The Gift of Julia Child & a Broken Hot Plate

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it. Julia Child

Today is the 100th birthday of Julia Child, a passionate woman who never stopped embracing life. Her love of French cooking led a revolution that changed the male-dominated culinary world forever. Her exuberance and  fearlessness brought infinite possibilities to the home cook.

I fell in love with the public, the public fell in love with me, and I tried to keep it that way. Julia Child

Julia was a master at taking whatever life handed her and making it work. Whether it was on television or in life, she was indomitable. That’s why I love this video. It captures a priceless moment between Julia Child and David Letterman, a blow torch and raw meat. This isn’t just any cooking demonstration. This is a lesson for living: When life hands you a broken hot plate, keep going, figure it out and come up with “beef tartare au gratin.”

When I look at Julia now, I see the gift of that broken hot plate. I see how something special can come out of something that went horribly wrong. I see a woman who never quit because she lived in the moment and found her joy in whatever it brought her.

Julia always made great television. I don’t think it was the cooking so much as her spirit, willingness and love of the adventure of it all. Luckily, she shared her joy and passion with all of us. Thank you Julia, and happy, happy birthday!

Life itself is the proper binge. Julia Child

Survival > Existence,

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Barbara Bair's picture

Great video of Julia Child.

Great video of Julia Child.
When I was forced to retire from teaching to deal with cancer treatment and the side effects (hospitalizations and 5 surgeries), I had a very difficult time accepting that my professional life was over. I missed the relationships with my students and colleagues most of all and the challenges and excitement of every day.
However, a few weeks ago I decided to look for a part-time teaching job and found one! Many of my friends think that I am crazy to go back to work and deal with all the stresses and time restraints. I have been enjoying retirement and have found worthwhile activities, but nothing is challenging as teaching for me.
I think that having cancer has changed me. When I was in treatment, I remember contemplating my funeral and eulogy and wondering how people would remember me. I now want to make the most of every day, use all my abilities, experience, and knowledge to make a positive impact on my students. I am grateful that I have another opportunity to do what I love.
I think that cancer survivors can understand my motivation better than my other friends.

Debbie's picture

You’re Crazy Passionate and That’s Why You’re a Great Teacher


I am blown away by you! Since I met you, I’ve always been so impressed by your gumption and fierce comittment to making a life of substance beyond cancer. You took your forced retirement and found the gift in it – giving you more time for family, volunteering, friends, adult education, etc., etc. But I know you still deeply missed your students and the challenges of teaching.

Bravo to you for making the decision to go back into the classroom! Your passion for teaching is a profound gift to your students. But, from where I sit, you’ve never stopped being a teacher. Since I’ve known you, you’ve taught me a lot about making the most out of present circumstances, acceptance and passion.

I can’t wait to hear how this new phase of your life goes and I’m so proud to be your friend.  Much love.

Survival > Existence,


Jan Baird Hasak's picture

Julia’s 100th Birthday

Thanks for featuring Julia Childs in your blog post. I admire greatly her style and finesse. One time I was on a cross-country flight to San Diego on which she prepared the passengers’ meals (this was back when domestic airlines provided food). When her distinctive voice came over the broadcast system, we all cheered. We won’t easily forget that experience. And we won’t easily forget her. xx

Debbie's picture

We All Cheer Julia!

Hi Jan!

When I was in my teens I had a tiny book of her recipes. I don’t think I cooked anything from the book, but the exotic French names and beautiful pictures sparked my imagination. She was an iconic woman and role model for so many of us. She just jumped in and made it happen. I’ve always loved that about her.

Survival > Existence,


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