By Nancy Verde Barr
You’ll love this intimate portrait of the inimitable Julia baby by way of Nancy Verde Barr, her govt chef and good friend for 24 years.
Brimming with anecdotes, memorabilia, and snapshots, Backstage with Julia conveys Julia’s generosity, her boundless power, and her love of nutrition and lifestyles. This loving memoir celebrates the adventurous, unassuming essence of the chef who pro American palates and heightened our appreciation of nutrition.
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Additional resources for Backstage with Julia: My Years with Julia Child
The four of them embarked on a marathon of card-playing—solo whist—every Saturday night for a number of years, alternating between the houses and accompanied by sandwiches and bottled beer. It is still my favorite card game and, in the early days, I would enjoy watching them and listening to the lengthy post-mortems of each hand along the lines of “I had a perfect misère but you spoiled it by going abondance,” fascinating and alluring to me at 11, the stuff of comedy a few years later. In the fashion of the time and of our kind of people, we called the adults “Uncle” or “Auntie” and I have fond memories of Auntie Daphne’s kindness, especially as I barely knew the numerous women who were my actual aunts.
Mr. Churchill left the milk each morning. The horse left its manure. My father believed the latter to be just the thing for his tomatoes so, on occasions that I dreaded, I was enlisted to go into the street and scoop the manure into a wide shovel while he, reverting to his staff sergeantness, imperiously held up any passing traffic. I have always been squeamish about such things and the double embarrassment of retrieving manure and my father’s traffic-directing insouciance became almost too much to bear.
The masters were another kettle of 40â•… •â•… B R O K E N P I E C E S fish entirely. What would you make today of a skeletal priest with all the appearance of a Goya Christ in extremis, a complexion that skirted gray and green, wearing a rusty black soutane, with fresh, presumably self-inflicted, deep cuts on his forehead and cheeks, a constant smell of garlic, and an odd manner of holding his long-fingered hands askew at the same sinister angle as his tilted head? To the pupils, he was simply Father Ignatius Loyola (“Dick”) Dunn—a caricature to be savored and accepted—but it is hard to imagine him in any other setting than this imitation public school, home of the dispossessed and the cowed.