Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Julia!

Remembering Julia Child,

sharing a memory, and serving dinner.

Julia Child

August 15, 1912 - August 13, 2004

Julia Child, very close in age to my mom, would have been 100 years old this August.   In honor of this legendary American icon I felt it appropriate to reprise a post I did as a tribute to Julia Child when I first began Hyacinths for the Soul.  

I rarely cook much any more because my husband does most of the cooking. That allows me the pleasure of  focusing my attention to setting a special table. True, the first 25 years of our marriage I did do the everyday grocery shopping, cooking, and clean up, while my "personal chef" saved his kitchen talents for weekend dinner parties and invited guests. My husband has long held a fascination with cuisines of the world, has a library of cook books, follows many of the Food Network cooking shows, has attended the occasional cooking school, and was a student at The French Culinary Institute in NYC.

Julia Child and Assistant, LaVarenne Cooking School at the Greenbrier

In December 1999 when I discovered that Julia Child would be a guest chef at Ann Willan's La Varenne Signature Series @ The Greenbrier in March of 2000, I signed us up. The week was one of pure delight! The Greenbrier, a National Historic Landmark, is a 6,500 acre estate nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. The southern charm of this national treasure was the perfect setting for a week of culinary classes and pampering by the staff at the Greenbrier. This national treasure has offered classic southern charm and outstanding amenities since the late 1800s.

Julia Child @ The Greenbrier Resort in 2000

As avid fans of the early PBS series THE FRENCH CHEF and later THE JULIA CHILD and JACQUES PEPIN COOKING @ HOME public television series, Julia Child has long shared her culinary expertise with us. The opportunity to attend a cooking session with Julia Child and actually meet her, was the icing on the cake! Or as Julia might say, "The butter on the bread!"

"Elegance with Eggs"
Hard Boiled Eggs, Eggs a la Tripe, Eggs a la Chimay, 
Poached Eggs, Poached Eggs in Aspic, French Omelet, and Cheese Soufflé.

The class we attend with Julia was entitled 

"Elegance with Eggs", and it was all about eggs! 

Julia's joie de vivre was infectious! She did not disappoint!

Julia Child with a Group of Participants
Photo used with permission of Greenbrier Photography

Here we are with Julia.  That's us on the far right.

Le Menu on Courage Brewery Cockerel Menu Stand

The menu is set, and the chef is at work in the kitchen.

CA Chef Mustard Pot and HB-Henriot Quimper Hen On Nest

Welcome to 

"A Casual Dinner for Two"

honoring Julia Child.

As the saying goes, "The rooster may crow,

but it is the hen that delivers the goods!"

Le Coq Quimper Pottery, French Faience Roosters, and Sunflowers 

So our table was set with a chicken theme, both roosters and a setting hen!

Henriot Quimper Le Coq Dinner Plate,
Blue Pinstripe Charger fromNeiman Marcus,
Flatware from Pottery Barn

The Crowing Rooster

A Fresh Baguette, a Basket of Cooking Tools, 

and a Rooster McCoy Planter with Fresh Flowers

A Geo Martel Desvres - Cockerel Double Salt

Fresh Bouquet of Sunflowers

Rex-Goliath Pinot Noir

Petite Tarts with Fresh Berries

Our table is ready and waiting.

Shall we pop into the 

kitchen and see what the chef is doing?

Looks like he is busy cooking our omelets. 

Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits @ Stone Gable 

Julia recommends that the best omelets are made as single servings using only 2 to 3 eggs. Cook the eggs over the highest heat. Once a film of coagulated egg forms, begin to jerk the pan roughly toward you. This throws the egg against the pan and forces it to roll over upon itself.

Then you can slide your 

perfect omelet off onto a serving plate.

Top with a bit of chopped parsley and red bell pepper. 

Then add a simple salad of mixed greens.


you have dinner!

So here's to you, Julia Child!

Bon Appétit!

Thank you for allowing me to 

share some personal memories of Julia Child.

I appreciate the joy that Julia has 

brought into our home through the years.

If you have a personal story 

or remembrance of Julia Child, 

please share it with us in a comment.


French Inspiration Thursday @ French Cupboard


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Dear Sarah. This is my FAVORITE Julia Child tribute so far this month! From the beautiful table to the delicious meal, you have made Julia proud. How lucky you both were to have actually met her. She was "une grande dame." Tonight -perfect timing- I downloaded a new Julia biography, "Dearie," on my Nook. I can't wait to start reading it. Great post. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Sarah~ I love that all your chickens came home to roost in honor of Julia Child's birthday! What fun that week must have been at the Greenbrier! All your Quimper pieces are something to crow about! Thanks for sharing this again since I didn't see it the first time~ Happy Birthday Julia :)

  3. How fun! I'm sure that was an exciting and informative week! Your table is very pretty, gorgeous sunflowers and can't help but notice the pretty pop of color the napkins add-enjoy:@)

  4. The Greenbrier is a fabulous place and how lucky you got to share it with Julia! :) I watched her do a show on French omelets once. She made it look so easy, taking only a minute or two to make one omelet. So, of course I hurried into the kitchen to try it. Didn't work out that well for me! LOL. Have a sweet Tuesday Sarah.

  5. How beautiful, Sarah! And what a great tribute to a very talented and famous cook! Happy birthday, Julia!...Christine

  6. What a rich and beautiful experience! Love your sharing of memories. Julia is such a treasure, I would love to have met her! We live just a ways over the mountain from Greenbrier. The temps have been dropping down in the fifties at night!

  7. I love this post! I spotted you on the right immediately..You have such lovely collections..I love the roosters and that salt and pepper:) How special..Never knew your dear husband attended culinary school.The table is set to a "T" with wonderful souvenirs..
    That must have been so much fun Sarah.

    Love how you have the display of kitchen utensils etc..

    Vraiment vraiment beau!

  8. Sarah,
    No personal memories, sorry...but I was an avid fan of her cooking shows in the 90's! I adore your story and the personal photograph is a dear treasure, I'm sure! Thank you for sharing this tribute with all of us! Your tablescape beautifully sets off your "Chef's" delicious menu! What a precious couple!!!

  9. Sarah I am beyond happy that you and hubby got to meet the amazing Julia Child. I loved her TV show and while I'm far from a gourmet cook I'm a good gourmet diner! Would love to have been at your table and shared this lovely tribute to Julia! hugs, Linda

  10. Dear Sarah,
    I want to hug you for this post. So many eye candies. How amazing to attend a class with this special cook. And how you have set the table, my dear! The Quimper rooster ceramics are so perfect for the menue. And I love the pinstriped chargers. Really exquisite. The rooster salter is a treasure for sure. And even the wine is with the rooster motiv - just perfect. This table should be in a coffeetable book. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post.
    Best greetings, Johanna

  11. Oh, my goodness, Sarah! I love this post. I don't own even one Julia cookbook! I love everything you've shown in your post. Your pretties, the table setting, the food and of course Julia! ;)
    You do have the prettiest things.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. How wonderful that you actual got to meet her in person! I have always loved Julia. Your table looks beautiful and the dinner divine!

  13. I so love hyacinths!

    Popped in from Gonna Love It.


  14. OK. Now I am hungry. Looks delicious and l love the tribute to Julia Childs. You two do the most interesting stuff.

  15. I used to watch Julia on television, but not because I was going to prepare any of her recipes. I just thought that she was wonderful and funny. Your class with her was a marvelous experience. My coveting heart had to be stomped back into place when I spied those pinstripe chargers! Oh my, I love them! Julia would have loved to sit at your delightful table...every detail is perfect. Thanks for inviting us for a peak. Cherry Kay

  16. Very nice tribute to Julia indeed. I placed the newly released audiobook at the local library on my hold list and can't wait till it's my turn.

    Love the converted antique piece to fit your kitchen needs. Very sweet and yet perfect. Thanks for sharing as I love Julia and her hard work to change the american women views as to cooking and entertaining.

    with love,

    Cotton Peony

  17. How cool is THAT that you actually got to take personal instruction from the late, great Julia Child??!!! Wow! I know that is a memory that will stay with you forever! You set a beautiful tribute table, and I'm with Cherry Kay...I need to be put in Time Out for the way I reacted to those fabulous chargers!!!!! They're gorgeous! And that double salt cellar....oh my my!!!! The whole table is wonderful!!! I'm jealous that your husband can cook. Mine can't even order takeout!!! :-)

  18. How lucky you are to have attended a cooking session with Julia...a real dream come true. I am such a fan of the late chef and have a few of her cookbooks. Your table looks lovely! The details are just beautiful! Hurray for a husband that can cook!


  19. Sarah, so glad you reposted this, because I had not seen it. What a wonderful experience it must have been to meet Julia. Your table is wonderful Love the McCoy rooster planter, and of course, the wonderful dishes. And oh my goodness, your husband's omlet looks mouth-watering. If I had thought that Julia could turn my husband into that kind of chef, I would have signed us up for that class too. laurie

  20. an interesting post! being australian, the first i knew about julia child was from the movie with meryl streep.
    aren't you lucky to have your hubby do the cooking. i'd much prefer to set the table too ;)

  21. Sarah this post is delightful and what a wonderful tribute to Julia. A great idea to reprise this post! I'm a big fan too, I read her biography and so enjoyed it. I couldn't wait for the movie Julie and Julia to open. I love anything abut JC. I think it was great you and your husband got to enjoy the company of this famous lady while attending the Signature Series at the Greenbrier. A great photo! A beautiful tablescape, love the Le Coq Quimper plates paired with the chargers. A lovely memory, thanks for sharing it again.

    The French Hutch

  22. How wonderful for both of you to experience Julia! I loved Meryl Streep portraying her in the film. I have the same lovely situation in that my husband enjoys the cooking! So many lovely things on your table. And is there anything cheerier than sunflowers? Such a nice post. Happy Birthday Julia!

  23. Oh my goodness, what a fabulous post and such wonderful memories. Love your tablescape too. Now I want an omelette. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  24. HI Sarah! So glad you liked my mantel. About the butterfly lights. I found them at GoodWill for $2 and they have never been opened. The box said Garden Ridge on them. So maybe if one is near you, you could check them out!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  25. Hello Sarah: What a glorious tribute to Julia Child. Everything--the imaginative tablescape, the photography to capture it all beautifully, and the personal story of getting to see Julia in person--all were so very enjoyable to read and savor--thank you for sharing this with us. I appreciate you stopping by my blog today and leaving a kind comment--thank you!

  26. How exciting to have met the great Julia! Your dinner looks amazing from the table setting (love your salt & pepper celler) to the wine (Pinot Noir is my favorite) to the fabulous entree. Bon Appetit!

  27. What a delightful tablescape; the chicken theme looks very country French. I imagine everyone had a wonderful time learning tips from Julia. But I think your personal chef is even better!

    Thanks for leaving the sweet comment on my Mushroom Houses post.


  28. Such a nice tribute and beautiful table. I used to watch Julia's show and wish I could have been at a table with her. How amazing, thanks for sharing.

  29. Wow that was awesome on so many levels! Lucky you to attend those culinary classes and to me Julia Child! Lucky you again having a husband who likes to cook! I love your tablecloth and of course the dishes as well as all your accents!
    What a wonderful post and the food looks delicioius! I'm sure Julia would have approved! Bon Appetit!

  30. Loved to hear all about you and Julia and your Quimper pottery is just beautiful. Deb

  31. What a fabulous experience it must have been to meet Julia Child and attend her cooking class! I know Julia was always very proud of her perfect French omelet. I loved how she always made cooking seem easy and fun..no stuffiness or mystique from her.

    You table setting was perfect for this delicious meal, Sarah, and I'm sure Julia would have found enjoyed being your guest!

  32. My most favorite tribute to Julia. Love love your story and that you got to take a class from her - wow. I can only imagine. Love your sweet quimper pieces. But the chargers, well they stole my wanting heart! Be blessed, xo marlis

  33. Beautiful tribute. How lucky were you to have met her!

    - The Tablescaper

  34. O, dear one...I enjoyed this so very much. How exciting it must have been to meet Julia...an experience you will never forget.
    Your table and dinner...perfect!
    xo bj

  35. O, dear one...I enjoyed this so very much. How exciting it must have been to meet Julia...an experience you will never forget.
    Your table and dinner...perfect!
    xo bj

  36. Sarah, what a fantastic post! You will always have those fond memories! You are very forrtunate to have your own personal chef :-) My PC treats me to his five signature dishes. He won't even touch a cookbook. LOL Your sweet cupcake liners arrived yesterday. Time to do some baking soon :-) Thanks!!

  37. Of course you love Julia Child. If someone would have asked me if you did, I would have not hesitated to say, "Of course" - even though you never told me.
    Watching those first grainy black and white shows while waiting for my first daughter, my husband and I fell for her. We wanted to try everything she made. He couldn't wait to go buy a "ham slicer" because she said it was what she used for slicing leg of lamb.
    Such fond memories.
    Thanks for sharing your special ones with us.

  38. What a beautiful tribute to Julia Child. I was never much of a cook, but I do remember watching her PBS show when I was a young bride. I never really "got" it! But it was fun to watch her work her magic and create delicious looking meals. For someone who ate so much butter and cream she lived a long and fruitful life. Thanks for sharing your beautiful table.

    Jocelyn @

  39. Beautiful tablescape! We are fans of Julia as well...even my 17 year old son! We still catch the old episodes from time to time!

  40. Oh Sarah, you just did a beautiful tribute to Julia! I think she would have loved your table and the yummy food. Very happy and pretty! Visiting from Let's Dish!

  41. Dear Sarah, this is a splendid post in honor of that interesting and talented chef. How wonderful that you and your husband met her. Visiting from Let's Dish, Olive

  42. Beautiful tribute to JC, Sarah. The table looks lovely, so bright and cheerful! Dinner looks great!
    How lucky to have met her.
    I don't think I watched her when she was younger. Later a few times when she was on with J. Pepin, she was very old then.
    Thanks so much for linking to Let's Dish!

  43. What an interesting post, Sarah! It's so special that you have honored her in this way and how wonderful that you and your husband met her!

    Thank you for sharing your story at Potpourri Friday!

  44. What wonderful memories and a beautiful tablescape!


  45. Great tribute. I remember watching Julia, and being amazed.

  46. I agree. Great tribute. You always set such a glorious table!

  47. She was a treasure and a pioneer getting American to appreciate good food. She also made French food more approachable. Lovely tribute to her.

  48. Sarah, what a lovely tribute to Julia. How lucky you are to have a husband who loves to cook so that you may focus your attention on your tablescapes. Dawna

  49. I remember watching Julia on TV when I was a girl. I thought 'only very special cooks can do what she does'. Of course, I still think that very thing, and have had the pleasure of tasting some of her recipes - alas, never made by me!

  50. Beautiful tablescape! Love Julia Child. How wonderful you got to take a class with her! Thank you for sharing. Visiting from 2805. Would love it if you would share this at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2012/08/make-it-pretty-monday-week-11.html Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  51. I enjoyed every word, every photo of your pst, and your wine choice was brilliant in carrying out your theme. Julia once came to Camden to dine at the Hartstone Inn. I didn't happen to be there that evening!

  52. One of my favourite posts of yours, I was so happy to read it once more.
    Everything is so scrumptious!
    How lucky are we both to have husbands that cook!
    Vive le chef!
    bon weekend

  53. Sarah, it is so much fun coming to see the beautiful posts you create. Your tablescapes never disappoint! What a nice memory you have having met Julia Childs. She really was a talented chef and was entertaining as well. On another subject, I read your comment on Yvonne's blog saying you do not eat fresh tomatoes. I am glad to know there is another person like me on this planet. I also don't eat them fresh but love sauces and other cooked ways to eat them. Anyway, I just thought it was interesting that you said that since I do not know many people that don't like tomatoes. Have a nice weekend! --------- Shannon

  54. what a beautiful tribute to Julia! And what an honor to have taken a class with her!!! How cool is that?!?, cooking with the master of the kitchen!! I remember her not being the neatest cook and her just pushing her egg shells to the floor!! But she was a very special woman, way ahead of her time!!

  55. What a beautiful tribute to Julia Child! I love your table setting, and the roos of course just set the tone. Great looking food too Sarah. Have a wonderful weekend.

  56. Hi Sarah ~ What a lovely tribute to the most amazing Julia Childs and how FUN to have spent an entire week with her at the school. Yes, that would be the butter on the bread! Your meal looks delightful and your table setting a perfect backdrop for French food, down to the Pinot Noir bottle. It's all in the details and you sure do pay attention to those.

    Have a lovely day, Sarah.
    Bon Appetit!


  57. I used to watch Julia on PBS, but never knew her story until I watched Julie, Julia. What an amazing woman and how lucky you were to attend the class and meet her. AND what wonderful food. My mouth is watering. Your table is beautiful and your whole post is a wonderful tribute to this great lady.

  58. What a lovely tribute to Julia. Your plates look wonderful on the striped chargers...and I would ♥ the meal.

  59. Oh Sarah,
    This is the MOST DELIGHTFULLY DELICIOUS post ever. You've complimented every aspect of a PERFECT memory in your life. My very favorite(and it was SUPER HARD to choose one), is the picture of You and your Sweetheart with Julia!
    Such cherished times and Thank you SO MUCH for sharing with us.
    Big Hugs to you,

  60. What a lovely table and beautiful tribute. How special that you were able to attend one of her classes. I love omelets and can have one for dinner as easily as I do for breakfast. Yours turned out perfectly. Visiting from SS @ The Tablescaper. xo

  61. Oh dear Sarah, what a beautiful tribute to Julia Child, the great American chef. The only book I have since I got married is, "The Art of French Cooking" and I always did my dinner invitations with her recipes and since the movie I started to make them again, including her "Beef Bourgignon".. like the movie girl, lol.. I love all the books you posted, how terrific to have so many. How fabulous you got to attend one of her clsses, it's a memorie to treasure for ever! I love her omelets and yours look wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with us. Happy Sunday.

  62. I so love this post. The table set with the chicken theme, be still my heart. I am also a grande fan of Julia Child.
    I am sure you enjoyed that beautiful dinner and you lucky girl, your husband does most of the cooking! Actually I must confess my husband does most of the cooking but...he doesn't follow in the Julia tradition:)
    Have a wonderful week!

  63. How cute is this! and your own hubby the chef - wonderful! Mine doesn't even crack an egg!

  64. Hi Sarah, I came to visit you after our trip to NC. I made Julia's brownies before I left for vacation. How wonderful that you actually took a class from her. I loved your tribute and your beautiful table.

  65. Sarah, This is such a lovely tribute to Julia! It reminded me of our trip to France too.
    ♥, Susan

  66. Beautiful photos. The food made me hungry.

    My blues are here and here.

  67. How fortunate you and your husband are to have seen Julia Child in person! What a treat! Thanks for sharing your beautiful blue table setting.

    Happy Blue Monday, Sarah.

  68. Great share, great post. This is very informative..

    Visiting from Blue Monday- hope you can stop by..


  69. A beautiful tribute to the queen of cookery!

  70. What a lucky girl you were! Of course she was an icon for me too. My sister Jean and I used to cook in the kitchen and pretend we were Julia as we cooked, affecting her accent and teaching our "television audience" as we taught. I just loved the movie Julie and Julia and thought she was portrayed so well. What a wonderful memory for you.

    The table and food are just exquisite and I am so glad that you celebrated this great woman who got many of us interested in cooking!

  71. Dearest Sarah,
    Oh...My goodness! What a beautiful tribute to Julia Childs! I still remember watching her and always being inspired to make something special.
    Your kitchen is so lovely with your many chickens. You have decorated the prettiest table fit for a King!
    Thank you for sharing this delicious post, my friend!

  72. What a fabulous post, tribute and adventure of a life time! Thanks for sharing it and your beautiful table and menu with us!

  73. Delightful post!

    Late visit from Blue Monday.
    My BLUE

  74. I love everything about this post, all of the French touches, the wonderful food, and especially Julia Child, love her!! I remember seeing her on TV when I was a little kid in the 70's, and then when I was much older. I miss her, thanks for sharing.

  75. Marvelous! What a beautiful tribute to Julia Child! You did a fantastic job! My parents were the very same. My Mom cooked for the first several years - then when dad retired he watched a lot of the cooking shows and would send Mom to the store for ingredients - my siblings were the testers - I had already moved out. I have inherited his collection of recipes and hope to put them together for a cookbook for the family - I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  76. I believe her genius was in taking her passion at an older age and running with it. She certainly remains the embodiment of haute cuisine to its finest!! AND THANK YOU DEAREST for coming to visit today! I so hope that a new format to my blog will allow me a bit more creativity. But then I am also looking into creating a website as well...oh, the ideas never stop! Anita

  77. Sarah, what a lovely post and tribute to Julia! I use to watch her with Jacques Pepin. Love your tablesetting and I am especially enamored with the double salt piece.Thoroughly enjoyed this post, thankyou!!
    Happy Tuesday,

  78. That is a neat story Sarah! Your table is very pretty. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!


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