EW: Let's talk about butter. I know butter was really a main character in the book and movie. Tell me the role butter played in your life during all your cooking experiments.

JP: Well, it was my faithful companion for sure; I think I went through between 60 and 70 pounds of butter in a year. There were always at least ... two boxes of butter in my fridge at any given time. If I ran out—which was rare because I always knew I had to have it—but if by chance it was 11 p.m. and I didn't have any butter, that was grounds for major, major hysteria. Obviously, butter and I are not quite so close as we used to be, but there is still always a little in my fridge.

EW: Yes, you are moving away from butter and French cooking to...butchery, right? Tell me about your new book, Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession.

JP: It is coming out in December [2009], and it is primarily about a six-month stint I spent apprenticing at a butcher shop in upstate New York, so it is all about cutting up animals...

EW: You are fearless!

JP: I try to be fearless, and again that is Julia's legacy, I think, is to make women—and men—more fearless then they might have been otherwise, so I took a step.

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