Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum 100. Geburtstag, Julia! Happy 100th Birthday, Julia!





"Dear Julia,


before we start the celebration on your special day today, let me tell you that although we have never met in person or had our picture taken together and although I was never lucky enough to attend any of your cooking shows or book signings, our paths have crossed in more than one way, and one aspect stands out in particular.



For two years of your wonderful and interesting life, you used to live in the same City that I grew-up in and live in again today with my family!



While I was reading the fabulous book „As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto” (published December, 1, 2010), I came across the following excerpt from the book, it is one of your letters to your friend Avis, dated October 27, 1954:











In 1954, you and your husband Paul moved to what was then the capital of the Federal Republic of Germany, namely Bonn. You lived here for two years. In your letter, you talk about your time in Germany, your struggles with learning the German language and the apartment that you and Paul used to live in. You write that the apartment was located at “Steubenring 3, Apt. 5, Plittersdorfer Aue, Bad Godesberg, Germany”. It was located in an area of Bonn known then as the American sector, it was an apartment complex owned by the HICOG, the “High Commission for Occupied Germany”.

Well, let me tell you, I was quite delighed to see that the housing complex still exists and so does your former apartment.


1952



2012


I took my two youngest daughters to the housing complex, a mere 15 minute drive from our house. When you compare the photograph dated 1952 with the photograph I took today, you will hardly see any difference. Except, today, the people that live in these apartments work mostly for the United Nations. While, obviously, the names have changed on the name plates, the apartments still bear the same numbers - yours was number five, third floor, on the right.




After our little photo session in front of your former apartment, we decided to wander in your footsteps for a brief moment in time and it felt really special! Right around the corner from the apartment complex, there is now the so-called United Nations Campus, then there is the Bonn International School and, of course the Rhine River. In your letters, I read that you really enjoyed your walks along the riverbank. There also used to be an American supermarket and an American Club. And just a few steps away, there is the “Stimson Memorial Chapel”.




Built in 1952 and owned by the American Government until June, 20, 1999, when it was presented as a gift of the United States of America to the City of Bonn...




…by the President at the time, Bill Clinton.




Julia, looking at the house where you used to live in while you stayed in Germany for two years with your husband Paul, and walking through your former neighbourhood, I could not help but wonder about the places where you used to take your walks, do your groceries and how your kitchen used to look like, I guess it was another “very small German kitchen”.



Oh, let me mention one more thing that we share. I was born in August too, just like you, born under the sign of the Leo – now, let´s celebrate and have a slice of the birthday cake that I baked for you, a marzipan cake, shaped like a flower and proudly displayed right in front of your former apartment by two young fans of yours, my two youngest daughters! And although I took the liberty of baking one of my recipes, I am sure that you approve, a German recipe to celebrate your birthday and remember the time that you spent in this country.


Happy 100th Birthday, Julia! - Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu deinem heutigen 100.Geburtstag, Julia!"





14 comments:

  1. thanks a lot for sharing, wonderful pictures.

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    1. Thank you so much! I am glad that you liked "Julia´s post".

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  2. Oh, Andrea, this is such a fabulous Post. It gives me chills. What a perfect way to celebrate Julia's birthday and it's something those little girls will not forget because of your always-wonderful pictures. I love that, through your Blog, I can see you are already introducing your children to food memories that they can take with them always. Your cake looks fabulous, by the way. Again, what a loving and memorable tribute to Julia. Well done. I am going to try to share this on g+1 Hope it works.

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    1. Mary, thank you so much for your wonderful comment, it always means a lot to me reading your kind comments! And the girls say "Hello" and to tell you that they enjoyed yesterday´s little history lesson although it was a "rather hot day".

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  3. wow, how neat!! I bet she would have loved to see this!! :)

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    1. Alice, thank you very much - greatly appreciate the lovely comment! I know that you are a very busy person these days!

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  4. Oh Andrea, Such a really lovely, special post!! How wonderful that you could visit Julia’s old neighborhood! Such a fabulous looking cake…and such a beautiful tribute to Julia! Love the photos of your daughters…so very pretty!

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    1. Kathy, thanks so much for the kind comment! It is nice that you liked this post, I must say that it is close to my heart.

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  5. How beautiful! I love that you took the time to find her apartment and you brought your 2 girls there WITH the marzipan cake, which by the way looks gorgeous. Andrea, you are so creative. I hope more of the TWD people read your post. It is really wonderful.

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    1. Marlise, thank you so much for your wonderful comment - it meant a lot to me putting this post together.

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  6. Lovely post! What nice pictures and pretty little girls. Julia will continue to live on through her life and recipes. The cake also looks wonderful.

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    1. You are absolutely right - Julia´s recipes will make generations to come better home cooks and bakers. And thanks so much for your kind words!

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  7. Andrea, I can imagine you having butterfly in your tummy when you saw that her appartment / block was still there. Well, when I saw the pictures you took, I certainly had them.
    So many feelings came up while reading your post. It's beautiful.
    (PS: Ich brauchte ein Nasstuch!)

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  8. What a beautiful and lovely tribute! The pictures are awesome, love your daughters holding the cake, I imagine Julia would be thrilled!

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