Friday, April 30, 2010

A Homemade Life

A Homemade Life, by  Molly Wizenberg

As much as I loved The Nasty Bits, I really didn't love this book.  I thought I would.  I really wanted to, but, I kind of hated it. 

There.  I said it.  I hated this book.

I've read reviews of people devouring it in two days- which is great- that's what I wanted to do.  That's what I thought I would do.  In the end I couldn't get past the nagging voice in the back of my head saying "sounds like a spoiled rich girl" long enough to get through the first half, let alone the entire book. 

I did make one recipe out of it on a rainy afternoon when I was feeling particularly good and thought it might be a nice idea to actually cook something for the boys lunch for a change.  I had just finished the chapter ending with the recipe for Dutch Baby and it seemed easy and I had all the ingredients on hand.  It was easy, the boys loved it, I'll probably make it again.  That was the last chapter I read though...maybe I'll try again this summer.  Maybe not.

Maybe I'll have to dive into the stack of Bourdain books my husband just received from Amazon to get myself back in the mood for food.  Either way, I'm moving on.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Nasty Bits

I was so excited to get started on this book club, I've been wanting to join one for quite awhile now but haven't found the one that really struck me as something I'd stick with. When I saw a Facebook status about this I jumped all over it. I think I replied that I would be joining before I ever even took a look at the book list. Food books, online, it was a good fit for me. I promptly ordered all three books and started waiting for my shipment to arrive. Nothing is more addicting for me than collecting new books. well, maybe collecting cloth diapers but that's for a different blog.

When I first started reading The Nasty Bits I was happy to see it was short essays and articles- perfect for me- a working Mom who has little time to devote to whole chapters. I was usually able to read through 2-3 stories at a time and not feel like I was missing out on anything if I had to put the book down. That said, I *almost* lost my cookies reading about the raw baby seal in the introduction...I'm not even going to blame that on being pregnant. Thankfully my stomach wasn't tested like that for the rest of the book or I may have had to put it down for good.

The chapter that stuck with me most was The Evildoers. Minneapolis food enthusiasts have been trying really hard to pass some laws so we can get street vendors downtown. They finally passed some really (really really) restrictive laws last week. The biggest restriction being you have to have a brick and mortar store to have a license. So, it'll be more of the same, but on the street- if you can get permission to be there in the first place (you can't just set up shop on the corner, you have to ask adjacent businesses if it's alright. I don't think anyone is really impressed by this. We'll see, maybe this limited intro to street food will be the first steps into the market and in a few years it will be less restrictive.

Food and Loathing in Las Vegas....I saw the episode this article accompanied and I found Ruhlman insufferable.

I did get pretty excited when he started to talk about Guinness in A Drinking Problem and was a bit disappointed when the entire article wasn't about loving that fine stout. I guess as a Guinness girl I never get tired of reading about my favorite thing to drink.

And finally, The Old, Good Stuff. As someone who came from a pretty tame food background I have always loved the allure of all the old school "stuff". I'm always jazzed about trying a new restaurant, but I really love the feeling of sitting down at someplace that's been there forever, someplace that serves that grand old standby that no one ever makes and your friends have never heard of. The things you read about in the pages of Gourmet and books by M.K. Fisher.

This book was a great read for me. It made me hungry (although not as hungry as the Ju(i)cy Lucy episode of Food Wars). It made me love my local restaurants even more than I already do. It made me appreciate the people who prepare my food- from farm to table. It made me happy.