Friday, August 13, 2004

Bon Appetit, Julia.

For the 80th birthday of a faculty member here, I made her chocolate cake. The faculty member is esteemed and beloved and also extremely opinionated (with good cause, she was in Spartacus. She was in The Ten Commandments. She knows more about acting and directing than most people in this town or on this planet) and I was terrified. I mean, this woman will only eat at two restaurants in town. I didn't think a storebought cake would be good enough.

So I turned to Julia and baked a reine de Saba cake from The Way to Cook and it was the most glorious, fancy, incredible chocolate cake in the world. N1na F0ch from Spartacus kicked up her heels like a girl. She took the leftovers home, greedily, even. She asked where the cake came from.

"Julia," I said reverently.

"I find she always makes things more work than they need to be," she replied.

Perhaps. I could have made a simple Nigella cake- I've made loads of those- but would any of those have made an 80 year old woman lift her feet in the air? I think not.

I'll miss Julia terribly, but can't imagine she won't always live on. She'll be in my library, she'll be on my television, and most importantly, she will always be in my kitchen.