Thursday, January 14, 2016

Julia Child's Kitchen

It's no secret- I loooooove Julia Child. Love her food, her cookbooks, her life story. What an amazing icon she is, not just in the culinary world, but for women as well. I read about her as much as I can. I am obsessed by the movie Julie and Julia. Her cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is one of my most treasured books. Can you imagine how envious I was upon hearing that my good friend and canning/gardening enabler...... err, I mean buddy, Janet, went to The Smithsonian and got to see with her very own eyes Julia Child's Kitchen? Ugh....... I died a little. 

Seriously, if I were the sort of person to make a bucket list, Julia's kitchen (well actually the whole Smithsonian to be honest) would be right at the top. Perhaps I am drawn to Julia by some cosmic connection- her show The French Chef first appeared on the air the year of my birth. Maybe it's just my love of old Europe and France and knowing that such a big part of her life was there...... who knows. I am just so curious about this amazing icon and admire her in so many ways.

It's fascinating to me that The Smithsonian has the real actual kitchen from her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts- it is not a replica. Reading all about it I was also surprised to find out that her home kitchen was also the "set" where three of her television series were filmed. I fact, some of the rigging from the cameras and lighting are still in place in the kitchen. Imagine having a fully functioning film set in your kitchen- holy cow not in MINE, I'd have to clean it every single day! Her kitchen was also designed by her husband, Paul, including the color scheme, with countertops two inches taller than standard because Julia was quite tall. 

Julia's Kitchen at The Smithsonian opened to the public on her 90th birthday in August of 2002. As I jealously looked over Janet's pictures I couldn't help but giggle at Julia's stuff. Many times I said "I have one of those!". Her Kitchenaid stand mixer immediately caught my eye. The Cuisinart, the butcher block with all the knife slots. Julia was a self-confessed knife nut, and so am I! Magnetic strips holding knifes of every type fit in every nook and cranny imaginable. Pegboard covers some of the wall space- I had pegboard in my childhood bedroom (we ARE connected!!) and gadgets hang all over. She had such beautiful cast iron pans, and her legendary copper pan collection- just perfect and flawless! She even had a bookshelf for cookbooks- something I truly wish I had room for in my kitchen.

**All photos by Janet Ferson

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