Her First Meal in France #CookForJulia

Julia’s First Meal in France
with Husband, Paul Child
(a re-creation)

We rolled to a stop in La Place du Vieux Marché,
the square where Joan of Arc had met her fiery fate.
There the Guide Michelin directed us to
Restaurant La Couronne.

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Rouen is a 2000 year old city located in Normandy
on the Seine River not too far from the English Channel.

In Rouen, France
November 1948

The waiter is telling them about the chicken they ordered, Paul whispered, how it was raised, how it will be cooked, what side dishes they can have with it, and which wines would go best.

“Wine?” exclaimed Julia, “at lunch?”

We began our lunch with oysters on the half shell.

They had a sensational briny flavor and a smooth texture that was entirely new and surprising.

Sole Meunière

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.

I lifted a forkful of fish to my mouth, took a bite, and chewed slowly. The flesh of the sole was delicate, with a light but distinct taste of the ocean that blended marvelously with the browned butter.
It was a morsel of perfection.

julia child salad rouen

Then came the salade verte laced with a slightly acidic vinaigrette.

Along with our meal, we happily downed a whole bottle of Pouilly-Fumé, a wonderfully crisp white wine from the Loire region. Another revelation!

cheese cart
We followed our meal with a leisurely dessert of fromage…

Paul and I floated out the door into the brilliant 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 with Alex Prud’homme,
published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 2006).

Happy Birthday Julia Child
Merci Beaucoup
Toujours Bon Appétit

 Join the world in celebrating Julia Child: #CookForJulia

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To commemorate Julia Child’s 100th birthday on Taste With The Eyes
I am reprinting a few of my favorite JC posts this week.
Then on her actual birthday, August 15th, I will share a lovely new dish
Loup de Mer à la Provençale
prepared especially in her honor.

8 thoughts on “Her First Meal in France #CookForJulia”

  1. Absolute perfection in a post: amidst a busy day thoroughly savoured and now tucked away for the morrows . . . thank you to BOTH of you . . . and I quietly remember feeling much the same as a young bride on my first trips to France.

  2. I devoured “My Life in France” and since reading this Post, I know I will go back and re-read it again. This is just beautifully done, Lori Lynn. Another remembrance of this wonderful woman.

    1. And how fortunate were you to get to know her? Awesome. Love the pic of the two of you together at dinner in Aspen. She is just so darling. Like no one else on the planet, ever. HB 100 JC!
      LL

  3. Beautiful memories brought to life!

    Lucky me, when I read Julia’s memoirs I hear her voice, and only hers. May have to do that I watched so many reruns of her TV shows with my children. My son does a pretty good imitation of her. He also started learning to cook, on his own, with her books as a very young boy.

    I own a first edition of the second volume of Julia’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and a typed manuscript of a demonstration Julia Child gave at the Smithonian Institution on March 7, 1972, titled “A triple entente for the Ides of March”.

  4. Beautiful post. My favorite meal in France was calf’s liver of all things, but it was that good to be memorable. Sole Meunière, I understand was one of her favorite dishes. Mine too. I hated that movie Julia and Julia because the American Julia was never really like that, very crude and twisted. The real Julia wouldn’t respond to her for good reason. I am sad that Ms. Child didn’t have a movie only about her, but I’m glad her legend continues. There will never be another Julia Child.

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