Food and Book Pairing: Home Work by Julie Andrews Edwards

The Book

  • Title: Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years
  • Author: Julie Andrews Edwards with Emma Walton Hamilton
  • Publisher:  Hachette Books
  • Release Date: 10/15/19
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Rating: ★★★★
  • Publisher’s Summary: In Home Work, the number one New York Times international bestseller, Julie Andrews recounted her difficult childhood and her emergence as an acclaimed singer and performer on the stage. With this second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her phenomenal rise to fame in her earliest films–Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. Andrews describes her years in the film industry — from the incredible highs to the challenging lows. Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. The pair worked together in numerous films, including Victor/Victoria, the gender-bending comedy that garnered multiple Oscar nominations. Cowritten with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.

I, like many others, just finished season one of Bridgerton on Netflix and was reminded of how much I adore Julie Andrews’ voice. This inspired me to finally pick up Home Work, and I am so glad that I did.

I loved getting to learn more about the making of Mary Poppins and Sound of Music, movies that are iconic to me and so many others. It was made even more special as I was listening to the audiobook. It really felt like Julie Andrews herself was sitting next to me and telling me these stories.

I also learned so much about Andrews that I didn’t know including that she starred in a movie as Gertrude Lawrence and that she worked with her husband on a deeply personal film about his struggles with mental illness.

I also had no idea that Andrews was involved in humanitarian work during and after the Vietnam War. The descriptions of the refugee camps she visited in Southeast Asia after the war were powerful and thought provoking.

The book included many passages from Andrews’ diaries which added vulnerability, depth, and authenticity to the emotions of her storytelling.

After finishing this book, I immediately wanted to watch through Andrews’ whole film catalog. I hope she writes another book that chronicles the loss of her stunning voice and her return to film.

Food Pairing: Peanut Butter Noodles

Julie Andrews talks about how much she loves peanut butter in Home Work, so I thought it would be fun to pair the book with a recipe full of peanut butter.

The Joy of Cooking‘s spicy sesame peanut noodles were always a favorite in my house growing up, and I discovered that a similar recipe was very popular in my husband’s house as well.

The sauce for the noodles includes peanut butter, rice vinegar, chili oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and black tea. It is always a hit.

I topped the noodles with cucumber and scallions, which added some brightness and crunch to the noodles. I have also added some frozen kale to the recipe before to great results as well.

If you have a copy of The Joy of Cooking around, the recipe is on p. 332. I highly recommend trying it out. One of my favorite cooking blogs, Budget Bytes, also just released a similar recipe.

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