With all the reality shows crowding television nowadays, I have to admit I keep gravitating to cooking programs when I watch TV. Between cop shows, medical dramas, really dumb sitcoms and even dumber dating competition shows, I find myself channel surfing back to cooking programs, hoping to learn a thing or two.
I come by it naturally. When I was in my teens, I began doing most of the cooking in our house after criticizing my working mother’s table fare one too many times. I began watching cooking programs, but at that time, it was mostly Julia Child and her guest chefs. Julia was my hero—she wasn’t what you expected in a television personality. She was tall (more than 6 feet), had a pleasant face and an unusual voice. She was matronly, but seemed a bit hip at the same time. She would talk with you through the camera and make you believe you could cook.
But her biggest gift was convincing you not to sweat mistakes. Julia would just wave it all away and make lemonade from lemons, and then laugh with you as though it was supposed to be that way all along. It’s cooking—it should be fun—it should be with people you like around the dinner table—and most of all, it should be enough of a challenge so you can savor the sweet aromas and tastes of success. All you need to do is follow a recipe.
With all the recent fuss over correct nutritional eating and celebrity chef Paula Deen’s admission of Type 2 diabetes after years of fried foods and artery-clogging southern cooking, I started thinking about Julia Child again.
You can read my Wine Tale on, “What Would Julia Think” at: