Julia Child became a world-renowned culinary icon for her bestselling books along with her raw and clumsily humorous cooking show that transformed food pop culture in the 20th century. But she is more than just an idol for people immersed in the culinary world, she remains an inspirational figure for every lost, awkward, or unmotivated individual to look up to.
…And I literally mean look up—the woman was 6’2″ and owned it. Julia didn’t actually begin cooking until she was 32-years-old and moved to France with her husband. She always used to say, “up until then I just ate.” She didn’t realize her true passion right away, but embraced the meandering, nonconventional path that landed her as a kitchen legend.
This small selection of Julia quotes are only a few of many that are relatable for any individual struggling with decisions, love, fear, and/or (of course) food.
1. “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Much like picking an extracurricular, major, or even career you have to keep your interests in check and work towards a life that will make you happy.
2. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Forget the haters and all your doubts. You do you.
3. “I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter. Most doctors feel that you can have a little bit of everything.”
Most people associate Julia with using a lot of butter in her cooking. She never shied away from using fat because “fat gives things flavor.” She also recommended that “if you’re afraid of butter, use cream.”
4. “Life itself is the proper binge.”
She may have adored French cooking and all the buttery creamy goodness that comes with it, but she understood the importance of balancing her diet and treating rich food as a luxury. That being said, she also famously advised, “everything in moderation…including moderation.” It’s okay to let loose and have fun sometimes, go get that extra scoop of ice cream.
5. “I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.”
For all the homies out there who spend way too much money on a bouquet of roses, nothing proves your love more than a home-cooked meal. Don’t worry, it can be simple, cheap and impressive all at once.
6. “Usually, one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is.”
This is for anyone who thought they overcooked their chicken or didn’t write an A+ paper. You are your own worst critic.
7. “Someone may offer you a freshly caught whole large fish, like a salmon or striped bass. Don’t panic—take it!”
So chances are you’re not going to find yourself holding a gigantic salmon and struggling to find different ways to use it. But, in college sometimes an opportunity appears out of no where that can seem terrifying or way over your qualifications. Don’t freak out, embrace it.
8. “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
It’s the ones that don’t want to order a pizza with you that you have to watch out for.
9. “A party without cake is just a meeting.”
Celebrate good times the right way—which for some people means baking a rainbow cake using only natural dyes.
10. “The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.”
Finding a career or lifestyle that makes you proud, fulfilled, and happy is far more impressive than any trophy or plaque you mount on your wall, and people will recognize that.
11. “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.”
A woman after our own heart. She was also quoted saying “wine is one of the most agreeable and essential ingredients of life.” Almost as agreeable as you, Julia.
12. “Don’t for the love of heaven let anybody rush you into anything.”
Similar to making a loaf of bread, time is crucial in life. Big decisions can’t be made in a hasty minute, you need time to let options ferment and develop.
13. “The thing about food is you’re a much happier person if you eat well and treasure your meals.”
Kicking up your meals a notch and exploring different flavors and cuisines can do a lot for your lifestyle. Meals become exciting and fresh, especially when enjoyed with great company.
14. “Nothing is too much trouble if it turns out the way it should.”
Many times throughout the semester you might feel like it’s time to throw in the towel. (Do I actually need to do all this research for my paper or can I just use Wikipedia and suffer with a lower grade?) Putting in the extra effort pays out in the end, much like taking the time to make a pear galette from scratch.
15. “This is my invariable advice to people: learn to cook—try new recipes, make mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun.”
Julia always thought everyone should have a what-the-hell kind of attitude. What’s life if it’s not a chance to have new experiences, be fearless, and be able to laugh at ourselves if we mess up?