August 15, 2013 marks what would have been Julia Child's 101st birthday.

To celebrate the life of one of America's true culinary darlings, we've assembled some of Child's best quotes. These lines should hopefully make you smile, but mostly they show just why Julia Child is still so cherished today. Through her books and television programs, she demonstrated that cooking doesn't need to be intimidating and it's okay to make mistakes. The food world has evolved a great deal since Julia was starting out, and its tremendous growth is in large part attributable to her singular influence.


1. "The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."


2. "If you're afraid of butter, use cream."


3. "I think every woman should have a blowtorch."


4. "Fat gives things flavor."


5. "Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed -- eh bien, tant pis! Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, as my ersatz eggs Florentine surely were, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile -- and learn from her mistakes."


6. "I think one of the terrible things today is that people have this deathly fear of food: fear of eggs, say, or fear of butter. Most doctors feel that you can have a little bit of everything."


7. "I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it -- and, more important, I like to give it."


8. "I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give."


9. "You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces -- just good food from fresh ingredients."


10. "Always remember: If you're alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who's going to know?"


11. "I just hate health food."


12. "Learn how to cook -- try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all have fun."


Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed two quotes to Julia Child. The first ("Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.") is widely attributed to Child but is actually a 1956 quote from Harriet van Horne. The second ("The best way to execute French cooking is to get good and loaded and whack the hell out of a chicken. Bon appetit.") is also popularly credited to Child but its true origins remain unverified.

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  • Julia Child's Chicken Sisters

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  • No One's Ever Going To See...Your Cooking Mistake

    One of her most famous moments on "The French Chef" has Julia cooking a potato pancake, which she spills onto the stove while trying to flip it. Here, Meryl Streep reenacts the famous scene in the film "Julie and Julia."

  • Julia Child on McDonald's Fries

    In this famous clip, Julia raves about the McDonald's fries of years past "before the nutritionists got at them" and they stopped using beef tallow.

  • Julia And Jacques

    In her later years Julia shared the TV screen with chef Jacques Pepin for the "Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home" series on PBS. Their back-and-forth banter and disagreements made for countless funny moments. Here is a short collection of several of them.

  • Dan Akroyd As Julia Child

    One of the most famous Julia Child TV scenes doesn't have Julia at all, but Dan Akroyd impersonating her on "Saturday Night Live."