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Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian


Story 16 [of 18] – Julia’s Kitchen Junk Drawer


Just like most of us, Julia Child had a kitchen junk drawer, but hers—probably also like ours—held things that made the drawer very special, very "Julia." The drawer was filled with the usual and normal remnants of candles, rubber bands, bits of string, toothpicks, and dead batteries—including a flashlight empty of batteries—but with it’s owner’s name, "Paul Child," in DYMO label on the flashlight. But the drawer also held a small comb, powder compact, lipstick, and small mirror that Julia used to refresh her makeup before guests appeared at the house’s side entrance to the kitchen.


In the same drawer was a champagne stopper, still in its original box, but regularly used, that had been a gift from friend and famous American cook and food writer, James Beard. And finally, resting in the drawer for many years was another mirror, a signaling mirror issued to OSS staff in World War II. That mirror, with a braided necklace, would have been used to signal planes or ground troops in finding a lost or wounded colleague—in China, Ceylon or other places where Julia (and Paul) had been sent to work during the war.


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