What Julia Child can teach us about starting a new life (and simmering brains) by Jessie Clemence

on Feb 2, 2018 in Blog | 2 comments

This post originally ran on Jessie Clemence’s blog. Visit her website for more delightful content! 


I’ve been slowly making my way through My Life in France, by Julia Child and Alex Preud’homme. (If you’ve seen  the movie Julie & Julia, you have a good idea of the book.)  Julia and her Alex, her nephew-in-law, went back through old letters and memories and then transcribed them into a pure delight of a book.

Did you know Julia didn’t move to Paris until she was 36 years old? She didn’t really find her love of cooking until she was 37! Raised in a wealthy Californian family, she grew up with cooks who turned out all sorts of bland American food, so the art of excellent cooking with fresh ingredients was foreign to her. Her love of these things caught her off guard.

She discovered them by taking risks, trying new things, and then working really hard until she perfected them.

Let’s all be more like Julia, shall we? Let’s try that new recipe or craft project. Let’s start writing that book or planning that trip or designing that new business. It’s never too late to find what we really love, what God has for the next season of our lives.

Don’t be discouraged if early attempts are pitiful and awful and a little bit humiliating. That’s part of the fun! Here’s proof:

The first meal I ever cooked for Paul was a bit more ambitious: brains simmered in red wine! I’m not quite sure why I picked that particular dish, other than that it sounded exotic and would be a fun way to impress my new husband. …In fact, the dinner was a disaster. Paul was unfailingly patient, but years later he’d admit to an interviewer, “Her first attempts were not altogether successful…I was brave because I wanted to marry Julia. I trust I did not betray my point of view.” (pg. 6)

Julia Child cooked brains simmered in wine for her first married meal. And it was ghastly.

If she can goof it up like this, so can we. She eventually became a world-famous chef and now her kitchen is on display in the National Museum of American History.

All because she didn’t give up after that brains-in-wine debacle. So let’s stop with the excuses and get to the next thing God has for us, shall we?

Jessie Clemence has been writing for seven years and blogging for four. She’s the author of two books: If I Plug My Ears, God Can’t Tell Me What to Do, and There’s a Green Plastic Monkey in My Purse. Her newest book, I Could Use a Nap and a Million Dollars, will be published in winter of 2018. Through the books and the blog she encourages readers to a living, active faith with her slightly wackadoodle sense of humor and sarcasm. She also shamelessly exaggerates whenever she can, simply because she can’t help herself. You can find her at jessieclemence.com.


  1. Jesse~Beautiful observations: we can be old–and do new things (like move to Paris!); we can botch things early on–and not let that be the last say; and we can have courage and longings–and choose to honor them. Thanks for these reminders! I may have to rewatch that movie soon.

    Cynthia Beach

    February 2, 2018

  2. Glad to hear about other late bloomers. And knowing that first attempts don’t always have to be successful.

    Carol Graft

    February 4, 2018

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *