One drawback of living on an island in the middle of the Pacific - especially if you're really a city girl - is having to wait for movies to "open wide" and sometimes even longer than that. My friend Charlene and I are positively giddy with anticipation about "Julie & Julia" which plenty of my friends have seen in previews. We have planned our whole week around playing hooky from work Friday afternoon and going to the first show. I don't know WHAT we'll do if it doesn't open this week.
There has been an extraordinary amount of publicity for this movie - food columnists in every city and town have written about it, there have been numerous interviews with everyone involved from Meryl Streep to Nora Ephron to the food stylist, restaurants are already offering "Julie & Julia" menus.
There is one article that uses the movie - really uses Julia Child's incredible influence on home cooks of her era - as its jumping off point and I suspect it might be the one Mrs. Child herself would have enjoyed most. It's by Michael Pollan - he of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," etc. - and it was the cover story in last Sunday's New York Times magazine - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/magazine/02cooking-t.html?ref=magazine. If you haven't read it, I recommend it.
It made me think about happy mediums. Few people I know have the time, the desire, maybe even the skills to cook the way Mrs. Child did. But I bet everyone who loves to prepare and eat good food could probably cook more than he or she does now.
And here's one way to start that has really helped me. Read Mark Bittman's articles and blog posts. I adore his work! His blog is called Bitten - http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/?ref=dining and he regularly writes articles for the Times' Dining & Wine section. Check the archives for his 101 lists. If you love food, you will love his suggestions...and you WILL cook.