Skip to main content

Featured Post

Spring means Hope | Weekly Snapshot

Hello you guys! I seem to have forgotten how to blog with everything going on around here. I'm sure I'm not the only one. Hope you all are coping okay?

Last week Things finally got to some semblance of a routine this week and I've been finally feeling better and in charge of my emotional faculties. I've taken over one of the upstairs bedrooms and set it up as my office-cum-homeschool room. In other words, the room is a big mess, but both my daughter and I are able to navigate the room fine as everything in the room has a meaning in our own brains. We're both very organized that way. I've been using a sit-stand desk for my work laptop and I'm a little glad that I got to try this system finally. When I'm not working, I'm helping the girl with her letters, numbers, or fun activities. Trust me, this is difficult but we worked through the system this week, and think we have it under control. My father-in-law watches my son during the day as the little ma…

Relish by Lucy Knisley


Relish
This food memoir probably needs no introduction. I have seen this graphic book on so many book blogs that I don't know why it took me this long to get to it. Maybe because it was a food memoir, which is something I always want to read but never feel like it is for me. But I love reading graphic memoirs and decided to give this one a try.

This book definitely lived up to all the good stuff that everyone has ever said about it. I loved it. I love food and I like cooking but I don't have the persistence to spend more of my time cooking though I always have this vision of me cooking more than I really do. Lucy Knisley owes her love and respect for food and cooking to her parents and the food-loving social circle she grew up with. Her father is a connoisseur of all things classy. He likes good wine, good food, good clothes, and good restaurants. He didn't cook but every time he traveled, he used it as an excuse to find and eat at the amazing restaurants in his travel destination. Lucy's mother was a chef and caterer and thanks to her, Lucy was an insider in the world of good food. No matter what the food is or if it was her first time trying a certain food, Lucy yearned to taste it and decide for herself if she will enjoy it. Quite unlike me, for whom the visual appearance of the food can be a deal breaker.




In Relish, Lucy talks about the role that food played in her upbringing and adult life. After reading it, it is really hard to look at food the same way as before, at least for a while. There is a lot of appreciation for getting the right quality of ingredients, embracing cooking as something to love rather than a necessary routine, and having an open mind and no prejudice about any kinds of strange or unappetizing foods. When Lucy was still a kid, her parents divorced and her mom moved from their NYC apartment to Rhinebeck, NY, where she started growing several vegetables and fruits in her garden. Although initially unhappy with the move, Lucy quickly begins to love this new rural life and learns a lot about the produce in their (and the neighbors') gardens.

Of course, like all young people, she goes through a phase of loving fast food, especially at McDonald's. Her parents don't like this at all but Lucy's love for non-fast food doesn't diminish. All through her childhood and adult years, she continues cooking. She mentions a memorable few days when she baked croissants after croissants trying to recreate the really amazing ones she had while on vacation at Venice.




Lucy was an art student and she feels art students make some of the best cooks because creating a dish is a kind of art - there is a good amount of visualization that goes into it and plenty of willingness to be bold with some choices in making the dish. If you are a fan of cooking shows, this is probably something you would strongly agree with - not necessarily the art student part but definitely the visualization part. When she was a kid, most of the people who worked in the kitchens at restaurants and bakeries in NYC were art students and musicians. Fast forward to when she is an adult, and the kitchens contain mostly people who are studying for a degree in a food discipline or on their way to becoming a professional chef.

There is much to love in this book. Who knew food could look so wonderful, yummy, and entertaining in a comic book? This isn't a traditional graphic book, where the illustrations do most of the talking. In some cases, the pictures speak a lot but in most cases, they are accompaniments to the text. However, when it comes to the recipes in this book, they certainly had more graphics than text. Lucy's family was hard not to love. I enjoyed reading about their experiences with food and all the trials they go through trying to create a favorite dish or cater to a new set of customers. Each chapter in this book focused on a different aspect of her life - her early teens focused on a fascination with fast food, her college days on her croissant baking attempts and on making dishes that her fellow students appreciated.

I am glad I finally read this one. Mostly, it has made me want to read more food memoirs and experience the journey these cooks/chefs/bakers had with food through their lives.


I borrowed this book from the good old library.

Comments

bermudaonion(Kathy) said…
I loved this too! I want to take a trip with Knisley!
Vasilly said…
Yay! I'm glad you loved this one too! I hope we see more foodie memoirs by various authors in the future.
Athira / Aths said…
That is exactly how I felt the whole time I was reading the book! I cannot wait to try her other books.
Athira / Aths said…
I agree. This was my first and I am a convert now. I need to look for other foodie memoirs.
JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said…
I enjoyed Knisley's French Milk and want to read this, but my library doesn't have a copy. Will probably end up buying it...
>>>I always have this vision of me cooking more than I really do.


Aw man, me too. I have a vision of a better, more together version of myself who cooks fancy dinners constantly and has guests over and is totally chilled out about it. I am gradually moving toward that version of me, but it's baby steps. (I made fancy food for guests recently. I did it really successfully. There was a sauce and everything.)
iliana said…
So glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I haven't read many foodie memoirs so I can't really compare but I enjoyed this one a lot. I highly recommend her book French Milk. I have one of her latest checked out from the library but just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Mystica said…
I never pass on foodie memoirs. This sounds a real treat
Care said…
You have me wondering how many foodie memoirs I've read... Anthony Bourdain's famous one and I read Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires (very fun) and... that's about it? Unless you count Making Piece - which I HIGHLY recommend, it's about pie of course. sort of - also grief.
Oh my, I really want to read this, now. Sounds delightful!
Shweta said…
So glad you liked this book. Relish is among my all time favourite books and I keep recommending it all those who are willing to listen to me :) You should try out her other book French Milk. Also she is coming up with a new book on her wedding planning and all the drama that ensues!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …