Julia Child’s First Meal In France, November 1948


“We began our lunch with a half-dozen oysters on the half shell.”

“Rouen is famous for its duck dishes, but after consulting the waiter Paul had decided to order Sole Meunière…perfectly browned in a sputtering butter sauce with a sprinkling of chopped parsley on top.”

“Then came the salade verte with a slightly acidic vinaigrette.”

“We followed our meal with a leisurely dessert of fromage…”

“Paul and I floated out the door into the brillant sunshine and cool air. Our first lunch together in France had been absolute perfection. It was the most exciting meal of my life.” This is as she describes her meal to us in My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme, pages 17 and 18.

To make Sole Meunière: Season the fresh Petrale Sole, then dip it in a beaten egg. Dredge in flour and shake off the excess. Saute in a half butter/half olive oil mixture until light brown. Make the sauce in another pan; brown the butter, finish with lemon juice and chopped parsley. Pour sauce on the platter, then top with the fish. Garnish with lemons and parsley.

A special thanks to Lisa at Champaign Taste for hosting this Julia Child Birthday Event. Please visit her site to link to other bloggers celebrating Julia’s Birthday.

7 thoughts on “Julia Child’s First Meal In France, November 1948”

  1. Anything on the halfshell suits me fine and the Sole Meunière looks irresistable.
    I will check out the Champagne site
    THANKS!

  2. Lori, this is amazing! I absolutely love it. What a fabulous idea, recreating their first meal in France as described in the book. I remember that scene vividly—read My Life in France last summer and I could read it every year. Your photos are beautiful, and your sole looks perfect. I must try making that dish. Thanks again for taking part!

    P.S. The round-up should be up shortly; it’s taking longer than expected to put it together, but I hope it will be worth it. 🙂

  3. What a perfectly lovely tribute! And a great mind to think of such a romantic and proper meal as your birthday present to her! She’s smiling from above!

    BZ

  4. Hi All:

    parisbreakfasts: do you ever paint oysters?
    Oysters are acceptable for breakfast!
    I am so excited to receive your watercolor paintings, I can hardly wait to frame and display them in my guest room.

    lisa: thank you so much, I have thoroughly enjoyed the event. Looking forward to next year. I’m already thinking about my menu…I know it must have taken some work to put it all together, so I appreciate all the time and energy you put in.

    bz: yes, and the next day I made her a bouquet from my rose garden and my friend’s herb garden. I hope she enjoys it from above…

    cynthia: thanks, and I am glad to have found your blog! I cook all types of cuisine, and love to learn about different styles, including Caribbean.

    magpie: I just get such a kick out of Julia! Every time I see a good quote, I put a flag by it in the books. More to come…

    simona: likewise!

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