Spicing up everyday meals
Detroit Free Press: She was the quintessential foodie and the best of all enablers.
Julia Child taught millions of Americans that they could create the fancy recipes of French chefs in their own kitchens, turning mundane meals into marvelous repasts. With her infectious adoration for the craft of cuisine, she made real people believe fine food need not be relegated to fancy restaurants.
Yet despite a rich pedigree and love of all things gourmet, she was no food snob, our Miss Julia. She preferred beer to wine and stocked up on Wonder Bread and iceberg lettuce.
Child disdained, however, the diet crazes that turned eating into chore, food into an object of fear. She lived by moderation, not denial. That commonsense philosophy allowed her to indulge in sauces and pastries to the ripe old age of 91.
"I, for one, would much rather swoon over a few thin slices of prime beefsteak, or one small serving of chocolate mousse, or a sliver of foie gras than indulge to the full on such nonentities as fat-free gelatin puddings," she wrote in "The Way to Cook" in 1989.
Without Julia Child toiling in a simple PBS kitchen for decades, there would probably be no Food Network today. Those cable TV chefs certainly have something to offer, but their flash and sass tend to take center stage. Child always knew that the food, not its creator, was the star of the show.
"The pleasures of the table -- that lovely old-fashioned phrase -- depict food as an art form, as a delightful part of civilized life," she wrote. "In spite of food fads, fitness programs, and health concerns, we must never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."