It has been a while since I've picked up a book. I was trying to catch up on my knitting and the never-ending magazine pile that threatens to kill me in my sleep. My husband asked me what I wanted for my bday (it was last week), and this book immediately came to mind. Julie recently read and reviewed it, and I was very intrigued by the premise behind it. As many of you probably already know, the author Julie Powell decided that over the course of a year she would cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1. As she cooked, she wrote about her experiences on her blog. Now, I do not consider myself a squeemish kind of girl. After all, I grew up on a farm, and I learned from a very early age EXACTLY where my meat came from. I have not only seen the insides of living animals, but even living humans. Neither of which really phased me. But, there have been a few times during my reading of this book when I had to actually put the thing back in my bag. Reading about bone marrow extraction at 8:00 in the am, while on a crowded hot Metro car, can be a little much. Even the amounts of butter the recipes called for made my stomach turn. I also do not think I will ever eat aspic by choice. Particularly when it is made in the "traditional" way. Cow hoof recipes aside, I am now extremely anxious to get my hands on a copy of MTAOFC. Not that I would probably ever cook anything from it, but I am curious to read these somewhat grotesque recipes for myself.
I have read many reviews of this book, and let me just say right here, this book WILL NOT teach you how to cook. It does not contain one single recipe, nor does Julie try to portray herself as a professional cook. What this book does serve to illustrate is that when you are truly committed to a goal, no matter how silly others believe that goal to be, the experience can change your life. Through hope, hard work, and good old-fashioned determination, anything is possible. Even 524 recipes, in 365 days, in one tiny apartment kitchen.