julia child, mastering the art of french cooking, julie powell, french cuisine

It’s not you, it’s me.

You may be wondering, “Whatever happened to that crazy girl who was going to cook her way through the Julia Child cookbook?” Well, believe it or not, I’m still here. Despite the fact that it’s been nearly two months since my last post, I haven’t given up on this project – I’ve just taken a little hiatus. (I just lost money for some of you, didn’t I?)

We’re all friends here, so can I be frank? (Actually, you be Frank…I’ll be Jessica. Ba-dum-pah!) Cooking French cuisine isn’t cheap. The cost isn’t astronomical, mind you, but you can’t buy the kind of ingredients these recipes call for at your local discount market. While this wasn’t an issue in the beginning, times are changing. Between the current hike in gas prices (ye godz!) and a recent increase in property taxes, when it came time to reconsider our financial priorities, it wasn’t hard for me to determine that the first thing that needed to go (at least for a little while) was prime beef.

While I feel justified in my decision to put the Julia Project on hold, I will admit that I may have made this financial sacrifice a little…eagerly. After all, this cooking thing takes a lot of time and energy, and a little holiday sounded nice. Besides, who would notice if I took some time off? Let’s face it, I get about 30 comments on this site a day, all of which are spam. And not just any spam…really poorly written spam, which makes me doubly cringe. To be honest, when the only daily comments I see are from folks promoting Foot Fetish sites and Computer Software (okay, okay, I promise to never mention “Foot Fetish” on a cooking blog again), it’s a little difficult to stay motivated. So I say pass the Hamburger Helper and let the hiatus commence!

And then, out of the blue, I got an email from a reader. Not a personal friend or family member, but someone whom I have never met who basically said, “Hey, what gives?” I sat there sort of stunned, staring at the email and wondering how many others were out there. That one note kind of changed my whole outlook on this thing. I guess people really are reading this blog, and whether it’s 5 or 500, I’ve made a commitment to do this thing. And so I did a little soul searching.

What it really comes down to is this: I have to ask myself, who am I doing this project for in the first place? Is it for me? Is it for you? And I’ve decided that ultimately, it has to be for me. I have to be self-motivated enough to disregard the spam comments and sally forth knowing that when this is all over, I’ll be able to print out these entries and bind them into a book that I can look back on and think, “Wow, I really did that!” If I’m able to reach a few people in the process, then that’s just icing on the proverbial cake. (Mmm…cake….)

While standing around in the kitchen, my husband said to me last week, “You know what I miss? Julia Child.” And I had to agree. The smells that come from the kitchen when I’m making one of her delicious sauces, or the sizzle of steak in the pan on the stove – we had really gotten used to having ol’ Julia around. Maybe you had, too. And so, without further ado, I bring you a sneak peek of coming attractions…

Later this month, I’ll be receiving a special package, which I admit I’m anticipating with a mixture of excitement and dread. It’s nearly time for me to face my ultimate fears and tackle what I fondly refer to as “the grody chapter” of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. If you’re a vegetarian, you may want to take a vacation that week…that’s all I’m saying.

Whether you’re a following of 1 or 1,000, thanks for tuning in to this blog. And thanks, reader, for the email. It made my day. Even if it was a bit of a kick in the pants.

Stay tuned for more adventures from the kitchen,
– Jessica

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2 Responses to “It’s not you, it’s me.”

  1. Gwen Frazier says:

    I am SO happy to get your email today!!! Frankly I was worried if I was going to have to cook the brains from my cow myself! (NOT!!). I can hardly wait to bring you my gift and you can save money that week with all these lovely bovine parts! Bon Appetite and glad you are back!!

  2. jcwy says:

    Hi Jessica! This is Joyce, a random reader from Malaysia.

    I hope you keep cooking Julia’s recipes! Missed your updates. (:

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