What's Cooking? Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian
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For us this is the soul of our house. The whole soul and the heart of it naturally. If we could just have the kitchen and a bedroom that would be all we'd need. We have a beautiful big dining room and a living room and a music room, and usually when people come into this house, they come right here into this kitchen. We receive them here and I think also when you're serving and you're the cook and bottle-washer yourself it's much easier to have people come right into the kitchen. You don't want to rush out to a dining room and leave people.


We can get up to eight people in here. Eight's a little crowded, six is better, four is ideal.


And that's one reason Paul designed it the way he did, with nice colors, and everything. So it's an attractive room, I think. Some people say it looks like an old curiosity shop, but it looks as though it were used. It's a work room that's good looking, I think.


It was wonderful doing a televison series because we've got this big cellar down below, so we do all the prep down there, and come up here for the shooting. The dining room was the control room, with all the instruments, and so forth. It's amazing to think that three cameras can fit in here, but they did.


This is where we received Alfred Knopf the publisher, and the President of the United States, if he were a Democrat would come.


Make the kitchen a really important part of your home. I think it is terribly important to have a family to eat all together.


It's warm and friendly, and it smells good. It's the place to live.


If you're designing a kitchen this might give you a few good ideas. It's utterly practical, but it's attractive to be in.


It's got good equipment -- good solid stuff . . . . Designed by cooks for cooks.


I'm absolutely delighted that the Smithsonian is taking my kitchen, and if it will encourage anyone to go into the profession and illustrate the joys of cooking and pleasures of the table, I'm absolutely delighted. I'm so proud of the Smithsonian itself, and am very proud to be in it.


Paul was very particular about his tea. We have stainless steel saucepans. We measure the water, we measure the tea, and the saucepan is very clean. So in goes the water, and it comes up to a boil. Then you put in the tea, stir it around, and time it for exactly five minutes. And then strain it into your hot tea pot.


If you're going to buy a mixer get a really good one. If you don't have the money now, use a portable one and keep adding to your money until you have enough to buy this machine [the KitchenAid K5A stand mixer] because it will last you the rest of your life.


This is a great German potato masher. It's good and solid, you see the potato goes in, and you go shooom, and out she comes. I love great big things like this, and it really works very well. Of course it all comes apart for washing, so it's a very practical instrument.


I think it's essential that you get good knives, and you've got to learn how to sharpen them too.


I'm just a knife freak . . . like being a frying pan freak. So they're fun to have, but as I said not all of them are essential.


If you're doing French cooking, which is always interesting to do because you do so much to the food, you've got to have good knives and you have to learn how to [use] them.

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