A few years ago I came across a film called Julie & Julia. I can’t quite remember how I came by it, but I think it was a friend or family member who bought the DVD for me. I didn’t know anything about the film but one evening I settled down to watch it without much expectation. And I absolutely loved it!
For those of you who haven’t seen the film, it is inspired by true stories and follows the lives of two women separated by time but who share a real passion for food. Julia Childs was born in 1912 in California and moved to France in 1948. Having attended the Corden Bleu in Paris, Julia collaborated with two others to write a cookbook entitled Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The aim of the cookbook was to bring French cooking to mainstream America. With great success, Julia went on to become a famous TV chef and author.
Julie & Julia follows the story of Julia Childs’ life in France and the road to publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Intertwined with Julia’s story, is that of a modern day New Yorker, Julie Powell. Julie is about to turn 30 in the year 2002 and in a form of mid-life crises, she turns to Mastering the Art of French Cooking for support. Julie sets herself the challenge of cooking all 534 recipes within one year and blogs about her experience.
Having watched the film, I was instantly inspired and, not only did I want to get in the kitchen, I wanted to start a blog. However, unlike Julie Powell, I am not a writer and I convinced myself there is no way I could write a blog anyone would want to read. And so, I pushed the thought to the back of my mind and just continued cooking for me and my loved ones.
I watched the film again in September last year and once again felt inspired to cook and write. This time, instead of dismissing the idea, I thought to myself, “why not?”! My Facebook posts had becoming completely consumed with pictures of my kitchen experiments and I thought it was about time I found another outlet.
Once I had decided to start this blog, the fear hit me – what if no-one is reading my posts, what if I don’t make time to do it and what if I end up simply giving up!?! I don’t do things by half and I wont start something I can’t finish. The solution to my problem, turn this into a challenge just like in Julie & Julia.
I decided to challenge myself to 52 recipes over the 52 weeks of 2015. Wanting to make this something my friends and family could be part of, I contacted some of my nearest and dearest and asked them for ideas. I asked each of them to suggest one or two things they would like me to cook. Whether it is because my friends and family are very supportive or because they knew they would get to eat whatever I cooked, I was inundated with suggestions. And, before my eyes, Challenge 52 was transformed from an idea to a reality!
I have narrowed down the list and selected my 52 recipes. Starting in January 2015, I will be posting a blog a week, documenting the highs and lows of this challenge and it would be great if you joined me on this journey. You may be inspired to try something different, you may learn something new or you may just enjoy laughing at me as I try to complete Challenge 52 without burning down my kitchen!
And if you need a little more persuading to come back to My Gastro Adventure, here are a selection of the recipes my wonderful friends and family have chosen for me:-
- A macaroon tower
- Simnel cake with homemade marzipan
- Gluten free pork pie
- Beef Wellington including the pancakes
- The mother of all milkshakes
- Candy floss cupcakes
- Pana Cotta with fruit coulis
- Winberry pie
If any of these take your fancy, make sure your here in the first week of January to read about my first challenge, bread and butter pudding. I hope to see you then!