A Little Happier: Julia Child Makes a Profound Observation About Life in the Midst of Flipping a Potato.

Last week, I talked about my admiration for the work of that American icon, Julia Child. I’m no foodie, and yet I love her work. As I said, one thing that I admire most about her is her unstoppable enthusiasm—her unselfconscious, gung-ho attitude. For many years starting in the 1960’s, she had a TV show on public TV called The French Chef. The show wasn’t edited, so people could see all the mistakes she made as she cooked. In one show, Julia Child made a point that applies to cooking, and also applies to life generally, when we see her trying (and failing) to demonstrate how to flip potatoes in a pan with just a flick of the wrist. I love this, because here she is, the expert chef Julia Child, on TV, she tries to flip the potato, she drops potato all over the stove, she picks the potato mess up with her fingers and puts the mess back in the pan, and doesn’t get discouraged. It’s true: The only way we learn how to flip things is just to flip them.

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