Follow-up: Ann, Bonnie, and Julia

After my posting yesterday on Julia Child, Benita Bendon Campbell wrote me about Ann Daingerfield Zwicky, her, and Julia Child. Reproduced here with Bonnie’s permission:

Ann’s present to me for being her maid of honor [postings here and here] was “Mastering The Art of French Cooking” — inscribed affectionately. My copy is tattered and bespattered, full of ribbon markers and sticky-notes. Used most recently last week for the incomparable pâte brisée recipe, and I cannot make a stable free-standing blind pie crust [a blind pie crust is one that’s partially or completely baked before it’s filled — AMZ], either [Ann had noted that she couldn’t manage this feat], but the crusts in pie pans are superb.  Well known in the neighborhood. “Benita has made a pie. Come to tea.” This one was blueberry.

In 1957-58, we lived in Paris at 86 rue de Lille in the seventh arrondissement, chez Mme Nolleau, our delightful “maman française.” From 1949 to 1954, Julia and Paul Child had lived at 81 rue de l’Université, approximately one long block away from our address. A pleasant proximity.

Like countless admirers of Mme Child, I wrote her a fan letter once upon a time, and, like countless others, I received a personal reply from her. Framed and on display in our kitchen. Nine years ago, I gave a presentation (en français) about her life in France to my French club (Le Club Sévigné) [outside of Denver CO]. The audience reached standing room dimensions. I do not often get that much attention.

Philadelphia Cousins, Mme Child’s beloved niece, lives in Golden, Colorado — a charming and erudite woman who turns up now and then at local gatherings. She carries on her aunt’s tradition of gracious bonhomie with all who meet her. We have been fortunate to enjoy her company on a few occasions.


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