I hope you won't mind if I indulge in a bit of Julia idolatry. I'm so glad my daughter Caitlin transferred to Smith, not only because it's a terrific school that I think she'll love, but also because it's Julia Child's alma mater.
Which led me to tell her the story of how I came to correspond with Julia. When I was a staff writer for the American Oil Chemists' Society, I wrote a couple of articles about gourmet oils (remember, this was the early 1990s). While my article mainly dealt with the industry's response to growing public interest in gourmet oils, I wanted to ask some chefs about the types of oils they used. I sent Julia a letter, not really expecting an answer. Graciously, she sent me a typed response.
I dug it out of my files, and here it is:
Basically, she said: I use olive oil. I taste it before using it. For certain purposes, I use walnut or hazelnut oil.
In other words, nothing fancy, but always good. You were the best, Julia. You taught us all how to enjoy really good food.
Caitlin told me she thought that the cafeteria at Julia's house was now the "Healthy Options" kitchen. Which I think may have made Julia want to weep.