Synopses & Reviews
With the humor of Bridget Jones and the vitality of Augusten Burroughs, Julie Powell recounts how she conquered every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
and saved her soul.
Julie Powell is 30 years old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that's going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes. In the span of one year.
At first she thinks it will be easy. But as she moves from the simple Potage Parmentier (potato soup) into the more complicated realm of aspics and crepes, she realizes there's more to Mastering the Art of French Cooking than meets the eye. With Julia's stern warble always in her ear, Julie haunts the local butcher, buying kidneys and sweetbreads. She sends her husband on late-night runs for yet more butter and rarely serves dinner before midnight. She discovers how to mold the perfect Orange Bavarian, the trick to extracting marrow from bone, and the intense pleasure of eating liver.
And somewhere along the line she realizes she has turned her kitchen into a miracle of creation and cuisine. She has eclipsed her life's ordinariness through spectacular humor, hysteria, and perseverance.
"Powell became an Internet celebrity with her 2004 blog chronicling her yearlong odyssey of cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. A frustrated secretary in New York City, Powell embarked on 'the Julie/Julia project' to find a sense of direction, and both the cooking and the writing quickly became all-consuming. Some passages in the book are taken verbatim from the blog, but Powell expands on her experience and gives generous background about her personal life: her doting husband, wacky friends, evil co-workers. She also includes some comments from her 'bleaders' (blog readers), who formed an enthusiastic support base. Powell never met Julia Child (who died last year), but the venerable chef's spirit is present throughout, and Powell imaginatively reconstructs episodes from Child's life in the 1940s. Her writing is feisty and unrestrained, especially as she details killing lobsters, tackling marrowbones and cooking late into the night. Occasionally the diarist instinct overwhelms the generally tight structure and Powell goes on unrelated tangents, but her voice is endearing enough that readers will quickly forgive such lapses. Both home cooks and devotees of Bridget Jonesstyle dishing will be caught up in Powell's funny, sharp-tongued but generous writing. Agent, Sarah Chalfant. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A gratifying year spent tackling the art of French cooking....Indulge in this memoir of marrow and butter, knowing there is always a bitter green to balance the taste." Kirkus Reviews
"The tougher the shopping and cooking assignment, the more sensual the experience, as Powell discovers incredible determination and hidden talents in cooking, writing, and living. This is a joyful, humorous account of one woman's efforts to find meaning in her life." Booklist
"Powell is a talented, funny writer... Julie & Julia [is] a touching, sometimes stomach-turning, and overall delicious read." Johanna Bates, BUST
Powell needs something to break the monotony of her life. So, she invents a deranged assignment: She will take her mother's dog-eared copy of Julia Child's 1961 classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and cook all 524 recipes in the span of just one year.
Julie and Julia, the bestselling memoir that's irresistible....A kind of Bridget Jones meets The French Chef
), is now a major motion picture. Julie Powell, nearing thirty and trapped in a dead-end secretarial job, resolves to reclaim her life by cooking in the span of a single year, every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child's legendary Mastering the Art of French Cooking
. Her unexpected reward: not just a newfound respect for calves' livers and aspic, but a new life-lived with gusto. The film version is written and directed by Nora Ephron and stars Amy Adams as Julie and Meryl Streep as Julia.
Itandrsquo;s hard to meet people in a big city, let alone any city. And after living in LA for several years as a single lady, Audrey Shulman turned to baking. But rather than eating her cakes solo over the sink, she brought them to bars, luring guys with a heady dose of butter and sugar.
Sitting in Bars with Cakeand#160;recounts Audreyandrsquo;s year spent baking, bar-hopping, and offering slices of cake to men in the hope of finding her boyfriend (or, at the very least, a date). With 35 inventive recipes based on her interactions with guys from all walks of life, from a Sticky Maple Kiss Cake to a Bitter Chocolate Dump Cake, this charming book pairs each cake with a short essay and tongue-in-cheek lesson about picking up boys in bars.
About the Author
Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Julie Powell has resided in one place or another in the outer boroughs of New York City for the past eight years. Currently she lives in Long Island City, New York, with her husband, Eric, three cats, and a snake.