Happy 100th, Julia Child

I have two favorite memories of Julia Child, neither of which involves Saturday Night Live.

The first was spotting her at the Porter Square Shaw’s supermarket just before Thanksgiving. Later I heard that she always did her Thanksgiving grocery shopping there herself. I saw a couple of people run up to her, stare for a bit and then run away. I thought it best to let her shop in peace. I could swear she was examining a can of Maxwell House coffee when I saw her.

The second was a brief bit from one of her final TV shows. It was a cooking show that she hosted rather than cooked on. Various chefs would appear on the show and she would gracefully ask them questions and let them show off. I remember reading the cookbook based on the show; most of the recipes were simple and direct, and then there was Martha Stewart’s incredibly complicated wedding cake. The episode of the show that I saw had Martha as a guest; the was showing some cooking technique, I can’t remember what and Julia simply said something like: “Oh my, well I’ve never seen that done before.”

I don’t think I’d ever heard such a graceful, simple put-down beforeā€¦ as if there were a cooking technique that Martha Stewart could demonstrate that Julia Child hadn’t seen before.

Happy 100th birthday, Julia. You are missed.