Julia Child’s kitchen…at the Smithsonian

We’d come to Washington DC on a business trip, and my friend who comes to this conference every year told me I could do whatever I wanted in our free time on Saturday, and she’d keep me company. “I want to see Julia Child’s kitchen. It’s at the Smithsonian!” I said immediately. She looked at me funny, but eventually realized I was serious. So we did!

Actually, we didn’t have quite as much free time as expected, as we flew in that morning, and experienced my first real medical emergency in flight. A man behind us had passed out, and they thought he’d had a heart attack. It just so happened that there was a doctor and several nurses on the flight, so in addition to the flight crew, the man had excellent care. I was very impressed with the training the flight crew had received and the calmness with which the situation was handled. We were diverted to another airport midway for him to be taken to hospital. He was conscious and talking when the paramedics came into get him, so we hope he is all right. And after some paperwork, we were on our was to DC again.

Back to the Smithsonian – it was wonderful!! I took pictures, listened to interviews Julia had done when she donated the kitchen in 2001, heard clips from old shows, heard cooks from Emeril to Graham Kerr to Martha Stewart talk about the influence she had on their cooking. I was reminded again about when her show first came on, she was really the first to see and use the potential in educational TV – in the 60’s it was mostly men in suits sitting lecturing. It even got my friend interested. And they had the whole kitchen – she had a toaster oven just like mine. I heard other people saying similar things – Look! That’s just like our trash can! our blender! our coffeemaker! If you are at all interested, the Smithsonian has a great online tour at  http://americanhistory.si.edu/juliachild/

And they had quotes and displays – I got so excited I was all stutter-y and incoherent when I read about her Magimix….I had bought a  RobotCoupe food processor around 1975…and still use it today. NO, I have never reduced wet fish to a puree, but I have made bread and dips and grated cheese and done just about every other thing imaginable with it. And I, who am really not that into kitchen gadgets, was in on the start of a trend!!

No, I have never cooked anything from “Mastering the art of French Cooking”. But sometime this winter I will try the Boeuf Bourguignon.

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