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A homemade life. Food memoir review

Jealousy. It’s a strong word isn’t it? Much stronger than envy or even contempt. But that is exactly how I feel about Molly Wizenberg, the author of A Homemade Life

I am jealous of Molly. I am jealous of her relationship with food. I am jealous of her memoirs of food. I am jealous that cooking was an integral part of her childhood.

I wish I had stories like that to tell. 

But that said, Molly is a blogger I have been following for years. Her blog Orangette has stories that are engaging, her photographs are beautiful and she is just wonderful. So when her book came out. I knew I had to have it the moment I could find it here. Of course the fact that it was on the New York Times best sellers list, made me want it more. 

I don't regret buying it one bit. I love how her stories are interwoven with food through the  poignant points of her life. I love how her tales begin and end with food and I especially love the fact that she met her husband through her blog. (That actually reminds me of another friend Riddhi - who met her husband similarly).

Molly's peppered the book with recipes as well. Each chapter ends with one or two. She's listed some of her favourite cookies, cakes, pies and soups. But my favourites from her book are her salads. Especially the ones that are her husbands creations. There's the Fennel, Pear and Parmesan salad. There's the Arugula, Pistachio and Chocolate salad and the Bread with cherries, arugula and goat cheese. I haven't made a single one, but they all sound delicious. And the fennel salad, I shall make this Saturday.

Of the three things I HAVE tried from the book. One, I hate to say this, turned out a bit too eggy - The Blueberry Raspberry Pound Cake. Infact, had I been a tiny bit smarter, I'd have added a tablespoon of good quality vanilla to the eggs before mixing it it. And it would have been just fine. But, my husband loved it. This bit always surprised me - I mean it's like he and I taste different things when we eat the same food. 

The other one was the Burg's Potato Salad. (Burg is Molly's father). I soaked the potatoes and dressing overnight. And may I please add it was magnificent. Burg's French Toast too, were quite superb.

Again, there are no pictures in this book. Instead there are sweet illustrations by Camilla Engman. And they are so cute. I love the boulangerie illustration as well as one of Molly's husband.

This book is not as much a cookbook as it is a memoir. And what a memoir it is. Molly's engaging style makes it quite a page-turner. But what I find awesome is that you can pick up any chapter and there's a fresh new story right there. She's descriptive and personal. She's talked about her relationship with her father, her boyfriend-turned husband and her half-siblings. 

There's this quiz at the end of her book - to see if you've figured what Molly's all about. But what really tickles me is the question and answer session at the end of the book - a sort of an epilogue - where she talks about her favourites and what she's currently doing now (She and her husband have opened a restaurant in Seattle called Delancy) and what she plans to do in the future.

But for bloggers like me, she's an inspiration. A sort of Julia Child in the sea of bloggers. And I'm jealous of that. 

A Homemade life available in IndiaUS and UK

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  1. After reading your account of the book, I am jealous of Molly too. Square Meals was an offspring of a failed dream of starting a restaurant. Just too many complications! Anyway, I am glad for for her success. Looking forward to more interesting reads from you.