155: 6 Life Lessons for Living Well from Julia Child
Monday May 15, 2017

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~The Simple Sophisticate, episode #155
~Subscribe to The Simple SophisticateiTunes | Stitcher | iHeartRadio

The more I read about Julia Child, especially in her own words, the more I find inspiration regarding how to successfully journey through life. Saying yes to life, remaining curious and refusing to be intimidated by obstacles, unknowns and not knowing how to do something, we all could probably learn something from Julia Child whether we enjoy cooking or just eating good food. And the lessons she provides are applicable in every arena of our lives.

After reading and loving My Life in France, the Petit Plaisir in episode #152, I wanted to come up with a list of some of the life lessons unearthed about how to navigate each of our journeys successfully in Julia’s own words. Below are six, but there are far more. If the list intrigues you, I highly recommend picking up her memoir which was published just after her death, as she herself, along with her nephew having completed it just prior.

~Be sure to tune in to the audio as far more detail and conversation are shared on each point.

1. Listen to what stirs you. When a passion worth pursuing presents itself, you’ll know. 

“Now that I had started writing, I found cookbookery such fulfilling work that I intended to keep at it for years and years.”

2. If we choose to, we can change.

“After driving to Rouen, we stopped in for lunch at La Couronne, where we ordered exactly the same meal that we’d had on my first day in France, more than two and a half years earlier: portugaise (oysters), sole meunière, salade verte, fromage blanc, and café filter. Ah me! The meal was just as sublime the second time around, only now I could identify the smells in the air quicker than Paul, order my own food without help, and truly appreciate the artistry of the kitchen. La Couronne was the same, but I had become a different person.”

~During the summer of 2018, I had the opportunity while in northern France, to dine at La Couronne. Have a look at my experience in the video below:

3. Self-doubt is natural, and a sign that you truly care about what you are trying to do. Continue to push forward.

“Ah me. There was still so much to learn, and cooking was only half of it. I felt I’d have to teach at least a hundred classes before I really knew what I was doing.”

4. Often the first rejection is a test to determine your true desire.

“I sighed. It just might be that The Book was unpublishable. I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself.I had gotten the job done, I was proud of it, and now I had a whole batch of foolproof recipes to use. Besides, I had found myself through the arduous writing process. Even if we were never able to publish our book, I had discovered my raison d’être in life, and would continue my self-training and teaching.”

5. The key to delicious food is quality ingredients.

“This is the kind of food I had fallen in love with: not trendy, souped-up fantasies, just something very good to eat. It was classic French cooking, where the ingredients have been carefully selected and beautifully and knowingly prepared. Or, in the words of the famous gastronome Curnonsky, ‘Food that tastes of what it is’.”

~TSLL Capsule Menu (how to create it and the Fall Sample Menu)

6. Time, perseverance and asking for help from experts does pay off

“It would eventually take us two years and something like 284 pounds of flour to try out all the home-style recipes for French bread we could find. We used two French textbooks on baking and tutored ourselves on the fine points of yeasts and flours, yet our best efforts still fell short . . . One day I read a newspaper article about Professor Raymond Calvel, an eminent baker and teacher at the École Française de Meunerie . . . Professor Calvel showed us what we’d been doing wrong, and taught us all about making proper French bread . . . By the end of the day, our loaves were turning out just right, and I was feeling euphoric. It was as though the sun in all his glory had suddenly broken through the shades of gloom!”

~Mastering the Art of French Cooking Volume II by Julia Child & Simone Beck


~Decor Inspiration: Julia Child’s Provence Home, rent it!

~Julia Child Rules

~11 Life Truths About Contentment That Seem Impossible Until We Experience Them

~Petit Plaisir

~Dark Chocolate Truffles, click here for the recipe

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10 thoughts on “155: 6 Life Lessons for Living Well from Julia Child

  1. Dear Shannon, I found this article to be most pertitent and could relate on so many levels. Point 5 rang home for me, but I shall push on.
    Thank you for all the thought provoking posts. they are appreciated.
    Kind regards.

  2. “My Life in France” is the kind of book that offers lessons and insights no matter how many times you’ve read it. What I get from her quote in #4 is that success can be defined in different ways. If you are working on something you’re passionate about, then you will have succeeded, regardless of typical measures like fame or money.

  3. I haven’t read her book although it is on my Kindle. I must read it. Thanks for your inspiring article. As a 70-year-old woman, I can relate to these tips from my own well-lived life.

  4. This episode, like all episodes of the Simple Sophisticate, was inspiring. 🙂 What really got me this week was that you gave a shoutout to instagram follower krystar45 in Melbourne. I couldn’t believe it because I have been corresponding with Krysta here in St. Louis, MO. We are both lovers of reading, French language learners, and journalers. I connected with Krysta through my blog, Fleur de St. Louis, which I launched with a lot of inspiration from you. It was amazing to me how because you followed your passion, I followed mine, I connected with Krysta, and Krysta connected with you. What a lovely network! I just wanted to share. 🙂

  5. Thank you for all you share to teach how we can turn living into an art to bring enjoyment and fulfillment in our everyday experiences. Being married to a Frenchman and visiting family and friends every year, I would just add one thing to food preparation: food presentation. I notice that no matter how simple the meal, the food presentation is everything. From how the food is placed on the serving dishes to how the table is set. It makes everything taste so much more delicious! I am so happy to follow you on the Simply Luxurious Life and see your base grow and more and more people can now make living an art! Something that was sort of lost here after the TV dinner.

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