What it’s like to cook in Julia’s kitchen

Julia Child's kitchen

We've written before about La Pitchoune, Julia and Paul Child's home in Provence, France. The house is now available for rent through Airbnb, and Julia Moskin of The New York Times recently rented it for a week and wrote about her experience.

While it's not clear whether any of the cookware or utensils that hang from the pegboard that Child installed actually belonged to her, Moskin hoped that the kitchen might still "be a place where her spirit, if not her spatulas, would remain." As one might expect, Moskin chose to make recipes from Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

As she chopped vegetables, forced them through food mills, and kneaded bread dough by hand, Moskin was reminded of "how physically demanding traditional cooking can be." She recounts how Child and co-author Simone Beck spent considerable time in this very kitchen doing these tasks, endlessly testing recipes for the second volume of their masterpiece work.

While Julia preferred a scientific approach to recipe development, Beck maintained that her cooking instincts were more important than exact measurements. There is no doubt that this caused friction between the two, but they were able to compromise and write a work that inspired countless cooks and continues to be valued over 50 years after its publication.  

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