Inspiration

Last night I finished watching Julie&Julia. It was wonderful.

I remember watching Julia Childs when I was a kid. Yes, I watched cooking shows when I was six or maybe earlier. I can’t remember when I started watching cooking shows. I just always have. Along with nature shows so I could then relay to my Mother the entire life cycle, habitat, and behaviors of which ever animal I had just learned about.

But for cooking, I watched Julia and Graham Kerr. Everyone knows who Julia is. For those of you who don’t recognize the latter name, he is the Galloping Gourmet. He was the one that poured heavy cream into anything that would support it. Then he suffered, I think, a heart attack and became reformed. Then launched a new show where he revamped all of his recipes to the lighter and healthier version with strained low-fat yogurt. He still cooks today. He was just a guest on Rachel Ray’s talk show this past week. Or maybe coming up on Monday. I didn’t see the show. Just the advertisement. So maybe I can catch it tomorrow.

And of course, one who holds a special place in my heart, Jeff Smith. The Frugal Gourmet. He was really my fave as far as what he was cooking. His recipes were simple, easy recipes that were time-tested from many cultures. A lot of Mediterranean and Easter European. He taught me that exotic cooking did not have to be difficult cooking. He continued to cook on television into my twenties which I watched religiously. Then the point in time came when there was some sort of scandal involving teenage boys and that was the end of The Frugal Gourmet. He dropped of the face of the earth never to be heard from again. Almost as if he didn’t exist but if you review my shelves of cookbooks, I can prove he did. He is there in several locations.

And I also really liked that crazy Cajun. Do you remember him? I can’t remember his name. Darn. I will have to look it up. Or maybe some of you will remember (Dad?). He was the one that always drank the majority of the wine bottle he opened to cook with. And he never measured his salt. He would pour one teaspoon into his palm and then put it into the one teaspoon measuring spoon to prove he was on the mark.

His quotes I remember were,

“Salt to taste. Who’s taste? Myyyy taste!”

“Put a little Loooossyanna hot sauce in there. I tell you what!”

OOOOOOOOOO-WHEEEEEEEE!”

I guess he is the reason that I think it is not necessary to measure anything. Then there is the whole wine business. So I have  just come to the realization that this round Cajun man whom I can’t seem to place his name has formed a large part of my adult life. Moving On.

I remember when we first got satellite TV. It was right after the mini-dishes were out (and I paid a small fortune for ours’. I’m talking financing here. But that is a different story.) and DIRECT TV was the only choice you had with it. I had more than one PBS. I had PBS in three time zones. It was like heaven.

Then Home and Garden Television was launched. An entire network of nothing but cooking, crafting, decorating, and gardening. It was my dream come true.

And then. And then…….I remember the day like it was yesterday that I saw the advertisement for the new network that was nothing but cooking. COOKING! Cooking all day everyday. Twenty-four hours a day.  I literally jumped out of my chair and squealed with delight in my living room. Literally. TV-FOOD NETWORK.

I could watch chopping, slicing, sautéing, braising, grilling (the list goes on) until the wee hours of the morning. DAX was thrilled to no end(sarcasm).

There were new faces. Emeril (which everyone now knows), The Two Fat Ladies. Grillin’ and Chillin’ (which was a show with two hosts. One grilled on charcoal (Jack of Jack Stack BBQ. Don’t recall last name.) and the other grilled on gas. They would cook a similar recipes and show the difference between the two cooking methods. The latter host was no other than Bobby Flay). And the show list goes on….not to bore you….back to Julia.

I always wanted to get a copy of Julia’s original book. It is in its umpteenth printing and still cost almost $50 on Amazon today. I just looked it up. *sigh*

But I have decided to learn more about this enigmatic and dynamic woman. She was so unconventional for her time. In a splendid way. I am going to go to the library tomorrow to find her biography and there is also a book of letters and correspondence published. I am so excited. I have said it before and I will say it again. Really…It’s the little things.   🙂

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5 Comments

  1. February 27, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    Justin Wilson. That is his name. He always wore suspenders. My kind of guy.

  2. kr said,

    February 27, 2011 at 7:35 PM

    I loved all those cooking shows! Was it Justin Wilson that was the crazy cajun cook?
    I’m so glad you’re doing the library thing! 🙂

    • March 9, 2011 at 8:43 PM

      yes I am doing the library thing …except that our library does not have any of these books or neither does any library in Siskiyou county. *sigh* Yes, I live in the boondocks!!

  3. Dad said,

    February 28, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    It definitely was the Crazy Cajun, Justin Wilson. Most people don’t know he was also an excellent comedian. (Along the lines of Jerry Clower) Hutch had some of his records and I don’t know how many hours we rolled with laughter listening to them.
    Love You, Dad

  4. Mateo said,

    March 1, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    I think you have now told us what your next profession should be. I always wondered how you knew so much about many different types of food. Really you should think about attending a culinary school I think it would really be fulfilling for you!


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