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Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

by Julie Powell

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5,4862621,596 (3.48)253
Trapped in a boring job and living in a tiny apartment in New York, Julie Powell regularly finds herself weeping on the way home from work. Then one night, through her mascara-smudged eyes, Julie notices that the few items she's grabbed from the Korean grocery store are the very ingredients for Potage Parmentier, as described in Julia Childs' legendary cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And The Project is born. Julie begins to cook, every one of the 524 recipes in the book, in the space of just one year. This is Julie's story, as gradually, from oeufs en cocotte to bifstek sauté au beurre, from 'Bitch Rice' to preparing live lobsters, she realises that this deranged Project is changing her life. The richness of the thousands of sauces she slaves over is beginning to spread into her life, and she begins to find the joie de vivre that has been missing for too many years.… (more)
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» See also 253 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
I wasn't as impressed with this book as I had hoped I would be. I'm still happy I read it, as I'm looking forward to seeing the movie adaptation and I typically prefer to read the books first. But the tone of Julie in this book is a harsh one and it doesn't mesh well with my personal preferences. It was okay. At best. ( )
  MBTC | Jul 9, 2022 |
Very cute, worth the read even if you saw the movie. ( )
  ShanLand | Feb 28, 2022 |
Julie Powell is just your average, bored secretary in New York City. As she approaches her thirtieth birthday, she's feeling extra dumpy. Faced with few prospects and a mother nagging her about her biological clock, Julie is looking for a change. But what?

One night after an especially soul crushing day, Julie whips up a simple potato soup that just happens to be Julia Child's recipe for Potage Parmentier. And just like that, Julie and her husband come up with an idea. Why not cook her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck and blog about it? It was a win-win idea. Not only would they get to eat French food, but Julie would learn cooking techniques, and be able to write about it. And so, the Julie/Julia Project was born.

But as with Potage Parmentier, the project wasn't as easy as it sounded. Cooking 524 recipes in one year would prove to be hard work. Julie worked full-time and ingredients were sometimes hard to find. Little by little, people began to read her blog. And despite her use of snarky, foul language, brutal honesty, and some mean spirited comments, Julie began to learn. Not only did she learn about French food, but through taking chances and trying new things, like eggs, she began to grow as a person. The result is humorous a book about being yourself and perseverance.

The Bottom Line: Although the concept is interesting, Powell's liberal use of foul language and whining was difficult to read through. As she writes about herself, her friends, and her family, Powell seems to have no filter. She complains throughout the book; and yet there are a few interesting observations and, of course, tantalizing tidbits about Julia and Paul Child before Julia became a celebrity chef.

At the time she worked her way through Julia Child's recipes, blogging was new and perhaps being able to connect with readers near and far was a novelty. Stories about Powell's friends make the book mildly entertaining. Was the Julie/Julia Project a stunt or was Powell serious about French cooking? No one can say, but the author. Some fans of culinary biographies might enjoy this.

For the complete review including Book Club Notes, please visit the Mini Book Bytes Book Review Blog. ( )
  aya.herron | Oct 24, 2021 |

I read this book around the same time the movie came out - because the movie was so funny!!

I know I shouldn't laugh, but watching Julie try to cook was hilarious at times.

And Meryl Streep's version of Julia. That was funny as well. Her accent was hilarious.

The book had some wonderful recipes in it - and some not so good recipes.

I absolutely detest escargot, and mushrooms and sushi... ( )
  Robloz | Sep 23, 2021 |
Adult nonfiction. Read by the author, pretty well done. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 257 (next | show all)
Although I don’t really believe that Julie Powell finds a Julia Child-like satisfaction in the art of cooking, her bloggy memoir offers the pleasures of witnessing a thoroughly grumpy, foul-mouthed New Yorker go through a laughable late-twenties identity crisis, discover the erotic allure of good food, and tell terrible gossip about all her best friends. More than her descriptions of (badly) attempting Julia Child’s recipes or even discovering a new career, Powell’s passages evoking the sensual delights of food connect Julie & Julia to the vivid memories in My Life in France.
 
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For Julia, without whom I could not have done this, and for Eric, without whom I could not do at all
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Thursday, October 6, 1949.
Paris. At seven o'clock on a dreary evening in the Left Bank, Julia began roasting pigeons for the second time in her life.
Quotations
Lower Manhattan was not much better. There were wine stores and cheese counters and cute bistros, but since most of the fashionable people who live this far downtown prefer, like vampires, sustenance they can just grab and suck down on the run, a butcher was nowhere to be found.
I was raised in proximity to a self-cleaning stove, and have never been able to square my belief in myself as a person possessed of free will with the act of getting down on my knees to stick my head in a box befogged with carcinogenic fumes and scoop out handfuls of black goo.
The verdict on Foies Volailles en Aspic? Surprisingly undisgusting, but why eat chicken livers cold with jelly on top of them, when you could eat them hot without jelly?
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Trapped in a boring job and living in a tiny apartment in New York, Julie Powell regularly finds herself weeping on the way home from work. Then one night, through her mascara-smudged eyes, Julie notices that the few items she's grabbed from the Korean grocery store are the very ingredients for Potage Parmentier, as described in Julia Childs' legendary cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And The Project is born. Julie begins to cook, every one of the 524 recipes in the book, in the space of just one year. This is Julie's story, as gradually, from oeufs en cocotte to bifstek sauté au beurre, from 'Bitch Rice' to preparing live lobsters, she realises that this deranged Project is changing her life. The richness of the thousands of sauces she slaves over is beginning to spread into her life, and she begins to find the joie de vivre that has been missing for too many years.

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Hachette Book Group

5 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0316013269, 1594831068, 031604427X, 031604251X, 1600245323

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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