Saturday, May 26, 2012

Julia + Jewelia

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If you're interested in reading a book about women working together to make the world a better place, then read The Necklace, by Cheryl Jarvis.

Too often we hear and see in the media about the competition and bitterness between women, so it's a nice change of pace to read how thirteen women took a leap of faith by sharing a diamond necklace and in the process changing their lives forever.

I just finished reading the book about a half hour ago. While I really enjoyed it, I wasn't going to blog about it. But then I thought about Julia Child.

Many food bloggers are celebrating her life by cooking her recipes as part of JC100, since she would have turned 100 years old this year. The cooking and blogging began just this month, so I was already thinking about Julia Child when I started reading The Necklace.

Julia Child inspired so many of us in so many different ways. In this book, the women decided to name the necklace after her. Below is a passage from the book.

Jonell wanted to name the necklace after Julia Child, who'd died two months earlier, on August 13, 2004. The culinary idol had lived her later years in nearby Montecito, where Jonell's husband had built the maple island in her kitchen. Naming the necklace for Child would be a fitting homage to one of the most admirable women of the twentieth century. To Jonell, as well as to the women in the group who'd used her cookbooks and watched her PBS show in the seventies, Julia Child introduced French cooking to Americans with an unpretentious style, an adventuresome spirit, and abundant humor. They appreciated that she didn't come into her own until she was in her fifties, but what they really applauded was her appetite for life. These women saw the spirit of Jonell's homage. Several suggested spelling the name Jewelia.

At the end of the book, after we learn about how the necklace allowed the group to do so much good, there is an especially fitting tribute that provides another way for Julia's spirit to live on.

This past Christmas, the women of Jewelia discovered that the Salvation Army's local Transitional Living Center had an empty kitchen. Gourmet chef Dale asked the center for a wish list, and the group filled the cabinets with commercial pots and pans, small appliances and cooking utensils. A plaque inscribed "Jewelia's Kitchen" commemorates the necklace's namesake.

Julia Child shows us by example about a life well lived. She enjoyed her life while she lived it. And even years after her passing, she continues to inspire us and help others  live each day a little better, because she shared so much of her cooking and her spirit while she was here.

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Red River Interiors said...

I absoluteoy love your blog... great content Also
inspired by your life list. Although I'm a designer
I love cooking and being
inspired by good food.
Stop by and visit.

Lisa said...

rvi - Welcome! Thank you for the kind words. I just dropped by your blog and hope to see many more of your posts!

Esme said...

What an interesting book-this is going on my reading list. Happy Memorial Day-I hope you are enjoying some nice weather.

Lisa said...

esme - Thankfully the weather has been great the past few days. Always glad to share good books. Enjoy!

Nance said...

I always loved watching Julia Child and her exuberance in the kitchen. She was so un-fussy and encouraging. And she cracked me up. Cooking should be joyful because food is, ultimately, meant to be shared and enjoyed.

Lisa said...

nance - Yes! She let us see her trying to figure things out as she went along, so we can do the same. And even when say a chicken fell on the floor or something, she'd just laugh, sip some wine, and carry on. :D

Good and plenty said...

Lovely post. Julia Child is an inspiration as are you.

Lisa said...

good + plenty - Thanks Candelaria!
: )

Chris O said...

I read this book not that long ago and loved it. It was interesting to read how the necklace changed each woman in ways they never thought possible. As well as what ideas and things that started as a result of the necklace.

Lisa said...

chris - I was happily surprised as I read it. Looking forward to the movie too!

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