Julia Child's 100th birthday celebrated by local bloggers

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In the movie “Julie & Julia,” one food blogger attempts to cook all the recipes from a Julia Child cookbook in under a year. While they are not attempting to create hundreds of recipes, three local food bloggers created other Julia Child recipes in honor of what would have been her 100th birthday.

Lindsey Johnson of Cafe Johnsonia said she came to be a food blogger by accident, but her love for Julia Child stems from childhood.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I just really loved watching her cooking shows,” Johnson said. “She treated her guests with so much respect. She treated them like they were the expert and she was the student. She made it approachable, like it was something you could do.”

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"Floating Islands," a soft meringue cake covered in custard, caramel and fresh berries.
In celebration of Child’s birthday, Johnson recreated a recipe called “Floating Island,” which on her blog she describes as a “pillowy, soft white meringue ‘cake’ floating in a puddle of rich, creamy custard, topped with caramel sauce that turns hard when it cools.” The recipe is available on Johnson’s blog www.cafejohnsonia.com.

Kalyn Denny from Kayln’s Kitchen said she knew who Julia child was, but did not notice her as much until she saw the movie “Julie & Julia.”

“It was really when the movie (Julie & Julia) came out that I became much more aware of her,” Denny said. “A friend sent me her DVDs and I watched all of those and saw how charming she was and what a sense of humor she had.”

Denny also said another thing she loves most about Julia Child is that she makes gourmet cooking look easy.

“The thing I think is most impressive about her is she brought the awareness into the mind of the American public that you can cook gourmet food at home, in a way that no other real cookbook author had done before,” Denny said.

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Eggplant pizza by Kalyn's Kitchen
To celebrate her birthday, Denny tried a Julia Child recipe for Eggplant Pizza, and  said it was quite a hit. The recipe is available on her blog, Kalynskitchen.com.

Becky Olsen from Project Domestication is also an avid fan of Child, and said she knew of her since she was a teenager.

“She had such a strong soul and fervent desire to do something great,” Olsen said. “She took the unbeaten path as a woman of her time. That alone inspires me.”

In part of the 100th anniversary celebration, Olsen is recreating an entire three-course meal. The recipes include Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme (roasted chicken with bacon, onions and potatoes,) Tomates Grillees Au Four (whole baked tomatoes) and finally, Cherry Clafouti for dessert.

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Becky Olsen's Cherry Clafouti
“The Clafouti recipe is a keeper,” Olsen said. “It’s moist, chewy, fruity and has that addictive quality in which you must make sure others are in the kitchen when it comes out of the oven, because you could potentially eat it all by yourself. I think it would be a great recipe for new bakers or anyone wanting to try a recipe by Julia Child for the first time.”

All three woman love Julia Child for different reasons, but all relate to her because of charisma and down-to-earth approach to cooking, which attitude is apparent in Olsen’s favorite quote from Child.

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” -Julia Child.