Monday, June 15, 2009


If you're a reader like me, you can relate to being in a book funk once in awhile, trip after trip to the library yielding nothing but duds.

I went to the library yesterday to pick up a memoir I had requested about a father whose daughter became manic depressive at the age of 15. When I passed by the Best Seller shelf, there sat another book that I'd been wanting to read and I nabbed it, too. A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg is now happily sitting on my bedside table, bookmark embedded. The memoir? I doubt I will crack it.

I knew I'd love A Homemade Life, as I've read the author's blog Orangette,from time to time. It's a good blog for many reasons, the main being the way she writes. I am very particular about the style of writing I enjoy. Not everyone has the ability to beguile me with their words. Molly Wizenberg just knows how to put words together, engaging me completely. The things she tells you about food and cooking forge an instant trust. I've tried a few recipes featured on her blog and all were satisfying and right. I'm especially inspired by her story: her blog became huge, she began writing for Bon Appetit, NPR, PBS, and then she wrote this book. In her book, each chapter starts with a tale about her life and ends with a recipe. Given her good taste and culinary expertise, you have to assume her collection of favorite recipes has got to be good. I feel lucky to have access to it and to the stories associated with each recipe.

Her dad, "BURG" is featured in the first chapter, along with his recipe for potato salad, which I can't wait to try. Her dad died of cancer recently just like my dad did. The author remembers her dad's feelings about food similarly to the way I remember my dad and meals with him. Her dad always had to "OOH and AHH" over a meal and how it was better than any they could eat in a restaurant. Similarly, my dad was known to say, "You know how much you'd pay for this in a restaurant?" as we sat eating terrific steaks and baked potatoes.

I am so excited to keep reading this book. I'm only six chapters in and I am convinced I will love it and want to own my own copy.

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