People who love to eat are always the best people :: Happy Birthday Julia!

Long before Giada, Ina, and Nigella there was Julia. She needed just one name, for people knew who Julia was. Her television career commenced before I was born, but it was a long career and I have vivid memories of watching her, tall, with her shrill voice, on television - Channel 13. I would watch her truss chickens, debone fish, and prepare these long and complicated meals. She told jokes that at the time were way over my head, but yet even I knew they were funny. She was master of the French Cuisine and authored numerous cookbooks that were almost all named after her shows. She scoffed at "healthy cuisine" and believed that fat (butter and cream) were essential to good cooking. She brought, among many other recipes, Boeuf Bourguignon, French Onion Soup and Coq au Vin to the American table. Her cooking was methodical, detailed and often arduous, with many steps involved. Even though I had never sampled any of her cuisine, I could tell, simply by watching, that every laborious second spent on a dish translated into an end product that was nothing short of exquisite. I seem always pressed for time - my present lifestyle is not exactly conducive to her precision, but perhaps I should make a point, if only on weekends, to try my own hand at mastering the art of French cooking.

Julia was parodied in both Saturday Night Live and on The Cosby Show in the 1980s. Her biography is pages and pages long. She was a great influence on society, our cuisine and to all women - proving that when you find your passion, no matter how old you are you can still succeed, something this late bloomer loves.

While Julia was not terribly fond of Julie Powell, her blog, or her book, Julie and Julia which would eventually become a book and then a movie of the same name, starring Merryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and Amy Adams, the book and the movie would introduce this female Master Chef to a whole new generation. I, for one, happened to love both! 

Want to try your hand at a couple of the recipes Julie made famous? Click on this PBS link to get some of Julia's most famous recipes. For more on Julia Child and her life, please visit the Julia Child Foundation.

Tales from the Bedside...

So, after a long 2 minute debate I decided to take Rebecca to the movies. I have been dying to see Julie & Julia. Dying. I read both Julie & Julia and My Life in France, on which the movie is based. Must reads!

And because you all know my cheapskate tendencies, you know I could not I resist the theater's $6 Tuesday Matinees! We stopped off quickly to get a couple of bottles of soda (Sprite for Rebecca, Coke Zero for me) at the gas station. At $2 a pop we've saved another $4 ;)

We did splurge and get the Big Bucket O Corn at $6.50. Whatever we didn't eat (most of it!) would be shared with the boys and could be their after school snack! A good splurge after all ;)

I loved the movie. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the movie. It was like being on vacation. The 123 minutes flew by and felt like a mini vacation. Meryl Streep is a genius. She was more Julia than even Julia could have been. I also heart Nora Ephron and her writing and her movies. Stanley Tucci portrayed Paul Child impeccably as well. And Amy Adams did a lovely job playing Julie Powel. But it was Meryl as Julia who stole the show. The larger than life actress portraying a larger than life chef with such precision should bring home an Academy Award. If my grandfather was still alive I would write and tell him so. A former film producer for the Metro Goldwyn Mayer studios, he was one of the Academy's nominating members. He was also one of the founders of SAG, the Screen Actor's Guild. He met my grandmother (photos of one of her houses in a previous post) in Paris fairly late in life. They were in their 50s. They were a perfect pair... complimented each other perfectly... they were truly champagne and caviar. Just like Julia and Paul. You will fall in love with cooking. You will fall in love with Julia and Paul... you will fall in love with love!

I have not seen a movie of this caliber in ages. I laughed... and boy did I laugh! I cried and boy did I cry! I'm a sap... they were happy tears. It was such a happy and uplifting movie. I will absolutely see it again... la prochaine fois avec un peu du vin, un peu de pain, un peu de brie et mes copines!

My afternoon at the movies was my answer to my much needed escape. I left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated... which is surely not how I feel at the end of our vacations!

And all my preppy friends... you will adore all the plaid, pearls, monograms and of course Paris! Julia was the ultimate preppy and so I think it safe to say hers was the ultimate Preppy Cuisine!

And I thought of another Preppy (grunge) Band... why Pink & Green and Pearl Jam of course!

So I was feeling pretty good yesterday.

Until I wasn't.

And the headache like no other came on full force from nowhere.

And the fever spiked.

Out of the blue.

Perhaps I never should have said it would have been better to have been sick during the week.

Clearly this bug kicked my White After Labor Day Ass.

But my husband finally saw the Light.

He helped get the kids ready for school.

And he took them to school.

And I was able to get Alexander in the Lunch Bunch/Extended Day program.

Best $50 I could ever spend. (Sometimes I am not so cheap.)

And Right now my Motrin has kicked in and I don't feel like death. So I'm chillaxing bedside. I'm glad to have the chance to rest. I will not do anything over the next couple of days in hopes that this will really be the end of our health woes for a while.

But last night I didn't feel so well. So I Googled Swine Flu Symptoms.

I went to WebMD and got this:

What are swine flu symptoms?
Symptoms of swine flu are like regular flu symptoms and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. Many people with swine flu have had diarrhea and vomiting. Nearly everyone with flu has at least two of these symptoms. But these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions. That means that you and your doctor can't know, just based on your symptoms, if you've got swine flu. Health care professionals may offer a rapid flu test, although a negative result doesn't necessarily mean you don't have the flu.
Like seasonal flu, pandemic swine flu can cause neurologic symptoms in children. These events are rare, but, as cases associated with seasonal flu have shown, they can be very severe and often fatal. Symptoms include seizures or changes in mental status (confusion or sudden cognitive or behavioral changes).

And that's when I learned that I was dying. I had ALL the symptoms. I bet the kids had it too. And now I am dying. Suddenly I cannot breathe. My husband is not yet home. What would my children do without me? Because I felt THAT bad. (Gee, wonder where Rebecca gets her dramatic tendencies?)

So a lesson to all the others dying, never let the Internet diagnose your illnesses. (Thanks to Internet diagnoses I have survived Ebola, numerous Brain Tumors and stomach cancers.) By the grace of God, by some miracle, I was cured in my sleep. I can breathe again. I did not kick the bucket... not yet...

And thanks to a little Motrin I am now merely uncomfortable as opposed to miserable. And because I still have a fever I know that staying in bed and watching trashy television in a dead quiet house is an absolute must!