Tag Archives: food

Cleaving- Julie Powell: Julia Child was Right

I loved Julie Powell’s first book “Julie and Julia” (which we all know by now thanks to the Meryl Streep and Amy Adams film) is about a woman who spends a year cooking from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child and blogging about it.   What made Julie so irresistible to me was that she tried so hard.   I loved her imperfections: her not so impressive job, her crappy apartment, her salty language, her penchant for TV and strong drinks.   And I loved her husband, Eric and how much he cheered her on and believed in her and picked her up when she was falling apart.

Her follow up book: “Cleaving” centers around Julie’s apprenticeship in butchery.  Much like Julie and Julia, we get the detailed and not so pleasant facts about carving up an animal: lots of organ meat talk, way too much information for me on the parts of a side of beef and the slaughter of animals.  So I sort of skimmed through these parts.  (Some of it was fascinating, and I admired her dedication to the craft).  And I did find myself craving a steak so I can’t say it turned me Vegan.

In between the play by play of carving up a pig, the reader learns about Julie’s obsession with D. (D. should be for Dirtbag), who she cheats on Eric with for 2+ years and then mourns for him like a lovesick teenager.  Eric knows about it and doesn’t leave her.  Julie doesn’t leave Eric.

Instead, she leaves for the Argentina, the Ukraine and Tanzania, (a little “Eat Pray Love”-ish but not nearly as deep).   Just when I was about to give up on finishing the book, it was kind of fun to learn about the Ukraine and the people of Tanzania.

I know Julia Child thought Julie’s language was a little too salty and she declined to meet her in person.  I remember thinking that Julia was a little old fashioned.  Now I think I am with Julia.

Cleaving

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Drive Thru Everything

In Central New York (where I am originally from) there is a place called the “Slice and Go Deli”.   It never looked appealing in the least until I became a mother.    How much I would love for something like the Slice and Go Deli to be here in the suburbs of Boston so I could get a nice roast beef sandwich or a ½ pound of Boars Head turkey without unstrapping my kids from their car seats to go inside.
Not only does this take a lot of physical energy and effort, it takes some mental sharpness to convince them that going into the grocery store will be “fun”.

Yesterday I considered offering to buy a stranger a cup of coffee if they pick me up a Dunkin Donuts Medium Regular while I sat in the parking lot with my sleeping 3 year old.

This type of brazen behavior is not beneath me.  A few years ago I rolled down my window and asked some lady I didn’t know if she’d poke her head into the drycleaners and tell them to come outside.  There is a nice family who owns the drycleaners and they will bring my drycleaning out to me or help me bring it inside.  They have also been known to hold my baby while I run to the car.   Hey, it takes a village.

Anyway, I know I am surrounded by quaint New England towns where the selectmen don’t cotton to Drive Thru businesses, but I could sure go for the drive thru Daquiri place I saw when I visited New Orleans.

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