Day 749: Should I Have my Own Julie and Julia Project?

By now, I have finished reading Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, a book about one woman’s blogging journey (and that in 2002!). If you don’t know the story (or haven’t seen the film), Julie decided to cook her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This means 524 recipes in 365 days and as Julia Child had the mind of a scientist, these recipes do call for precision and sometimes also lots of patience. When she wrote these books about French cooking, she really made the effort to provide the readers with simply the best. By no means must that journey been an easy one. It wasn’t. You know it if you have read Powell’s book. Anyhow, Julie decided to do it because she felt lost. She hated her job, her apartment, her husband was great but her marriage still had its problems. She began the project to save her life and find herself as a writer. Later, she was offered a book deal, so this project really defined and transformed her.

After I’d finished the book, it kept haunting me in some way. I as thinking whether I need my own cooking project. Really? Do I really need ANOTHER blog? I already have a food blog. It’s in Estonian, so the audience is narrower but this doesn’t nullify the fact that it already exists. I think I’m drawn to the idea because I love cooking and have quite a few cookbook at home that I’d love to cook through. But when it comes to achieving a goal with a long-term deadline, i.e. a year, then I’m already doing it in this blog. 3 goals, 1,000 days. The spectrum is a bit wider but it’s basically the same. But, ah, I’m so greedy, I’d like more and more and more!! (I’d really want my IT training to commence sooner, then I’d have no time for foolish ideas! But it won’t start before April 22.)

I don’t think I’m going to start a new blog. Maybe once this one hits the zero-mark? Which shall be in 749 days… a bit more than 2 years. But let’s play with the idea what my Julie and Julie project could be about. I have toyed with the idea quite a lot already. It doesn’t want to stop nagging me! By the way, you can find her original blog here.

  • Cooking through all of Jamie Oliver’s recipe books. I like his style and the books. I like the sloppiness, the playfulness, the not-measuring-everything-precisely (just like me), the cheerful and beautiful foods, the passion he puts into his cooking. Of his books, I currently only have Jamie’s Italy and Everyday Super Food. That’s not much, but I also use his website for recipes. Obviously, I have seen many of his TV shows and am a big fan. Why not cook through all the recipes he has shared? These are very versatile and exciting… and would take up soooo much time.
  • A more modest project: cooking through the curry recipes in Mridula Baljekar’s The World’s Greatest-Ever Curries. I bought it from my favourite book shop in Bath, UK. After returning from Portugal, I’ve cooked quite a few meals from it. The spiciness, the exquisite aromas, the multitude of vegetables make the recipes very enticing. All in all, there are 150 recipes. Curries, obviously, but also different kinds of breads, some rice and noodle recipes, some sauces, chutneys… Ah, so much good stuff! But would this book be challenging enough? Why this one? Is it really the world’s greatest? Oh, it does introduce different regions of Asia and talk about regional differences and typical ingredients. Fascinating.
  • Cooking through The Golden Book of Cooking, which includes over 250 recipes and illustrated techniques. I have done quite a few recipes from this one and continue to be amazed by its versatility. It really does include recipes from all over the world and for any occasion.
  • And… a very demanding project: cooking my way through all the cookbooks I have at home. I tried to envision myself first drawing up a mammoth Excel file with every single recipe listed in there, all of them numbered. I imagined myself drawing a random number every day and ticking off a certain recipe that bears that number. Maybe doing 2 recipes a day if the first one is easy. Maybe the blog readers (or “bleaders” as Julie Powell called them) could pick the number. Imagine the fun! And the time it would take… Years? Possibly? Too long to keep the readers hooked? Too long to keep my own motivation high?

Do I really need yet another blog? Yet another obligation? Do YOU need one? Have you ever considered doing a similar project?

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Made a serious to-do list and ticked off some of the tasks. This included planning the future and thinking about my future work life. No idea how it’s going to look like. I will soon start learning IT, while I was also offered a truly long-term project that would last up to 5 years… Tough choices. Maybe a bit of everything? As usual?

2. Write AND publish a book.

Spent a quiet half-an-hour in the company of the Writing Magazine and read about writing stories and being a writer. Checked out one competition online and decided it wasn’t for me. Received an e-mail notification about another competition which could be for me (the very last submission to Glimmer Train). The day was spent about thinking about writing but not real writing.

3. Win a major race.

With a marathon looming at the end of the week, the day was a rest day. I did go for a walk twice because sitting indoors made me drowsy and the weather was nice, although a bit windy.

Photo of the Day

I took loads of photos on my walk. Had to wait for that cat to actually cross the bridge.

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