Caption: Julia Child, Credit: Christopher Hirscheimer
Image by: Christopher Hirscheimer 
Julia Child 

JULIA CHILD Presents "Lunch with M.F.K. Fisher"

From: Leet and Litwin
Series: HUNGRY: The Literary Julia Child
Length: 28:23

A gift from the Julia Child Foundation. We hear Julia introducing her late friend, M.F.K. Fisher, who takes us out for a staggeringly gluttonous meal at a French roadside inn.

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An unknown side of Julia Child is that she was a reader. The series, HUNGRY, will include delicious readings from stories by Charles Dickens, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Cormack McCarthy, Edna O'Brien, and others. All the programs are, in Julia's words, "about eating, a little cooking, and most of all, people." In this program she introduces us to her late friend, MFK Fisher, describing her house in a meadow with cows poking their noses to the window -- and giving a wonderfully funny, spontaneous character sketch of the author's personality, including her "wicked" streak. The story you'll hear centers on a meal at a French roadside inn. It was written in 1937, recorded in 1985 -- the only recording ever made of MFK Fisher reading a story.  

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Piece Description

An unknown side of Julia Child is that she was a reader. The series, HUNGRY, will include delicious readings from stories by Charles Dickens, Willa Cather, John Steinbeck, Cormack McCarthy, Edna O'Brien, and others. All the programs are, in Julia's words, "about eating, a little cooking, and most of all, people." In this program she introduces us to her late friend, MFK Fisher, describing her house in a meadow with cows poking their noses to the window -- and giving a wonderfully funny, spontaneous character sketch of the author's personality, including her "wicked" streak. The story you'll hear centers on a meal at a French roadside inn. It was written in 1937, recorded in 1985 -- the only recording ever made of MFK Fisher reading a story.  

5 Comments Atom Feed

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New Intro Please!

Thanks very much for maintaining this wonderful recording. If you could revisit the text intro on the website, you might more accurately express what this story is about.

Your words, "a staggeringly gluttonous meal at a French roadside inn," appear to express shock, or judgement, but not appreciation - more in tune with a typically american, protestant sensibility, than in accord with the French perspective in which this story was written and read.

The meal was not about quantity, but about beauty.

The meal she described was a ritual consecrated to the beauty that can be found in cooking, serving, and sharing food. As the communicant, MF performed her role in receiving, appreciating the dishes presented to her. In the sense of the French, this meal was a culinary 'tour de force.'

It is true that in this meal, she had to eat a lot, and it is also true that MF was an avowed hedonist, but she was not a glutton. Raised in a Quaker household, she was very much of the American sensibility. This story, written after a decade living in France, both resides in the dissonance between her upbringing and her adopted culture, and reveals her profound appreciation of the French culinary tradition.

Hope this helps!

Chris Howell, St. Helena, California

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Great and fun

This is really delightful!

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Great recording!

What a joy to hear this charming story in the author's own voice--and with an introduction by the unforgettable voice of Julia Child. I will replay this many times.

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Intro and Outro

INTRO:

Years ago, Julia Child and the producers of this program started work on a series that showed a not-so-public side of Julia Child, the Julia who loved to read. Here comes a chapter -- of "Hungry."

OUTRO:

Julia says one of the first books she read by M.F.K. Fisher was written during World War Two rationing. Since it's about THRIFTY meals, it's good reading now: "How to Cook a Wolf." She means, of course, the wolf at the door!

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
French Chef Theme John Morris The French Chef. WGBH Productions 1962 :16
Fantasie pour flûte Gabriel Fauré :48
Paris Street Waltz David Litwin 1983 :56
Sarabande from Cello Suite #3 in C JS Bach/Yo-Yo Ma Bach Cello Suites. Columbia Masterworks 01:09