Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

2.20 Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl

I know that I said I was tired of food writing, but I lied. My haul at the library a few weeks ago was half literature, half foodie non-fiction. I've been trying to alternate the two, and I have only one more food book after this one left for you, my dear reader, to suffer through. Yes, I have a one track mind lately and this experiment was supposed to help me push my reading material interests. Um, I've been reading a lot more non-fiction than ever before, it is mostly about culinary arts though. Moving on...

Reichl is the editor of Gourmet magazine, before that she was the editor of the Los Angeles Times Food section and the restaurant reviewer for the New York Times. She jumped into the food world at exactly the right time. As I was reading this, my head spun with the food celebrities that she met, was friendly with, cooked with. Julia Child, Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, Judi Rogers, if I had the book with me, I could tell you more but your interest might flag. She knew a lot of people. At some parts, it felt almost too good to be true, but this was also the time before chefs were celebrities and the food world was really insular.

I was really surprised by how she was about her life. She talked about her failing marriage, her extra-marital affairs, her lack of experience, and feelings of being overwhelmed, her lack of funds, her jealousy of others, her heart-ripping failed adoption. All good, well-written stuff. And of course, it all ended mostly happily, although she didn't know it at the time. I felt like the ending was a bit weak, but the memoir only covers her start in food writing up to her rising stardom. She just released another volume entitled Garlic and Sapphires, about her time as a restaurant critic. I really want to get my hands on a copy.

My little sis graduates tomorrow (yay J!) and I'm making the food her party (yay me!). I'll be back next week. Have a good weekend.


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