Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Homemade Life

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.



Birdie said...

Chris, this is so lovely. I know the feeling ... to want to run to the kitchen, to take the eggbeater out etc. and just start to cook :-) And I also like when the writer enriches the recipes with their own stories - it can completely capture you :-) Wishing you to have lots of fun trying all these yumy recipes :-) hugs!!

Bev said...

this book sounds...well...luscious! thanks for the recommendation!

SE'LAH... said...

I've been cooking a lot recently. Adding this one to the "to get" list. (wink).

Lynn said...

Chris, I love this! It evokes the warmth, aromas, textures, and flavors of a friendly kitchen. Thanks for posting--now I have another book to try!

Anali said...

I love this book and the blog too. So many recipes to try, so little time.

Kim Living Life said...

Oh Chris I have this book and have started to read it and then for some reason put it down and started reading "Lunch in Paris" I then forgot to start it again so I will pick it up now and restart it, I was loving it when I began. The food and stories were wonderful so I am looking forward to it again.