j & j

August 8th, 2009 · 26 Comments

what i had wanted to do to mark the opening of this movie was make bouef bourguignon alla julia child – or at the very least whip up a quiche lorraine, the 4th dish that julie powell, the julie of ‘julia & julie‘ tackled on the third day of "the project" those 7 years ago…

but instead i drove 500+ miles due north while listening to the unabridged audio book of ‘my life in france‘, and now it’s somehow past 3 am and i’m back in my pricelined hilton hotel room in the midst of suburbia where tonight alone there were no less than: 2 family reunions, 2 weddings and a bat mitzvah – all happening simultaneously, thereby cementing the fact that cleveland is clearly a happening place.

and already i’ve eaten well. tonight, dinner began with a jumbo shrimp cocktail on ice and then out came a beautifully composed plate – a simply summer salad of sugary corn, crisp green beans, new potatoes, roasted red peppers all placed over some various lettuces. and as if that wasn’t splendid enough, it was daintily topped with strips of crunchy pig ears. the salad was lightly dressed with shallots, olive oil and homemade red wine vinegar accompanied by a thick slice of homebaked bread that had been brushed with olive oil and perfectly grilled. all that, dining al fresco on a not-too-hot summer night in the backyard of people that i truly adore. i’m quite sure julia would have heartily approved – if only for the entire bottle of wine that i managed to consume…

and now, as much as i want to crash, i can’t. because i made a commitment to talk about this movie tonight, and here’s what i want to say…

go see it.

i’ve made it a point to not formally review anything on ceF. it’s a strict policy. but i did want to point you to a few articles that i thought were really well written regarding j & j.


ny times

nashville scene/village voice

the atlantic

we all deeply love and admire julia child, and for all the right reasons. admittedly, i’m old enough to remember watching her show with my mom. i own ‘mastering the art of french cooking’ although i rarely if ever crack it. as you may know, ceF leans heavily towards the italian. yet julia child’s ‘the way to cook‘ is a book i go back to often and i have learned more about cooking from that book alone than perhaps any other.

julia did for cooking in america what garth brooks did for country music. they both brought what they were destined to do, to the masses – and in turn the people embraced them. and if you think that an odd analogy, remember that i’m living in music city, usa…

and julie powell? i love julie powell. i devoured her book 2 years ago. i received it as a gift back when i was brand new to blogging and i found it to be not only thoroughly entertaining but nicely written. she’s got a new book coming out in early december about her apprenticeship at a butcher shop. i’m looking forward to it.

i will tell you that my mom loved this movie. LOVED it. and she’s the toughest critic i know… that’s all i’m saying.

well that, and i really need to go to bed right now.

so – buon appetit!

<— i don’t know how to load this onto my sidebar because i am a techno-loser.

(thanks to sony and the powers that be for making ceF the food blog of the day on the official ‘julia and julie’ site. love you. mean it.)

Tags: not food · other

26 responses so far ↓

  • 1 michelle @ TNS // Aug 8, 2009 at 11:53 am

    ethel liked it?

    no joke.

    i wasn’t planning on seeing i until i could get it on dvd and fast forward through all the julie parts, b/c i find julie powell painfully underwhelming and amy adams painfully, earnestly perky. but i trust you.

    and more significantly, i trust ethel.

  • 2 Robert // Aug 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm


    How Ironic. Shari and I have a date for the 7:50 show tonight. We are passing up bowling night for this. I already suspect you are right, do have a thing for the Streep woman……..

  • 3 Lauren // Aug 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    impressive. not too sure about the pig ears though. have a great trip!

  • 4 The Italian Dish // Aug 8, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I saw the movie last night. I want to thank you for saying something nice about Julie Powell. Every single movie review and blogger’s review I have read about this movie have bashed the Julie Powell half of the movie. You are the first to say something positive. One even said to bring a penlight and a book for Julie Powell’s half of the movie. Yes, the Julia Child half of the movie is so wonderful, you wish it was a movie by itself. But really, it was the blog/ book that Julie Powell wrote that was the catalyst for getting the movie made. So what’s all the negativity about? I feel bad for all the bashing she is taking in the media. I’m just grateful anyone made a movie about Julia Child.

  • 5 Mercedes // Aug 9, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Good Heavens…Amy Adams is adorable. I enjoyed both parts of the movie,though I felt sorry for Amy and spouse having to live in dumpy neighborhood when even Paris train station looks like a palace.

  • 6 Jack // Aug 9, 2009 at 7:11 am

    There are scads of wonderful food blogs and Julie Powellís experience in that genre has become a major motion picture. It only stands to reason that some of the harsh criticisms are envy driven. Iíll hold judgment on the movie until seeing it and only say that the food blogosphere is a positive influence at a time when negatives are all too common. Thankfully it is driving consumers to become more quality conscious and make wiser food decisions. Blogging has become an important aspect of our society. Iím glad Hollywood noticed.
    I remember watching Julia Child in black and white on public television long before all the glitz and glamour of the Food Network Her story is one worth telling .Great Post Claudia!

  • 7 heidirobb // Aug 10, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I laughed, I cried. Julia, YES! Julie, fine by me. Paul – my new love.

  • 8 chris // Aug 10, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Kudos lovely lady.

  • 9 lo // Aug 10, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Saw this on Sunday. I was actually taken aback at how much I enjoyed… and I’m not even a big Ephron fan. Definitely the first time in a while that I saw a movie audience responding so directly to a film. Great stuff!

    And, as for Julie Powell… love her too. I remember following her blog pretty religiously. The book is great, but loses a little in translation (one of the things that was so great about her blog was the raw emotion there).

  • 10 marie // Aug 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Saw it yesterday and loved it, loved it!

  • 11 ntsc // Aug 11, 2009 at 7:03 am

    Will go see it tomorrow or Thursday.

    My wife and I were at a technical conference for me Friday, Saturday and Sunday AM. For me it was either the conference or sleeping. Started at 7 am and ran until 10 pm.

    Yesterday and today we just want to sit. Well, maybe today, the theater has AC and it is going to be hot.

  • 12 Hillary // Aug 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Congrats on being featured as a blog of the day! So exciting! I saw the movie last night and am now craving beouf bourgignon more than ever!

  • 13 Cristiana // Aug 12, 2009 at 10:48 am

    What a lovely blog! Such a pleasure to read!

    Saw the film yesterday, finally! After waiting months for its release, it was absolutely wonderful, and if Meryl Streep doesn’t win an Oscar for her miraculous Julia, I’ll eat a, um… a Hot Pocket!!

    ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ has been given new significance to me – and I’ll always remember “Julie and Julia” whenever I use it, which will be much more frequently now.

    My mother, who is a total gastronome and cookbook collector (she loves to lie in bed, reading them cover-to-cover like novels), was so fortunate as to know Julia in her later years, and cooked and dined with her, and entertained her at her home. She absolutely adored Meryl’s Julia, too!

  • 14 Mary // Aug 13, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Loved the movie, loved Meryl Streep’s protrayal of Julia. She was marvelous in the role. I am longtime fan of Julia Child and my 1961 issue of Master the Art of French Cooking has been worn to the binding and loaded with food stains. Must buy another copy. Don’t miss this movie. Great!!!

  • 15 ntsc // Aug 14, 2009 at 5:16 am

    @ Mary. The 8 burner, named Maurice, gave my wife a second copy of Vol I for Xmas a couple of years ago.

    Enjoyed the movie, my wife thought there was something wrong about coming home and grilling chicken, even if it was a white BBQ sauce.

    Liked both parts, but will admit to wishing it had been about Julia alone. I’ve tried to read Ms Powell’s book and put it down. I will try again.

    Will be doing the duck and pate in crust (I majored in French I (15 hours of it) in college and will not even attempt spelling/typing it)

  • 16 Samantha // Aug 15, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    The movie was wonderful. I loved it, just like I love your blog!

  • 17 Lydia Simon // Aug 15, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Hi Claudia!

    I really enjoy reading you. I’ve been lurking for over a year but recently saw the film and was seriously entertained!

    Your dinner at your friends house sounds awesome. A stellar summer salad with a touch of pork. I’m in!

    So glad that Sony likes your blog too!!!

  • 18 lynn taylor // Aug 16, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    I LOVED the movie….one of the best movies I have seen in a while.

  • 19 Vicky, NYC // Aug 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Also loved this film. Glad I found your blog via the Sony site. That salad sounds like a winner. I wil be back to read more but I am not a blogger.

  • 20 Maggie // Aug 17, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I finally saw it this weekend and I really liked it. Sure, it had about 20 minutes too much film, but it left me feeling all warm, fuzzy and delicious inside. :)

  • 21 john // Aug 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Having lived in Nashville now 22 years I want to thank you for all of your observations. My sister-in-law works for J&J, (Johnson & Johnson) sorry, I just had to point out the incredulous irony of a major drug company developing drugs to counteract the glorious food in this film (only if not eaten in moderation). After seeing the movie this afternoon at the Green Hill’s 16 I went to Whole Foods thinking I would reproduce the BB. for dinner, but settled on reading the recipe, and having a salad,baguette, and a 1982 Bordeaux (the WHOLE bottle) instead. I want to apologize for the verbosity of this note, god that wine was amazing, and also thank you for what you’ve done for the lovers of food here in Nashville!

  • 22 Rebekka // Aug 18, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I am so. Excited. Actually, I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet, I keep waiting for the “perfect” moment. I read the script, actually, a few months ago (my friend is working on a movie and gets these things in the mail), and loved it. And of course, I loved the book. Maybe tonight.

  • 23 democommie // Aug 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Good Evening, Claudia:

    This may sound exceedingly silly, but I don’t watch too many things that Meryl Streep is in, and I really don’t know why.

    The first time I saw her work was in “Holocaust”, she was brilliant. She has always been so good at what she does and yet so many of the films she’s been in have not been films I could sit through. It has nothing to do with her not being magnificent. I’ll figure that stuff out some day, or die happy without doing so! But this movie has Stanley Tucci in it. Now, Mr. Tucci’s work has been in wonderful , and yet he has been in some very, very strange films.

    I just figure he did such a great job in “Big Night”, with Tony Shalloub, that I will see the film sooner rather than later.

    I still don’t got no kitchen but I did pick up a Frigidaire 5 burner, continuous grate cooktop for about 1/2 price ($582 instead of ca. $1100). Now I will have to see if I can find some wall ovens.

    Safe travels.

  • 24 barry // Oct 19, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    I went into to it neutral but I have to say I hated, the “Julie” parts, wished it was all “Julia”. And no, I didn’t read the book.

  • 25 Ian // Apr 27, 2010 at 3:29 am

    impressive. not too sure about the pig ears though. have a great trip!

  • 26 Paulius // Jan 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    and so it began…

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