Wine, Words & Wednesday, No. 5

Julia Child is one of my culinary heroines.  Almost every recipe I’ve made from one of her cookbooks has been a masterpiece.  The only reason I say almost is because one time (not at band camp), I decided to adapt a Julia Child recipe — you know, make it my own.

Oh yes, I did.

Seriously.  Who changes Julia Child?  You don’t adapt Julia Child.  You do everything Julia says to do — exactly the way she says to do it.  Up to and including the wearing of a strand of cooking pearls (they lend confidence and panache to any cook).   If I throw on my Julia Child Cooking Pearls, things are about to get serious in my kitchen.

A few years ago, I revisited the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC — Julia Child’s Kitchen is an exhibit there (totally worth a visit if you haven’t been, btw).  I had no idea Julia was such a big fan of pegboards in her kitchen — she hung all her pots from them. So when I saw these fantastic words printed on a pegboard, I snapped a photo.

julia child
I have a long list of favorite things about Europe, but near the top of that list is this idea . . . wine is simply part of a meal.  It’s as necessary as utensils or a napkin.  There is no stigma — it’s just ordinary.  Now that I think about it, I’m kind of in the mood for an ordinary lunch today.

And because there’s no such thing as too much Julia, here’s a bonus Julia quip for you:


These words always make me laugh — because they’re true.  Let’s face it — Julia was talking about American bread.  And while American bread has made staggering strides in the last decade, it still pales in comparison to the Great Breads of Europe.  As long as America has the Chemical Loaf (nod to my mother-in-law for that turn of phrase), we’ll have bread that tastes like Kleenex.



  1. Well of course, being Italy-born, I cannot but wholeheartedly agree with your friend Julia – at the very least because getting drunk with wine could turn into a pretty expensive proposition considering how much you need to drink to achieve the intended result! 😉
    And, why do you think there is a stigma associated with drinking wine with dinner in the U.S.? Maybe it is a regional thing? I have never experienced that in the Northeast. I have often seen it associated with status (wine is generally more expensive than say beer), but not stigmatized.
    I agree with you that bread in the U.S. keeps getting better and better and there are now many healthy, organic choices.


    1. Great to hear from you, Stefano! I think the real stigma in the US is lunch time. I still remember the first time I was in Germany as a child and seeing everyone drinking beer with lunch and thinking they were all breaking the rules! I quickly came to understand it’s just normal. 😀 I love that we’re getting more local bakeries in the US, but I still can’t get anything close to my favorite European bread — the German semmel. Salud!!


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