The “Julia Grip”

We find that as well as we think we know how to do something, it never hurts to brush up on the technique. Recently, Michelle read Julia Child’s advice and instructions on how to make the perfect omelette.

I’ve never found reason to complain about Michelle’s omelette making. Had she asked me, I likely would have assured her that even Julia Child couldn’t teach her to make a better one.

Luckily, she didn’t ask, because I would have been wrong!

Of all the valuable techniques she learned, one has proven so useful in our homestead that we’ve come to call it the “Julia grip.”

Michelle demonstrates the "Julia grip" while braising vegetables for breakfast (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Michelle demonstrates the “Julia grip” while braising vegetables for breakfast (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Ms Child instructs readers to hold the omelette pan with the handle pointed away, with one’s hand positioned as if one were using a hand mirror to look at one’s self (maybe not her words, but I think this makes her point). The weight of the pan hangs from the closed fist, making it easier to maneuver.

We love our cast iron pans (see Cooking With Cast Iron Cookware) but we acknowledge the most common barrier to wider use in  most homes: they’re heavy! Handling a cast iron skillet requires good wrist strength, and even then can be difficult. This “Julia grip” minimizes the difficulty considerably.


Hanging the pan is much easier than holding it level and tilting it sideways (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

Like any tool, the more comfortable one is when using it, the more useful it becomes. Thanks to Julia Child, we handle our heavy pans a lot more easily and comfortably now. We also find the “Julia grip” useful for many other tasks that require tilting a container. I find that this method works particularly well for our stove top “Whirly Pop” style popcorn poppers, especially.


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