On television, in books, out in the blogosphere everyone today is celebrating the visionary Julia Child.'s centennial year. It was 100 years ago today that this engaging woman was born in Pasadena, California. We are all blessed to be among those who owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Julia Child for her tireless guidance, enlightenment, inspiration, and encouragement through the decades. She set a tremendous example for us, not only with her culinary expertise, but also with her marvelous sense of humour, and her indomitable grace and aplomb in sticky situations and live television. Her work speaks for itself!!! Bloopers such as “First you take a leek…” would perhaps have destroyed the career of those less self-assured than our Julia.
Ever since the film Julie and Julia came out, it seems Julia Child is on everyones radar, foodies and non-foodies alike. The fact that Julia started her passion for food and cooking so late in life makes us "kindred spirits" although, like me, I am sure she had a passion for food from the very beginning, she just didn't know it. She is so inspiring to me because of her outlook on life and her unending joy for her chosen path. I’m happy to say her wonderful recipes and independent spirit live on.
If you are interested in a recipe I am resurrecting Julia's recipe for Caesar Salad. At the time when she created this recipe for her cookbook she was probably one of the few people around who had witnessed the real Caesar Cardini making his salad. She was about 9 years old when her parents took her to his restaurant in Tijuana, just the other side of the border from San Diego. As excerpted from her book, when Caesar Cardini first served his famous salad in the early 1920s, he used just the hearts of the romaine lettuce, the tender short leaves in the center, and he presented them whole exactly like this recipe from Julia Child. The salad was tossed and dressed, then arranged on each plate so that you could get your hands into it and pick up each leaf by its short end and savour every bite. Many customers didn't like to get their fingers covered with egg-and-cheese-and-garlic dressing, so he changed to the conventional torn leaf type of salad. Too bad, since the salad lost much of its individuality and drama. I decided to resurrect the original Caesar salad from Caesar's at home... providing my guests with plenty of big paper napkins. I love to eat with my hands!!! It's so primal!!! As Julia would always say, Bon Appetit.
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