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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Julia Child was Frugal

In the waning days of my summer break, I'm reading As Always, Julia, a selection of letters between the great Julia Child and the also great Avis DeVoto, who was instrumental in the publication of Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

If you saw the film Julie and Julia--I fastforwarded through Julie and only saw Julia--you might recall a rather scandalous comment Julia made about a quenelle (I think it was). That comment was supposedly drawn from her letters to Avis DeVoto (who is represented in the film); however, it may not be included in the book.

I am always searching for Frugal Sisters, so I was delighted to discover that Julia, from an affluent Pasadena family, who brought to her marriage income from a trust fund, shares my sense of frugality. Note: I don't have a trust fund.

Here she is trying to talk Avis into accepting a plane ticket for a visit to Julia and Paul in Europe. I think Avis was widowed by this time.

Our finances are in a particularly lush state this year. We live on Paul's salary, and anything from my income is used for pure squandering. We have set aside a more than comfortable lump for our home leave next year, and for a new car . . . and the rest is gravy. The point of money, we think, after you have taken care of the minimum living essentials, is to spend it. We always live on a strict budget, and pile up as much as we can for squanderings. Please think it over and say yes . . What fun!

Aren't we lucky to have enough for the minimum and to have enough to save for a future squandering? And isn't Julia's generosity just incredible?

Naturally, my next squandering will be another trip to Europe. What is yours?


Marcela said...

We alsom share Julia's approach to finances. Our next trip will be to Argentina in November. I haven't been there in 4 years and I'm looking very much forward to seeing my family and friends!

Duchesse said...

Over two weeks in Paris in October... but I cannot resist adding that Julia and Paul did not have children to educate and even consider leaving some of that money to.

Revanche said...

I positively love that sort of squandering: bringing friends and happiness together.

It'd be lovely to do that someday.

Shelley said...

Bill and I joked with folks on this last vacation that when we went home we would return to living in poverty to save up for our next trip. Several people agreed that is why they are careful with their money. Of course one often needs to be careful with money to get to the point of being able to be careful in this way! I've heard Madonna is also quite frugal, but I've not read any biographies - auto or otherwise.