Monday, September 28, 2009

Le Plus Beau Du Quartier

I just finished reading My Life in France by Julia Child (with Alex Pud'homme), and it is a marvelous expose of the pleasures of preparing and enjoying cuisine. My favorite part of the book (a large chunk, at that) is where she talks about the process of writing her famous collaboration: Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It was such an interesting book to read; she was in the first televised cooking show, The French Chef, I guess everybody else already knew that......and she used to work for the governmental department now called the CIA. I always thought that she was French, but she's from California; I suppose she got her accent from all the moving to and fro abroad.
I always wanted to go to Paris growing up. For what seems like an eternity, any and every French product has seemed a delicacy to Americans--the bread, the cheese, cosmetics, perfumes, couture, champagne, etc. I wanted to experience the most romantic city in the world, and scale the Eiffel Tower holding a loaf of French bread. I checked out a book from the Russell County Public Library on French cooking and my mom helped me fix a French meal for my Dad and brother, although I'm quite positive that it was I who was assisting her in the preparation (either way, she humored me, and honored me as the chef). When it came time in high school to choose a foreign language, the two options were French and Spanish. I had always planned on learning the French language, but alas, everyone persuaded me to take la clase de espanol instead, saying things like, "Spanish is much more practical to learn than French," "You might actually get to use Spanish one day..." I took Spanish for 3 years in high school and 1.5 years in college and could probably hold my own for about 5-10 minutes of a casual, introductory conversation with a native-speaker. It's kind of sad, but then again, I'm not submersed in the language. Either way, I regret not taking 4.5 years of French; it's just so beautiful. That's one of the reasons I love Carla Bruni--I have no idea what she's singing, but her songs are absolutely fabulous. My favorite song of hers is "Le Plus Beau Du Quartier."

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