Julia Child's Recipe For Life

She introduced a nation weary of TV dinners to the art of cooking and eating well. And today, at age 86, Julia Child is still going strong.

SheÂ's got a new book and a TV series with Chef Jacques Pepin coming out this fall. She appears on late-night talk shows.

She happily signs autographs for her legion of fans, spends hours mastering the Internet and still finds time to show an amateur how it's done.

Spend some time in Julia Child's vast kitchen and you see what makes her tick, reports CBS News Correspondent Elizabeth Kaledin.

Â"Sometimes we never leave it,Â" Childs said about her kitchen. Â"I donÂ't think we really need a living room. It is really the heart of the house.Â"

ItÂ's in that kitchen, amid a tapestry of shiny copper pots and a dizzying array of strange kitchen gadgets, that Julia Child shares her secret recipe for long life.

Â"I feel very lucky to have a profession that I absolutely adore,Â" she said.

She started cooking in Paris, where her husband Paul was stationed after World War II. Paul was her biggest supporter, and, she said, Â"my main guinea pig.Â"

Paul helped launch her first TV show when she was 51 years old. Julia hasn't slowed down since, and retirement is not on the menu.

Â"I donÂ't intend to. What would I do?" she asked. "I'd want to be right back in the kitchen.Â"

Her famous kitchen may be in Massachusetts, but Julia Child leaves it for part of every year to go to California, where she was born and raised -- a place she says stimulates her senses and restores her spirit.

Â"I just love Santa Barbara,Â" she said. Â"It is sweet smelling, and the birds are singing and it's beautiful."

WhatÂ's the key to her diet? What does she do that keeps her so young?

Â"Well, I eat a well-balanced diet, and I eat an egg a day, and I always have, no matter what they said about eggs,Â" she said.

She eats small portions, never has seconds and never snacks. And though her grandparents all lived into their 90s, she attributes her longevity to following a French, rather than an American diet.

Â"I was recently at Disneyland and I was horrified to look at our countrymen -- overweight, great big bulging bellies,Â" she exclaimed. Â"Awful -- eating all the time.Â"

She is funny, engaged with life, and as she heads into her nineties, is looking forward, not back.

Does she ever get tired of cooking? Â"If I had to cook for very dull people I certainly would,Â" she said.

ItÂ's vintage Julia Child, who believes in living a life full of flavor and spice, full of good meals and good friends. That keeps her pot boiling over.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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