Courtesy of Ladies Home Journal
People Staff
July 08, 2009 01:45 PM

Meryl Streep walked away from her role as über-chef Julia Child in director Nora Ephron’s upcoming Julie & Julia with more than improved cooking skills.

“I gained 15 pounds, I’m still trying to lose it,” Streep, 60, says in the August issue of Ladies’ Home Journal (on newsstands July 14). “It was worth it.”

Her costar Amy Adams, however, didn’t pack on the pounds, but tells the magazine, “I was very grateful that my character wasn’t about her physique … I ate a lot.”

To prepare for her role, Streep was taught how to cook like a master. “Mostly what I learned has to do with equipment and how to use it right,” she says, listing sharpened knives, a good pan and cooking over high heat as essential to making a great dish. “The other thing I learned was, and I’ve been cooking for hundreds of years, that if you have garlic and onions on your fingertips, if you dip your hands in salt and then rinse them in cool water, the smell goes right away.”

Her favorite among Child’s dishes: “Tarragon roast chicken is a foolproof recipe and also something that everybody loves.”
Jennifer Wren
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