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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Book Review: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

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I ordered A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg from the library because I had seen a review and thought it looked like an enjoyable read. Molly Wizenberg is the creator of Orangette which I haven't checked out yet, but hope to. Here is the book description from Amazon:
When Molly Wizenberg's father died of cancer, everyone told her to go easy on herself, to hold off on making any major decisions for a while. But when she tried going back to her apartment in Seattle and returning to graduate school, she knew it wasn't possible to resume life as though nothing had happened. So she went to Paris, a city that held vivid memories of a childhood trip with her father, of early morning walks on the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and the taste of her first pain au chocolat. She was supposed to be doing research for her dissertation, but more often, she found herself peering through the windows of chocolate shops, trekking across town to try a new p√Ętisserie, or tasting cheeses at outdoor markets, until one evening when she sat in the Luxembourg Gardens reading cookbooks until it was too dark to see, she realized that her heart was not in her studies but in the kitchen.
At first, it wasn't clear where this epiphany might lead. Like her long letters home describing the details of every meal and market, Molly's blog Orangette started out merely as a pleasant pastime. But it wasn't long before her writing and recipes developed an international following. Every week, devoted readers logged on to find out what Molly was cooking, eating, reading, and thinking, and it seemed she had finally found her passion. But the story wasn't over: one reader in particular, a curly-haired, food-loving composer from New York, found himself enchanted by the redhead in Seattle, and their email correspondence blossomed into a long-distance romance.

In A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, Molly Wizenberg recounts a life with the kitchen at its center. From her mother's pound cake, a staple of summer picnics during her childhood in Oklahoma, to the eggs she cooked for her father during the weeks before his death, food and memories are intimately entwined. You won't be able to decide whether to curl up and sink into the story or to head straight to the market to fill your basket with ingredients for Cider-Glazed Salmon and Pistachio Cake with Honeyed Apricots.


I am going to say up front that I don't proclaim to be a cook of any sort or fashion. Honestly, I don't enjoy cooking! That being said I did enjoy the stories and recipes (though I probably won't be making any seeing that most of the recipes are above and beyond my cooking knowledge). I enjoyed reading about Molly's relationship with her family and how it centered around food and cooking. If you love to cook you will enjoy this book. If your life doesn't center around cooking, but books, give it a try, I don't think you will be disappointed. Now, I'm off to figure out what crystallized ginger is!

Quick note: I had a chance to check out her blog and looked under the recipe index. Some of these recipes seem more doable (for me) than the ones in the book. Check it out here.

1 comment:

  1. I am not a gourmet cook, but this book sounds fascinating.

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