Monday, August 17, 2009

Julia's Beef Bourguignon - let's try it!

I'm wondering how many of you have seen the movie, "Julie and Julia", just out last week. Based on the crowd when I went mid-week, I'd say a handful. Based on when I went AGAIN yesterday, I'd say many.

Yep, I went twice. Wednesday was with six other women, after we'd met for a supper Julia would not have approved of (Panera's), but the evening was delightful. The theater had maybe fifty people, and seriously, only one was male. Sunday was a different story, with the theater filling up to within three rows of the front, and there were about a dozen brave men who accompanied their wives.

Smart men. One of those men was my husband, who just before the movie had complained, 'there just aren't any good, really good movies out there anymore.' After the movie ended he said, 'now that was a GOOD movie. We should buy it when it comes out.' Which means he's willing to watch it twice, which is what I'd just done. Twice within five days. Which means I get to see it three times, or more.

The second viewing was better than the first. I was able to sit back and really enjoy things I'd missed the first time around. As usual Meryl Streep was phenomenal. How that woman BECOMES the part she's playing just baffles me. Meryl Streep has children in their late teen years and I often wonder if they realize how brilliant she is or if they're typical of that age, finding their mom a bit embarrassing (thinking Mama Mia here.)

I don't do most things halfway. I generally jump in with both feet, and this time is no exception. I'd seen the trailer for the movie several weeks ago, and immediately went to the library. I felt I'd won the lottery, scoring a copy of her autobiography that the movie is based (half) on, "My Life In France", and several of her cookbooks. After I brought them all home and spent some time browsing through them, I decided I was being greedy and returned a few, but kept "My Life in France" and "Baking with Julia". In a month or so when the Julia fever has died down some, I'll go back and check out a few more. I'm dying to check and see if I have any of her cookbooks at the lake. I'm thinking, hoping there's maybe one on my shelf.

If you haven't seen the movie, go. There are a few offensive words, and a few scenes that would not be appropriate for younger audiences. Our audience didn't have anyone anywhere near 'young' in it, either time. There were many duos and as I listened to them it was clear it was a mother and daughter, or two sisters, or a bookclub or such. We found the audience very ecclectic, with a big span in age, wheelchairs and walkers abounding but that may have been the time slot we chose (Sunday afternoon matinee.)

So how good was the movie? At the end of the Sunday showing, they clapped. The audience clapped. How often does that happen?

I'm not ready to go take cooking classes in French cuisine, but I am going to make Julia's Beef Bourguignon. (Click here for her recipe.) It's one of three pivotal recipes in the movie, and I thought I'd attempt that rather than boning a duck or killing a lobster. (We actually did that once, for an anniversary when we couldn't find a sitter. We bought two lobsters, brought them home and let them have races across the kitchen floor before plopping them into the pot. Our kids were pretty little at the time and were fascinated by the whole affair.) The recipe is labeled as 'difficult' but reading through it, it didn't really sound so to me, just a bit time consuming. The season is about to change, stews and such cozy comfort food will be just the thing, and I plan to make it and have somebody over to share it with us. With a good bottle of wine, and a toast to Julia and friends and good food.

If you haven't seen the movie - go. At least once. Even if you don't love cooking. Julia had many life lessons to share that we'd all be better people for mimicing. I won't give the movie away, but her acceptance of whatever life dished up, embracing her situation and surroundings, zest for life, love of people.... the list goes on and on.

P.S. There's a chocolate cake featured in the movie, I'm not even a big chocolate fan, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to get that recipe too. Santa may just have to get me a copy of that cookbook if I don't already own it. And some elastic waist pants to go with...


Teri in CO said...

I am new to you blog and I just had to comment about the movie. My hubs and I went to see it Saturday night and loved it! And the audience clapped at the end of ours too!

Linda said...

I saw it last week with my Mom and my daughter - and we all loved it. I am planning to go again with my husband. It is so rare that a movie comes along that I really want to see let alone see again!
I don't love cooking, but even I want to get my hands on that cook book. Julia is just plain inspiring - in so many ways (just as you said so well Bev).

Barb said...

I can't wait to see it. Meryl Streep is always, always phenomenal - you can tell just from the trailers from the movie that she IS Julia. I suspect her kids are very proud of her.

Becky said...

Hahaha ... elastic waist pants. YOUR NOT KIDDING! I am going to see that movie. I have to wait until it comes out on DVD but that way I can watch it twice in 2 days if I want :) Thanks for the motivation.

And about Meryl. I love her. She is amazing. Just amazing.

SentimentsbyDenise said...

I, too, loved this movie!
I took my two adult children to see it because one loves to cook and the other loves to bake - both are very good at their chosen fields!
I'm inspired to make Julia's Beef Bourguignon also. I'll let you know when I work up the nerve to give it a try!
Meryl Streep was just fabulous in this movie, as always!

Kim said...

I am hoping and praying that the movie is on DVD by the time the daughter comes to visit in Dec. so she can bring it!!! I read the book Julie and Julia a few years ago and found it a fun read. I have often checked Julia's cookbooks out of the library and owned one (the daughter now has it). I only brought a fraction of my cookbooks with us when we moved but knowing I could find just about anything online mitigated my sadness.

BTW, love the new "look"!

Kelly said...

OK, now you've convinced me I need to go see this one. And if it encourages me to cook... Rusty may even be on board to watch it with me:-)

Becky said...

I agree with everything you eloquently, I might add.

I RARELy go to the movies, but was at the beach with my two sisters-in-law and we went. FUN, GREAT stuff.

Finally, a wholesome(almost), inspiring, and delightful movie....and a true story to boot ~ gotta love that. Meryl is brilliant. Loved the sets; the lighting was amazing, making them so charming. Loved the clothes.

Oh, for more movies like that!

Sammy said...

I LOVE Meryl and I can't wait to see the movie!

I also can't wait to hear how your Beef Bourguignon turns out. I wish I was so ambitious in the kitchen! :-) Maybe the movie will inspire me.

Overwhelmed! said...

First of all, I love your new blog design. It's very cute!

Now, I must say that I drug my husband to this movie and we both loved it!!! It was fabulous!

I left the theater telling my husband that I want to buy the movie too! :)