Life Itself Is The Proper Binge

an old gouache illustration I recently found in my sketchbook

Most people love Julia Child because of her contributions to the American culinary scene. Those of you who know Julia's work probably think of her cookbooks, her cooking show, or Meryl Streep's portrayal of her in Julie & Julia. Those who just know her via pop culture can probably conjure vague images of fluffy brown curls, a pearl necklace, a strange voice, and maybe that one SNL skit.
Yes, this tall, Amazonian woman with the reedy voice dragged Americans from their mid-century frozen dinners into the realm of classical French cooking. Her recipes are delightful, her cookbooks still very much in print, and her show streamable on several platforms. There are even a couple biopics and documentaries, the latest being “Julia” on HBO Max.
But really, her cooking and writing isn’t the reason Julia Child holds a top seat on my list of Women Who Inspire. In fact, I am the insufferable person who stands on the fringe of any casual conversation about Julia Child with a comment ready to hand: “Yes, but did you know Julia and Paul Child were in the Secret Service?”