Mr. Veevers-Carter does not intend to return the kitchen to the look of the 1950s, when Mrs. Child cooked on an industrial-sized stove she bought from Sherman Kent, a friend and towering figure at the C.I.A. (The stove is now featured in the Smithsonians National Museum of American History.) When she talked of Washington, she would always mention the stove, said Alex Prudhomme, who helped Mrs. Child his great-aunt write her memoir.

The Olive Street kitchen, last redesigned by the architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen in the 1960s, will be modern, Mr. Veevers-Carter said. Julia Child had all the latest gadgets in her kitchen, the latest conveniences, he said. (Including her garbage disposal, which she lovingly called her electric pig.) Why wouldnt you have that today?

The story of the house begins in the years after the Civil War, when it was built by a black carpenter. At the time, the black population of Georgetown had swelled to more than 3,000 in a city of 100,000. By the turn of the century, signs of change were afoot: A police record in The Washington Post on Nov. 16, 1913, noted that the owner of the home at 2706 Olive Street was riding a horse and wagon when he collided with an automobile at 1st and F Streets.

The Childs, who had met in what was then Ceylon when both worked for the O.S.S., bought the house in May 1948, after they returned to Washington from overseas. In their first year on Olive Street, Mrs. Child struggled to impress her new husband with a limited culinary repertoire, and toiled in the kitchen late at night. Id usually plop something on the table by 10 p.m., have a few bites, and collapse into bed, she wrote in her memoir, My Life in France.

The two soon left for France, where Mrs. Child discovered the wonders of French cuisine, and returned to Olive Street eight years later. What fun to feather our own little nest, the only nest we actually owned, she wrote. By then she had become a classically trained chef and was well into her work on her masterpiece.

Most of my time was spent revising and retyping our now dog-eared, note-filled, butter-and-food-stained manuscript, Mrs. Child wrote of her time in the home. It would be years before a pared down version of these early drafts of Mastering the Art of French Cooking was published, in 1961.

In 1956 on Olive Street, American cooking was almost foreign to her. As she wrote in her memoir, the veal was less tender than in France, the herbs harder to find, the turkeys much bigger.

In retesting certain dishes in my American kitchen-laboratory, I discovered that hardly anyone used fresh herbs here, she wrote in My Life in France. She complained to her co-author, Simone Beck, that my beloved crme frache was nearly impossible to find in America.

See the article here:
Mastering the Art of Home Restoration: A Julia Child Sequel - New York Times

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August 8, 2017 at 9:44 am by admin
Category: Home Restoration