Friday, August 7, 2009

A Homemade Life

For a while there, it seemed like every other blogger was raving about this book:

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But I have this weird aversion to reading stuff that "everyone" is talking about. Plus, I didn't feel the need for yet another cook book, and didn't think I'd be that into reading about food. Eventually, however, someone must have said the magic words that made me decide to read it, and I requested it from the library.

When it came in, I was in the middle of two other books. As the librarian handed it over to me, though, she said "I LOVED this book!" So when I brought it home, I dove right in. And I couldn't put it down.

In fact, now that I've finished it, I wish I had put it down once in a while to get paper and pen to write down wonderful quotes. Do you do that? Figure you'll be able to find them later and keep reading, only to lose them completely? Oh, it was good. It read like a novel. It was sad enough to make you cry and romantic enough to make you cry again.

And somehow, she made me want to make things I would have never thought would sound good to me. "Carmelized cauliflower with salsa verde?" I have to try it, even though I normally avoid cauliflower. "Red cabbage salad with lemon and black pepper?" I tend to push the cabbage to the side of my salad plate, but in her description of uncooked cabbage ("it's starchy and stiff, like a Styrofoam packing peanut that's been stepped on"), I found a kindred spirit, so if she thinks it's great, I should too, right? In fact, by the time I'd finished reading the short chapter introducing each recipe, I couldn't wait to try it; she even got me excited about salads, which is a very hard thing to do.

I want this book. Nevermind that I've already read it. Nevermind that I don't know where I'd put it. (In the kitchen, where I already have too many cookbooks? In the library, with the memoirs?). I want to find those quotable bits again. I want to try so many of the recipes. And I want to share it with other people. I want you to go read it right now--even if you're in the middle of two other books, even if you don't care about food, even if you don't want to read it because I said you should. Take a peek. See if you can put it down.

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