I love to cook.
Julia was a pioneer in the cooking industry. She and the Galloping Gourmet were the two cooking shows I remember growing up. GG cooked with a lot of wine, so I didn't find him particularly helpful. When he returned years later, he was cooking healthy but using spices to cut the fat. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to pepper. Any kind of pepper. I'm able to cheat a little bit, but not much and not often.
I'd grown up hearing that only men could succeed in cooking. All the great chefs were men. Except Julia Child. I was deterred from pursuing cooking as a career, but no one could stop me from cultivating it as a beloved hobby.
Experimenting is part of the fun. I remember having three recipes for Angel Biscuits. I tried all three, at the same, and taste tested. I kept two of the recipes, noting one was savory and one was sweet. I would have explored a lot more if things had been different, but they weren't.
Because of Julia Child, I always cook with unsalted butter. Always. A corner of my freezer is stocked with butter. It freezes very nicely. I learned the importance of quality ingredients.
Granted, there were a lot of her recipes I knew were beyond my means to prepare. I'm practical, or try to be, most of the time. I have been extravagant a time or two.
Watching Julia with Jaques Pepin, I finally learned how to flip vegetables in a pan. Now, whenever I cook zucchini, I think about the lesson they taught as an aside while they were preparing some side dish together. I don't even remember what they were cooking, but I use the jerk and flip technique on a regular basis.
As particular as she was, she also excelled at being flexible in the kitchen, or at least I learned to accept things didn't always turn out perfectly. She made mistakes as an expert. It was okay if I made mistakes as an amateur. I also learned there were many ways to do the same thing. There were very few "only way to do it," but there were ways she preferred to do it. I learned it was okay to choose my own preferred way.
She loved food, preparing it, creating with it, enjoying its flavors and textures and aromas. That part of her lives in me. I might have explored cooking regardless, but her enthusiasm for what she loved and her choice to live boldly are things I want for me.