Another book in the growing list of food memoirs I’ve read. :) I love them.
I’ve been interested in this book for a while, and after having my love of Julia Child reignited by the movie Julie & Julia, I put The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food on my birthday wish list.
For those who don’t know, Judith Jones was Julia Child’s editor, and her experience and skill at editing and marketing cookbooks is one of the big reasons Mastering the Art of French Cooking attained the status it deserved.
This is an extremely lovely memoir, and it’s a treat to read how she developed her love of food and cooking and her stories about all the wonderful chefs and food world celebrities that she’s known. They include James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Fernand Point, and, of course, Julia.
It was also lovely to learn more about Edna Lewis, the author of The Taste of Country Cooking. By coincidence, her cookbook was also on my birthday wish list. I heard about The Taste of Country Cooking from Laurie Colwin’s two food essay collections – she was a big fan of Edna Lewis. I had no idea that Judith Jones was her editor, too.
A great bonus: the last 80 pages of the book are full of recipes from her collection. I found many that I want to try for myself soon.
I love the quote she includes at the end of the book:
As Brillat-Savarin wrote: “The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter of what place in history or society; they can be part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest to console him when he has outlived the rest.” (page 197)
And here’s a great place to end this review – with one of her Julia tidbits:
“Another memorable Julia moment of truth came when I was on the set as she was preparing suckling pig. She was explaining how the ears and tail could easily burn while the piglet was roasting in the oven, so the thing to do was to wrap a piece of foil around each. Then she paused, looking at the creature in front of her, and said that there was an even easier method for the tail. Fortunately, she pointed out, there’s a natural little hole below the tail, so just tuck the tail into that and it won’t burn.” (page 71-72)
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