Julia and her husband Paul Child in France
I hear, read and also have a lot of conversations with women and my girlfriends who feel like they should have their career and life all mapped and figured out by now. Some feel as if they have not figured out what to do yet, it will never get figured out, and where they are now is where they will stay and it is too late to get started on something new.
It is especially hard when you look back at your 20s, and you might remember how you thought you would be in a different place then maybe you ended up in your 30s.
I wanted to start something new that focused on a quick blurb about a strong woman who did not get her start until she was well into her 30s. I think it is inspiring, even for me. When you start to think you should be a lot further in your career, life, love, family, it is nice to see that these women had a 'later' start, but went on to change the world.
When Julia turned 30 in 1942, cooking was the last thing on her mind. In fact, she never really cooked at all and didn't know much about it. In her early 30s Julia was living in Sri Lanka working in espionage! Julia worked as a research assistant for the Office of Strategy Services, she helped the U.S. government pass secret documents to its intelligence officers.
While in Sri Lanka, she met Paul Cushing Child, also an OSS employee, and the two were married September 1, 1946 when Julia was 35-years-old. They were married for 48 years until Paul's death in 1994.
"Paul and I always had breakfast and most of our meals with one another. After his retirement, we often ate at home in our kitchen. Upon his death in 1994, Paul and I had eaten together for almost fifty years." Fifty years. - SourceIn 1948, when Julia was 37-years-old, her husband Paul was transferred to Paris and that is where Julia fell in love with the Parisian cuisine. That same year, Julia attended the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.
Julia, photographed by her husband in Paris, 1948. Courtesy of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. 37-years-old.
Julia decided to join a women's cooking club where she met Simone Beck who was writing a French cookbook for Americans with Louisette Bertholle. The ladies asked Julia to help them so the book would appeal to American women.
In 1951, when Julia was 39-years-old, the three ladies started to teach American women cooking lessons in Julia's kitchen, calling their informal school L'école des trois gourmandes, and testing all the recipes that would be in their infamous book.
Julia and Paul editing Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Julia's 30s was just the beginning of her long and amazing career and it just got bigger and more inspiring. Happy 100th birthday to a true icon!