Yesterday, after all the Easter madness (i.e all the food) I sat down and watched Julie&Julia. Yes, the one about Julia Child, played by Every-Little-Thing-She-Does-Is-Magic Streep. Why did I suddenly want to watch a 2009 movie? I would love to have a more romantic reason… but it was a Netflix suggestion. Now, full disclosure: I knew about the existence of Julia Child from all the American culture I’m exposed to, but I had no idea about her life story or general character. I’m sure Streep marvelously embellished her, but either way, it was impossible not to fall in love with the tall, spirited woman, that sent the most adorable postcards. The “Julie” part, the tale of a young woman discovering pleasure and joy in life by cooking from Julia Child’s cookbook “Mastering the art of french cooking”, although not as thrilling, spoke very close to me.
People often claim that I’m snotty about food… which is kinda true. In the words of Anton Ego (yes, the critic from “Ratatouille), “if it’s not delicious, I will not swallow it”. Well, not as much, but it’s hard for something to really surprise me or to make my eyes sparkle, when it comes down to food. Nevertheless, I think the magic of sharing food, of cooking together, or even just closing myself up in the kitchen for hours, trying to create something, really means the world to me and it’s somehow part of who I am.
When the movie ended, I sat there and stared at all my cookbooks. (Most) of the people whose work lays in my shelves have poured their heart and soul into those words and pictures. There are family stories and memories, heartaches, little victories, hope and love. There is the attempt of connecting. And yet, even though I love them all, in theory, I barely ever cook from them. With a few exceptions, I can count the recipes I’ve followed from each of them with only one hand (which won’t keep me from buying more books). And when I do cook from them it’s usually something practical, something fast, something that answers that awful question that connects us all more than anything: “what should I cook for dinner?”
I truly envy Julie’s dedication (having no idea of how fictional it is): to cook from only one book, everyday, for a whole year and more than one recipe per day. Wow. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels so hard to conquer.
But I was inspired by it and wanted to do something of the likes, so I decided to give myself a little challenge: for a year, I will be cooking from twelve different books, one for each month. I’m realistic enough to know that I won’t cook every single day (and thank God for that!), so I will cook the minimum of 15 different recipes from each book, which sounds fair enough. I will also choose the following book at the beginning of every new month (guess why).
So, starting from tomorrow and until the end of April, I will be cooking from Anna Jones’ “The Modern Cook’s Year”.
I’ve been wanting/wishing/planning to try a more plant based diet ever since all my girlfriends decided to go vegan and started to silently-ish judged me when I order a steak (kidding babes, kidding!), so this feels like the perfect timing. Ha!
I’m having a bit of a lower back problem at the moment (I’m sure it’s all that steak!), so I won’t be sharing my outputs in the next few days, but you will be hearing from be soon (I really hope so. Yes, because of my back)!
xo xo Sara