This past month I joined (never home)maker’s Foodie Book Club. My sister-in-law told me about this, and I thought it was a great idea, because I most certainly love to eat, and I haven’t done any reading for pleasure in a long long time (I read a lot of boring accounting literature at work, and my brain needs a rest when I get home). Please forgive me in advance, as this is my first attempt at writing a book review, and I have a tendency to get overly excited and ramble, but I promise to get better each month. So here goes:
This month’s book was A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table, by Molly Wizenberg. If you are unfamiliar with the book, Molly gives a somewhat autobiographical account of her life. Each chapter tells a story from her life which leads up to a recipe that relates to her fondest and deepest memories. Overall I really quite enjoyed this book. I found it a very quick read (I think I read it cover to cover in 2 sittings) and I found the format of this book (memories mixed in with recipes) to be quite genius.
Molly has a way of explaining characters in her life that will make you say “Oh yes! That reminds me exactly of so and so.” This makes the book very enjoyable because you feel like you can really relate to at least one of the characters in her book.
For example, when I read about Molly & Brandon (her now husband) and their love of food, it often made me think “this reminds me of me and my husband.” The way Molly was the “Baker” and Brandon was the kitchen scientist...I am certainly the “Baker” as I follow my little recipes to a T most of the time, even the old old family recipes that by now I should be brave enough to modify from time to time. I don’t dare change a family recipe for fear of the bad karma that would a wait! My husband is most certainly the complete opposite in the kitchen. He never has a real “recipe” for anything he makes. He just stands in there like a brilliant food scientist (a quite cute one at that), buzzing around the kitchen and putting lots of ingredients into little bowls and then BAM! It all comes together magically. In the 8 years we’ve been together, this method has never really failed him.
But I digress. What I really love about her book is the message that so much of our lives and memories are made in the home, and particularly in the kitchen with loved ones. I know in my family most of our traditions, and childhood memories, revolve around food. The times we have all spent together in the kitchen (especially on holidays) have been some of my fondest memories. It’s funny how food (and the smell of food) really can bring back such great memories.
I remember waking up at 6am to help my mom turn out those amazing Swedish tea rings and listening to the hum of the ice cream maker in the summer time when my dad would make his homemade vanilla ice cream and famous peach cobbler.
If this sounds like you at all, I would most certainly recommend this book. Reading back through this, this isn’t much of a book review, lol. But if you love to cook and want to pick up some new fabulous recipes (I’m itching to try a few in here when I’m done traveling for work this month), then go ahead and give this one a read.
P.S. I apologize if I have been ignoring my blog a bit this week. I have been traveling for work, and working late nights.
P.S. jr - The author, Molly Wizenberg, also has a food blog written in a similar style as her book. Interested? Visit here:http://orangette.blogspot.com/.