My Mother had A Homemade Life sitting on her coffee table when I went for a visit this week. To be honest, I had tried to read this book last year and didn't like it. This time around I enjoyed it, particularly the recipes. I like how she describes cooking various dishes--rarely with recipes--but then writes them down with actual measurements. I would like to cook more the way she does by throwing a bit of this and that into a pan. She always seemed to have a bit of really good cheese and fresh tomatoes ready to go.
I have liked food memoirs and food lit since I first discovered Laurie Colwin just after college. Her book Home Cooking was my first such book. I then went on to read all her columns in Gourmet.
Garlic and Sapphires is the very funny account of Ruth Reichl as she goes undercover in NYC as a food critic. I loved this inside look at the New York restaurant world.
In The School of Essential Ingredients a group of individuals gathers each Monday night for cooking class. The students are transformed by the dishes they create each week as is Lillian the teacher and master chef.
In Bread Alone, Wyn, estranged from her husband, builds a new life in a bakery where she builds on the skills she had gained while apprenticed to a bread baker in France. Breadmaking tips are sprinkled throughout.
Five Quarters of the Orange, by the same author as Chocolat, takes place during and after occupied France and is a scrapbook of recipes and memories. It is a slow, delicious read.
Heat brought me right into a New York restaurant kitchen. The author signs on as an unpaid servant to one of New York's big chefs in an effort to understand more about the restaurant business. I liked the behind the scenes aspect of this book and also enjoyed this...um....swashbuckling male author. He is very funny.
Probably my all-time favorite foodie book is Animal, Vegetable, Miracle . I think I can safely say that Barbara Kingsolver changed our family's ways. (I'm also a devotee of Michael Pollan. His bit of advice not to eat anything your grandmother couldn't have made is fab.)
That was a fun journey down memory lane. I hadn't realized how much food lit I had actually read. It makes me want to scour the farmer's market tomorrow for some really yummy cheese, a baguette or two, and some fresh garlic!
My thanks to all of you who commented yesterday on read aloud books. I have had fun going through Amazon and looking at your recommendations. Have I missed any really great food lit?