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Have you ever watched Julie & Julia?

I have, a few times now. It isn’t the most masterful of films but it comes under my rainy Saturday, feeling pokey, don’t want to think film list… and I love it.

For those that haven’t seen it, it’s got some good names in it! Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Chris Messina & Stanley Tucci. It’s biographical comedy that follows Julie Powell (Adams) who in 2002, at a low point in life, decided to take on cooking all the recipes from Julia Childs cookbook…in just one year. Thats 524 recipes in 365 days. She documents her journey with a popular, tell all, blog. Along side Julie’s journey in her tiny NYC apartment we see Julia Childs (Streep) in Paris, starting her culinary career, as the only woman in Le Cordon Bleu. We follow Julia as she tackles being a tall, loud American in 50s Paris and how she and two American ladies came to create “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” a cookbook to get American housewives cooking like French chefs… The film has ups and downs as the two ladies navigate their personal lives, tricky recipes and men. It ends on a high though… of course it does!

So anyway, when lockdown 1.0 started I was having one of those days and put Julie & Julia on. I’d always wanted to do something similar…and I suddenly had all the time for it (and Robbie was willing to help). So we decided to go for it…we didn’t have Julia’s book, and didn’t set a time limit. Instead we decided to start simple with Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food.

We started it on 27th May 2020 and finished on the 29th December 2020. It took us 216 days to do what turned out to be 111 meals (we combined some recipes)… we also started two other books whilst doing this one…and made sure that we didn’t force ourselves to do recipes everyday. It was super fun, and great simple recipes to ease ourselves in, but they weren’t the best recipes…a lot crackers and random veg to fill out dishes.

Now we’re working through the two books we started prior to finishing Jamie’s Ministry of Food. These are MOB Kitchen (feed 4 or more for under £10) and Marcus Wareing’s New Classics. A relatively easy one and one that is testing our skills, utensils and patience!

So, I’ll keep you guys updated, you can also check out our instagram, @we.cook.from.books for a photo diary of our adventure. I also just ordered Julie Powell’s book “Julie & Julia. 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen”. I’ll let you know how that is in my next post on this topic too.

Think the pork’s finished brining for the schnitzel now! Thanks for reading! BV

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