falling cats {silent sunday}

We ate the lunch with painful politeness and avoided discussing its taste. I made sure never to apologize for it. This was a rule of mine.I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts into self-deprecations such as ‘Oh, I don’t know how to cook…,’ or ‘poor little me…,’ or ‘this may taste awful…,’ it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Such admissions only draw attention to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings) and make the other person think ‘Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!’ Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed—eh bien, tant pis!

Usually one’s cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile…then the cook must simple grit her teeth and bear it with a smile – and learn from her mistakes.

-Julia Child, My Life in France
{I wrote this down several years ago, and recall it frequently when cooking and baking does not turn out the way I planned. Sarah from The Yellow House has a lovely post about this passage; I encourage you to hop over there and read it.}
  • Reply
    Friday, May 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    I was thinking of Julia while reading; happy to see her quoted. I believe in this, however the theoretical is always easier than the practical (for me). I remember a dinner party I threw where I was so disappointed with my dessert I could only sit there staring at it and apologizing. I am pretty sure the guests left with the impression that they had just survived the worst meal of their lives, meanwhile it was just a matter of some tough crust! Grr, if I could go back. This was, several years ago, and I have since read My Life in France and found on my own that people will be left with the impression you spoon them. And so, if there is in fact a food flop on the table, I stick to the age old adage, If you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all.

  • Reply
    Elaina @ Flavour
    Tuesday, May 8, 2012 at 1:37 am

    How absolutely true!! I love your silent sunday posts. Just beautiful. x

  • Reply
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    This is such a great philosophy and one I think I might just adopt. I have to admit I absolutely love it when people praise my food so probably do present it with too many ‘I hope this is good enough/you like it/it’s ok’ type comments, but maybe that should change. Great post.

  • Reply
    Megan Pence
    Monday, May 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Agreed – I try and remember this quote as often as I can. And to have the courage of my convictions, just like JC did. Well said.

  • Reply
    Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I think of this, too, and try to be as steadfast as Julia Child, but it can be hard not to say something. Great to remember.

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