Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Yummy Read

I've just finished a truly lovely, lyrical, dare I say delicious, novel. And even more special, it came to me in a somewhat roundabout way. I gave The School of Essential Ingredientsto a friend for her birthday after admiring the cover and thrilling over the gushing reviews. Last week I got an email from her, asking me if I'd read it and wondering if I'd like to, because she'd read it in a single sitting and LOVED it. How could I refuse? (Honestly I didn't even remember the name of the book until she told me). Despite her glowing review, I was a little wary. This is not my typical fare. Literary books tend to be a little deeper, and very often darker, than I like. My mixed-feelings about this book evaporated within the first five pages. It is written with such a delicate hand, full-to-bursting with evocative images and spot-on metaphors that I was instantly charmed.

It is about a girl who learned to cook while her mother was lost in books and how, all grown-up now, she enthusiastically teaches others. Not recipes or how-to's, just feeling and experiencing, adjusting to taste, doing what feels right. It is the story of seven strangers learning to cook and discovering that experiencing food in a new way fills the holes in their lives.

My friend told me that reading the book had made her want to cook something as soon as she was finished, and I couldn't imagine it having that effect on me. It has. Lately I've tried to get past my mini-phobia of dirty dishes piling up to do a little extra cooking. I ventured back the orchard and came home with a few more peaches and blackberries, a couple tomatoes, a handful of rosemary and a few sprigs of thyme. Since then I've make a peach cobbler, some homemade french fries seasoned with olive oil and rosemary, a chicken pot pie with fresh thyme, and homemade blackberry ice cream! Yay me!

Seriously though, I highly, highly recommend this book. I only wish the author had another novel ready for me to dive into.

Sidebar: If you're interested in winning a copy of my book, both Green Girl and Silver Strands are doing giveaways, so hop over there and get in on the action!


David Cranmer said...

Far from my usual fare but a good book is a good book and this one sounds intriguing.

Stacy said...

Sounds like a good book.

Be grateful I don't live in Texas, as I'd definitely invite myself over for dinner. ;)

Silver Strands said...

I love a good read, but really hate to have it end if there's no sequel!

Did you get my order for your book? Thanks for the autograph coming with it :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I saw this book recently and was VERY tempted. Now it's official: I must get it.

Teenage Bride said...

Sounds great! I am open to be reading just about anything and I LOVE LOVE LOVE to cook (at least since I got married lol) I will be sure to put this on my summer reading list! thanks for sharing.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Yay for good books! I am definitely adding this to my very long to read list!

Alyssa Goodnight said...

You should give it a shot, David. Particularly if you're at all a foodie.

Stacy, this was just a particularly good week for me. We've been know to survive on chili for days... :)

I know what you mean, Denalee!

Kelly said...

Can I borrow the book? I want to read it! You know my excitement for food and I need to be inspired to cook more!