I’ve just started reading Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life: stories and recipes from my kitchen table and while I’m not even half way through the book every recipe I’ve read so far makes me want to beat feet into the kitchen and start pulling out bowls, eggs, butter and my KitchenAid mixer.
Wizenberg, who is also creator of the blog Orangette, pairs, no pun intended, wonderful, heart-warming stories of her father, Burg, and the rest of her culinary-ily-enriched family with all the recipes in her book. Recipes like Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger, Coeur a la Crème with Raspberry Puree (this I can't wait to try!), Chocolate Cupcakes with Bittersweet Glaze, Hoosier Pie and Fresh Ginger Cake with Caramelized Pears (this too). I can’t name anymore as this is as far as I’ve gotten in her book!
She describes her first piece of writing in “The Hardball Stage,” about a high school essay she wrote for English class in which she says, “This is the story of how it all began, how one wordy teenager found her way to the kitchen.”
Towards the end of the essay she writes, “And then, of course, there’s breakfast at nine. First there will be pineapple scones, still warm from the baking sheet, and a cloth-lined tin of cinnamon muffins and spice bread. Then a poached pear, buoyed by a pool of Grand Marnier crème anglaise. Then a warm plate with a small poached egg on a bed of pureed spinach, with caramelized apples and a crispy phyllo purse filled with sausage, ricotta, and mushrooms and baked until flaky outside and melting inside.” Now tell me this doesn’t make your mouth water or make you want to run and get a fork?
As I read her book, it feels like I’m sitting in her kitchen listening to her stories as she bakes something simple and delicious. I love reading recipes attached to family memories. It makes the recipe, and the cook, that much more endearing. I’m also sure if you find yourself reading, A Homemade Life, you’ll no doubt be thinking about your own recipes and the memories they conjure up.