I am reading Julia Child's My Life in France for the first time. I wish I could have met her. Such zest for life, such uninhibited enthusiasm! I listen to her descriptions of what she ate, and the joy bubbles off the page in a fragrant steam. Reading a chapter is like eating a good meal - satisfying and decadent. She didn't let her stature (6'2", size 12 feet) hold her back in a society of petite French women. She utterly forgot herself and threw herself into her work and life with absolute dedication. What an example! What happiness, to pursue your passion!
I love to sit and read recipe books, especially the kind with coloured photos. I went through Two Greedy Italians Eat Italy recently, and it was all I could do not to lick the pages. Cream and butter, pecorino, cinnamon, apricots, mascarpone, mortadella, golden syrup, rosemary, courgette, lemon, olive oil, honey, tangerine. You rise from reading, satiated without having eaten a morsel.
Food is such a touchy topic for people. There's too little, there's too much, it's out to kill us, it's our friend and the cure for everything. It will make you fat, it will make you thin, it will cure disease, it will cause it. It stresses you out and comforts you. It comes from too far away, it's laced with nasty things. It's pretentious, it's common, it's fresh, it's cooked, it's raw. It's ancient, it's modern. It's art. It's the stuff of life.
Personally, I side with Julia. It's a joy, and when you open yourself to life - joy - food - you are filled. She ate rich wonderful food all her life and lived to be ninety-two. That's a good enough endorsement for me.
I'll talk to you later. I'm off to the kitchen.