(Video link here.) When Julia child’s first cooking show aired on public television in 1963, it quickly attracted a devoted following of people enthralled by her “home cook’s” presentation of classic French dishes. Child was generous with information and intrepid in showing her personal technique on a show that wasn’t edited. Her flubs and mess-ups got left in, along with her candor about what she’d got wrong and her quick thinking to salvage the situation.

This short clip features Julia preparing to flip a potato pancake — “a rather daring thing to do”— and the extraordinary life wisdom she imparts when she flubs it:


When you flip anything, you must have the courage of your convictions…


“Well, that didn’t go very well.” she says after half the potatoes land on the stove top.

See when I flipped it, I didn’t, I didn’t have the courage to do it the way I should have.


Her assessment is completely honest. You can see her unease as she gets ready to flip the potatoes.

But you can always pick it up. If you’re alone in the kitchen, who is going to see?


She immediately starts refashioning the potatoes into a baked dish.

But the only way you learn how to flip is just to flip.


THAT is a seriously true life lesson!

Julia goes on to explain what she had done wrong, how she had misjudged the readiness of the potatoes.

Anytime that anything like this happens, you haven’t lost anything because you can always turn it into something else.



Julia’s candor, lack of pretension and ability to be totally herself would help fuel a revolution in American cooking and a career spanning decades.



We recommend checking out the trove of Julia episodes on YouTube; they are unny and enlightening. We especially love her improvising on Letterman when the hot plate didn’t work. (Video link HERE.)

via The Atlantic from the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Thanks Fern!

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