I found out yesterday morning that Julia Child had passed away.
It was on the front page of the local paper, below the fold, and I saw it amid the morning chaos of getting breakfast ready for Alex and "letting" everyone else (i.e. Bill, Uncle, and Cousin) get their own. It was a tense morning - the last morning of this week-long visit. Bill and I were worn out by the whole experience and had finally started hissing at each other about stuff that we wouldn't have hissed about at any other time.
So I didn't have time to read the article until a bit later. But my heart was heavy. I know 91-almost-92 is certainly a "ripe old age" and she lived a great life, and so on.
But still. I felt like I'd lost a distant great aunt that I'd seen a few times and had always liked and admired even if we didn't see each other much over the years. She was out there somewhere and that was a happy thing.
I have happy, warm, comforting childhood memories of Julia on TV. The theme music her French Chef series brings me back to a darkened living room and her distinct voice and personality and her sense of humor. She made it look fun. And it should be. Cooking is fun. Eating is fun. Or should be. (Though if cooking isn't your thing - that's okay. I just think no one should be daunted by it.)
I am lucky to have grown up with no fear of cooking. Of trying new foods or new ways of preparing old foods. Food is fun.
Some memories I have...her show opening with a row of headless poultry arranged across the counter, ranging from a cornish game hen up to a turkey...or another episode where she announced happily "We're having some vegetarians for dinner!" and then corrected herself - "well, we're not going to eat them..."
I loved her enthusiasm, I loved watching her with guest chefs in later years...I loved watching her appear as a guest on Emeril's show and loved how respectful he was toward her. I loved watching her and Jacques Pepin together too - they were a riot.
I am saddened by her passing...but I am so glad she was here.
I hope there's good food in heaven.