Loyal, rotten food, and finding your way home

Loyal. Yes, I am loyal when it comes to good authors. If I really love a book, I usually try to read everything else they have written. Ruth Reichl is one of those authors. Tender at the Bone, being one of my favorites. Quote: “food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were.” This is a perfect summary of Tender at the Bone, where she grows up watching food and people, particularly her strange mother, and the often rotting food she serves to her guests.

I relate to Riechl, not so much that my mom served rotten food, but that I feel I am a starer. I love watching people, learning about them and what makes them tick. Growing up in the midwest, I was a product of the 80’s. Yes, jello mixed with whipped cream, or pears molded into jello. I could go on, but what I’ll say is that I agree with Riechl, you can definitely learn about people by watching what they eat.

I just finished Riechl’s newest book and I could not put it down. Sunday morning I woke up early and decided to snuggle up against Chris and read as much as I could before my stomach made such loud growling sounds that I would wake Chris up. 100 pages later and I still another 100 pages to go (380 pages in total), we decided to finally roll out of bed. I silently geared up for my run later in the day where I could finish the book. The book? Delicious by Ruth Reichl. This quote stood out to me the most from her book, especially the part about food and finding their way home.

“A great meal is an experience that nourishes more than the body. The feeling stayed with me. The next morning, when Mother, Mr. Jones, and I were walking through those strange, crowded downtown streets, where people were sticking their hands into pickle barrels, pointing to smoked fish, and eating sliced herring, I saw the scene in a whole new way. They weren’t buying food: They were finding their way home.” page 277

Delicious is about a girl who ventures to New York City to work for a food publication. She learns a lot about family, sisterhood, love, and so much more. Riechl has a way of weaving multiple stories into one. She shares a story between two sisters, a father and daughter, an employee and employer, and multiple co-workers, oh and somehow brings James Beard into it all. Weaved in with food, food history, and World War II. It is a definitely a book to read, and you will want to postpone your to-do list to finish it. Warning: If you liked her die-hard foodie books, this has a much softer side.

Oh, by the way, I finished Delicious on my run, and now I only wish there was a sequel. Ruth Reichl, you may have only been a non-fiction writer, but I think you just opened a world for yourself in the land of non-fiction.


A precious love story

A friend recently told me about a book to read, by Gene Wilder (think The Producers, and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory). I was curious just by the mere fact that Gene Wilder wrote a book (although it is his fourth), and a love story at that. It takes place during World War II, and usually that would not be my genre of book to read. I am not normally into love stories and I am not usually into war piece books, but I decided to hold it at the library. What did I have to lose?

Something to Remember You By” by Gene Wilder was a quick read (at 164 pages), but so very precious. The story line moves fast and you do not want to put it down. I could definitely see it made into a movie. I do not want to give you too many details about the story line, but rather I encourage you to pick it up, curl up on the couch and in a few short hours, you’ll have a satisfied smile on your face.

Why you may ask? It makes me think about life in simpler times. Think before smart phones, and apps, and all the crazy lives we live. Oh, you have lost that memory? I am not so old that technology is hard for me to adapt to, part of my schooling was technology free and part of it was full of technology and the Internet. I am, however, old enough to know what life was like before we were fully consumed by our gadget filled lives. What do I mean, and where is this going? I can remember a time when you would go to a restaurant with the love of your life, and not care what was happening on Facebook, or the news, or in your inbox, and you just sat and enjoyed the precious one sitting across from you.

Even though I was not even a speck of an idea during World War II, “Something to Remember You By” reminds me of a time before our gadget addiction when you would sit down in a restaurant and enjoy each and every moment of that meal. I want that. I want my brain to shut down, and my fingers to stop typing, and my every gadget to stop buzzing. I want more meals in restaurants that allow me to turn it all off focus on my precious one. Do you struggle with turning it all off? If so, start with reading this short novel, sit back and ponder what you can do to unplug and enjoy your loved ones World War II style.