I too remember watching her shows. She was so delightful. I think watching her down to earth style made one think they could cook. So they tried and indeed they could.
I can just her saying"bourguinon" with that unique voice.
Butter or not, Paula Deen is no Julia Childs!
Can I get an Amen? And they all said Amen!
Hugs, Ginger

Michelle said...


On Crooked Creek said...

What a lovely tribute to Julia! Your china is lovely!

Lottie said...

I loved watching her shows, too, as a young person. I loved her voice! My own mother did not enjoy cooking and my brothers and I were not allowed in the kitchen at all. I think that is why I loved Julia Child's shows and her kitchen. What a wonderful idea to bake a cake with a candle for her birthday! What a grand tribute to a lovely lady!