Thursday, March 2, 2017

10 Fascinating Facts About Julia Child

Julia Child was born Julia Carolyn McWilliams, in 1912, Pasadena, California. She was a history major at Smith College in Massachusetts. Her plans were to become a famous writer. At 6'3 she far surpassed that aspiration, as she become a life inspiring role model etched in the minds of all those that came across her in life.

Two minutes, Maybe Even 3

Julia MCWilliams joined the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) during World War II, she was too tall for the WACS or the WAVES. She started out as a typist and because of her educational background was promoted to a top secret researcher. One of her projects was working on shark repellent. The OSS later became the CIA.

I found a film on YouTube about the signaling mirror and how it is used if you would like to see it check the link.

She met her husband also an OSS employee while working in Kunming, China.  They were married in Stockton, NJ and the reception was held at her husband Paul Child's twin brother's house in Lumberville, PA in 1946.

It was Paul who inspired his "challenged in the kitchen" new wife to become an expert cook.  While living in France she attended the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

She purchased her gas range for $410 in Washington D.C., in early 1950 when the couple lived there. It was a used restaurant range and it moved up to Cambridge, MA on their next relocation. The stove is at the National American History Museum to the left in the picture.


In 2000, Child received the French Legion of Honour and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003 by President George W. Bush; she received honorary doctorates from Brown University (1976), and Boston University (1976) , Smith College (1985) (her alma mater), Harvard University (1993), Rutgers University (1992) Johnson & Wales University (1995), Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park (1996), Newberry College (1996), California State (2004).

Child made an appearance on a Boston (NET) National Education Television program in 1962, demonstrating, how to cook an omelet, as part of a book review.  Viewers enjoyed her so much, it lead to her first televised cooking show in 1963, The French Chef. She continued demonstrating her culinary skills with the last recorded program "Julia Child's Kitchen Wisdom" a two hour special in 2000.

She was nominated for an Emmy in 1966 and received an Emmy Award in 1996.

Besides her engaging personality, Julia Child had the tools to make any meal appealing.  Here are some of her most prized tools, pots and pans.

Julia donated her house in Cambridge to Smith College, who later sold it and her kitchen was donated to the Smithsonian American History Museum in 2002. You cannot enter the kitchen but you can admire the essence of a woman that made cooking fun.  If you ever heard her voice or watch her television show, you will never forget her, for the rest of the world it is nice to have her memory preserved in time. There are 23 Cooper Pots and kitchen gadgets on the Wall of Pots in the background and several more of her favorite assistants in the foreground.

Julia Child passed away in 2004, just two days shy of her 92nd birthday.  It is said that her last meal was French Onion Soup.

 Bon Appetite! Julia Child

All the artifacts seen in the photographs, can be found at the National American History Museum in Washington D.C.

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