shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


remembering a great old broad*

*That's a term of great endearment.

R.W. Apple Jr. recalls Julia Child and his own relationship with her in today's NYT. She sounds fascinating and fiery and altogether wonderful. It makes me regret that I know so little about her, and really nothing about her work in the culinary arts.

The piece starts off with a fascinating little fact:

We had met briefly before, and I had, of course, read her books and watched her on television, but for some reason I chose to break the conversational ice by asking her about her service in Ceylon during World War II in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency. How in the world did I know about that? she asked in that wonderful warble of hers. "I'm very interested in that part of the world," I answered, "spent some time in Asia myself and I noticed your name in Barbara Tuchman's book `Stilwell and the American Experience in China.'"

And then goes on to touch on her politics (liberal and outspoken) and skill at raising money for various causes, both political and gastronomical. But it's this paragraph that makes me wish I'd gotten to have a cocktail hour with her:

We talked politics, we ate well, and we laughed a lot. I remember dinner with a small group late one night at Les Nomades in Chicago, then a private dining club. She asked for a martini, downed the small, perfectly formed cocktail and asked brightly for another. A jolly time was had by all. I remember lunch one Saturday in Providence, at a less than distinguished restaurant, with the chef Thomas Keller, Ann Bramson of Artisan Books and my wife, Betsey. Slightly dismayed by the menu's more elaborate offerings, we ordered a modest white wine, shoals of oysters on the half shell and, to the best of my fading memory, fried clams. Mrs. Child pronounced it "the perfect meal."

Yes, yes, I'm a sucker for great old broads that throw them back. I plan on being one.

(Thanks to Russ, by way of Christopher!)

worm "Black Metallic," Catherine Wheel

namecheck Russ "Spy Eye" Walker


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home