A French Letter

Ma Chere Jen,

The Duck Pond is full of gems and valuable links and one recently hit the spot. It involved a scene from the movie Julia and Julia and featured the ubiquitous phrase ‘Do the Verk’ which is etched into my writing brain.

I ferreted around in the cupboard near the TV and found a pile of DVDs, including Julia and Julia still in its plastic wrapper and underneath a few copies of Breaking Bad, borrowed from the kids, (Note to self: Must return.)

It seems that this movie was vetoed by the males in my house every time it was suggested so it has remained in a virginal state.

I ripped off the plastic and inserted it into my computer’s drive; it was like taking myself off to a movie matinee.

I love that it was about blogging and the difficult path to publishing as well as being filled with food, glorious food! I smiled at Julia Powell’s complaint that only her mother read her blog and I have the same feeling, that only a few faithful friends read mine too and I no longer even have a loyal mother around. But I applauded her resilience and determination to get to the end.

And of course then there is the food and boeuf bourguignon. At the risk of sounding pretentious, I have cooked this dish in Paris a number of times only because my son and family were living there and we made a few short trips as fairy godparents, to welcome two new grand daughters.

They lived right near Bon Marche, a gourmet food supermarket so I was able to buy amazing ingredients for the dish and add to it by visiting the weekly farmer’s market in a street nearby. It had never tasted so good and I didn’t even follow a recipe.

Another image from the movie resonated with me: the orange Le Creuset casserole dishes that are used. In the 70s we travelled around Europe with a non toilet trained toddler in a camper-van, cloth nappies slung around the cabin so we looked like gypsies. But we diverted to Andorra, a duty free state, and I bought a selection of orange Le Creuset dishes.  I still have them and in winter I use them every week, cooking Coq au Vin and of course Boeuf Bourguignon.

So despite Meryl’s odd enunciation and all the cigarette smoking, I loved this movie and had a few tears in a number of places. It was a nostalgic journey especially with the images of the beautiful buildings of Paris bathed in golden light and of course the Shakespeare Bookshop on the Seine. Talk about product placement!

So merci Jen and bon appétit!