Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Child!

Are you looking for a reason to celebrate?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.  Join us in celebrating Julia Child’s 100th birthday!  And what better way to celebrate than with a feast for the body and the mind.

Julia Child is known for her passion for cooking and all things culinary.  Her love affair with cooking, and French food in particular, began while she lived in France with her husband, Paul.  Julia Child trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she mastered the skills required to earn her a diploma.  She and Paul lived in France for many years, and it was their adventures and culinary experiences that were the inspiration for the book My Life in France, which is available as an audiobook at the library.

Today most of us are well aware of the Top Chef’s and Food Network stars; yet it’s ulia Child that is acknowledged as the first celebrity chef.  At a time when TV dinners and canned food were dominating dining tables everywhere, she opened the pantry to a world of gastronomic possibilities.  She was welcomed into the homes of her viewers during many of her televised shows but The French Chef  is certainly the one that she is most remembered for.  Julia has said, “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.”  Her humorous outlook on life and cooking made her a beloved fixture in kitchens and homes alike.

In 2001, after deciding to move back to her native California, Julia Child donated her kitchen to the National Museum of American History.  The kitchen was presented as a temporary exhibit; the heartfelt response from visitors has prompted its permanent residency in the museum.  The museum’s website provides a virtual tour of the exhibit, and some fun facts too!

In the spirit of honoring the legacy of Julia Child, PBS has launched a challenge: find your favorite Julia Child recipe and cook it between August 5 and August 15.  They are even providing some recipes to inspire you!  If you’re looking for some additional inspiration, look no further – the library has a variety of resources to help you cook like a professional.  Looking for cookbooks on the go?  The library has an eBook collection for you to discover!  If you’ve ever wanted to hone your culinary prowess, Mohawk College offers a variety of workshops through Continuing Education that may interest you, and help enhance your cooking skills too.  Finding fresh ingredients to cook with has never been easier – the Hamilton Farmers’ Market, located in downtown Hamilton, offers visitor’s a newly renovated space, cooking classes and educational demonstrations, the historic Birks clock, and of course, fresh and local meat and produce.  The most important kitchen wisdom offered by Julia Child, I think, is this: “Learn to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.”  Wishing you all a fun-filled culinary adventure!  Bon Appétit!

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