8 of 10: A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is a book that made me want to eat cool salads made from chopped pistachios and bittersweet chocolate. Also, I now want to move to Seattle and buy my fish straight from the sea.
After book blogs, my biggest chunk of Google Reader is probably dedicated to cooking blogs – I love to cook and bake, but I generally require a picture of the food to do so, which makes food blogs perfect for me. I could browse Smitten Kitchen all day long.
Last year, I read several food/restaurant memoirs and loved them all, but this is the first one I’ve read since then. This one was different because it didn’t have quite the same hook as the other ones (the previous ones focused on working in a super fancy restaurant, going to Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, or living life without gluten).
Molly Wizenberg’s story isn’t so much like that – it’s more about her whole life, life as a child, then in college, living in Paris, then as a graduate student, and her ongoing relationship with food. There are some ongoing threads, like her father who loves to cook and whose death is the spur she needs to realize her heart lies in cooking and food, rather than as a Ph.D. candidate, but there are also many sweet standalone anecdotes. Also, I never felt like the stories were trying too hard to relate to food, which I appreciated.
The stories are so sweet and most of the recipes are, shockingly, things I would actually eat. Salmon in cider cream sauce? Yes, please. A few, of course, made me grimace a little or think, “wow, I could never ever eat so many salads,” but overall, it was a lovely blend of stories and real food.
I loved this book – it was just so delightful and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys memoirs or cooking or both.
And if you end up making a pistachio and chocolate salad, please invite me over.