First Taste of 'Julie & Julia'

We’ve watched plenty of movies based on books (there are just too many to count). TV shows, too. (“Roots” and “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” come to mind.) And now we’re reading books based on blogs (Stuff White People Like, I Can Has Cheezburger, Gluten-Free Girl, to name a few). But with the imminent release of “Julie & Julia,” it may very well be the first movie based on a book and a blog.

Yesterday, Columbia Pictures released the official trailer of the film, starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, the desk jockey who, back in 2002, embarked on a year-long adventure of cooking her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the classic tome by Child, Louisette Berthole and Simone Beck. She chronicled her adventures in her blog called Julie/Julia Project, which morphed into “Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen,” which Nora Ephron has adapted for the screen.

Ephron’s film is a nod to both Powell’s memoir and “My Life in France,” Child’s posthumous biography co-written with her grand nephew Alex Prud’Homme. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters Aug. 7, but in the meantime, check out the trailer and weigh in: Do you want more Julie/Julia on your plate or have you had your fill? And how do you rate Streep's impersonation of Child?

By Kim ODonnel |  April 30, 2009; 7:00 AM ET Food Movie News
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Kim, could you provide more recipes and less other stuff? please? I think more than 1 recipe in 4 days is not a lot to ask.

Posted by: chiquita2 | April 30, 2009 12:29 PM

It is hard to tell where this incredibly narcissistic turn in our global culture will take us. In a world where everything, so long as it is perceived to be a 'true life' experience, is equally interesting (from Michelle Obama's wardrobe to a woman wrestling with a cookery book), what happens to discernment? What happens to the imagination too? Just wondering...

Posted by: secretlifeoffrance | April 30, 2009 12:33 PM

I watched the trailer and it looks like an interesting movie. I am always amazed by Meryl Streep's transformations. Of course, it remains to be seen how they integrate the two stories, but I am curious enough to see it.

Posted by: margaret6 | April 30, 2009 2:34 PM

Margaret6, I was on a plane recently watching back-2-back Streep movies -- "Doubt" followed by "Mamma Mia." Then recently watched "Devil Wears Prada.' Her transformations are indeed amazing. I think she really looks like Child, not as sure about the accent, but it's a tough one to get just so!

Posted by: Kim ODonnel | April 30, 2009 3:06 PM

Secretlifeoffrance, you raise an interesting question. Look how Reality TV has become de rigeur or rather, default television programming, and then the all-powerful pull of Facebook and Twitter. I dunno. Something to chew on for sure.

Posted by: Kim ODonnel | April 30, 2009 3:09 PM

Chiquita2, I am going to share a recipe tomorrow. But fyi, I only post recipes that have been tested, and that takes time and doesn't always translate into three or more recipes a week. Sorry, it's just me, and I'm chopping as fast as I can. Cheers.

Posted by: Kim ODonnel | April 30, 2009 3:10 PM

I haven't watched the clip, probably won't see the movie, but you can write as much as you like about Julia Child and I'll read it avidly. What a woman.

I like the recipes, but I like the other stuff just as much. One thing I like most about your blog is its variety. Happy chopping.

Posted by: esleigh | April 30, 2009 3:54 PM

Kim- I too miss your recipes and probably haven't appreciated the time it takes to come up with and test them, possibly becaues you make it look so easy by doing this blog.
I would welcome some new ideas for eggplant that doesn't involve lots of oil and isn't ratatouille or parm.

Posted by: NewtonMom | April 30, 2009 4:03 PM

Hi Kim,

I loved (loved loved loved) the book and am eagerly awaiting the movie. We'll have to find a sitter so that Mrs. Blade and I can make an evening of it.

Newton Mom - I am devoted to eggplant. I can't wait for them to show up in the farmer's markets. Here are a couple of my favorite ways to prepare eggplant that are out of the box. If you like Indian food, Baigan Nriyal (eggplant with coconut) is sensational. Roast a couple of eggplants in the oven (350 or so) until they begin to shrivel. It's important to prick them with a fork or you get exploding eggplant surprise! Let cool and scoop out the flesh.

Heat about a 1/4 cup of ghee (clarified butter, I cut it 50/50 with vegetable oil) and add 1 tablespoon of flaked coconut, 4 chopped chili peppers (jalapeños are good for this, but if you don't like heat, substitute Anaheim or bell pepper), 1 tablespoon of minced ginger, a cup of coconut milk, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and about 1/2 teaspoon of red chili pepper (adjust amount to taste, you can always add gradually). The vinegar and coconut combine to give a rich flavor. Vinegar adds just the right amount of tartness and the hot peppers add some heat. Sensational over rice. [Adapted from the Art of Indian Cuisine by Rocky Mohan.]

As an alternative, egg plant is wonderful in a tomato sauce. I got hooked on Lidia's Family Table, especially when Mrs. Blade snagged a copy at the Strand in NYC. In essence, you trim the ends, peel and dice a few pounds of eggplant. Saute some onions in olive oil, toss in garlic, and add the diced eggplant. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the eggplant is softened. Toss in the tomatoes (I like taking whole canned tomatoes, cutting the flesh and straining the rest for juice) and cook slowly. Spice as you wish (the recipe calls for a lot of fresh basil, though I think some oregano would work well). The eggplant breaks down and provides some depth and body to the sauce.

I'm sure you can find some recipes on the web. I've made this a few times and it works well even with my young kids.

Oh, and don't forget Babaganoush!


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 30, 2009 7:04 PM

Slight edit: It's Baigan Nariyal. One nice way to disperse heat is to combine the chopped peppers with vinegar. The vinegar picks up some heat and the flavor of the peppers; the peppers themselves cool off a bit and so don't light a fire in your mouth when you bite on them.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | April 30, 2009 8:15 PM

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who is waiting for a report on date shakes and other date experiences! And please share!!

Posted by: fltolson | May 1, 2009 12:54 AM

I thought the clip was delightful. I have watched a lot of Julia Child and if anyone can do her it's Meryl Streep. I read parts of Julie Powell's blogs while she was cooking and am fascinated by the combination of her and Child onscreen. I think Amy Adams can pull it off - she is one recent actress that I would watch in anything.

Kim - keep up all that you do. I love the recipes, but I also enjoy the writing about food that points me in ways that I didn't think to go. Thanks

Posted by: elyrest | May 1, 2009 1:40 AM

Doubt followed by Mamma Mia? That just boggles my mind.

I, for one, enjoy the non-recipe writing as much as the recipes, most of the time. And if I don't like it, that's OK, there will be more tomorrow. That's kind of the nature of a blog, right?

Posted by: margaret6 | May 1, 2009 10:09 AM

LOL at the trailer - Can't wait - definitely a GNO movie! I would see anything that Meryl Streep was in...

Posted by: dmmkdoyle | May 1, 2009 1:23 PM

I loved the book "My Life in France." Didn't check out the blog, but the combination of the two should be an interesting movie. The clip looked great. And that's much closer in accent and appearance than I thought anybody could get to Julia Child. What about height? Julia was very tall--6'2" I think--how tall is Streep? Is she on stilts?

Posted by: GirlScoutMom | May 1, 2009 1:39 PM

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