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40 Years by the Book

Julia Child: Williams-Sonoma was helpful too. Every time you mentioned an instrument, they had it.

How would you guide newcomers to the book to use it? Just plunge in, or take a systematic approach or what?

Julia Child. (Michael Williamson - The Washington Post)

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Judith Jones: Start with what's in the market, and see what you like.

Julia Child: When you buy something, look it up in the book and see what recipe appeals to you. A lovely piece of fish in white wine is very easy to make. The quickest way is to saute it, but otherwise do a lovely little sauce, and boiled potatoes.

Have you been cooking much in the last few weeks?

Judith Jones: I've been cooking a lot. It's very calming. It gives you a pleasure you need at this moment.

Julia Child: You need something good to eat at a time like this. It satisfies the soul. And it's a lovely way of getting together with people, very cozy and comforting.

American cooking has gone through many stages since the book was originally published. Yet you're bringing this book out again, with its time-consuming recipes and its full-blooded appreciation of fats and salt. Is the book still relevant?

Judith Jones: I think it's more relevant than ever. So many young people are afraid to cook. This is the most thorough teaching book you could ask for. There's nothing like it.

Julia Child: I'm distressed by an article in the New Yorker that says nobody cooks this way anymore. They're talking about people who really aren't cooks . . . This book is for people who really like to cook. It's not hard. It just takes a little time.

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