Tag Archives: reading

A Very Happy Birthday!

I’m not usually one of those people who shoves the fact that it’s their birthday in your face, but today, I just have to. And not because it’s my 21st, or because I want the attention, or even because I want a big celebration. Rather quite the opposite. A close friend and I are thinking of how to celebrate and I don’t know if I could be more hesitant to actually plan and set up the event. There is something about being all “Hey, it’s my birthday! Come celebrate!” that I don’t enjoy and would rather have (and do for others!) the “Hey, it’s your birthday! Wanna celebrate? Tell me what you want and I’ll set it up”.

Anyway, now that we’ve got that out of the way, the real reason I want to address the date today is simply because of the fantastic present I just bought myself. Yes, sadly it is not an old printing that can considered rare, like my mother’s copy- mine was printed in 2009. But it is, at least, the two-volume edition. And it was cheap. Bought it from my favorite used bookstore here in Anchorage, Title Wave Books, and was able to get it for $40+ less than the original price. Meaning I paid about $45. For this:

That’s right, I am now the proud owner of my very own set of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This is just proof that if you are patient and root around a bit, you will find great things at great bargains. Now, off to celebrate with dinner and my first legal drink, but what shall it be? Maybe I should ask Julia.She would probably go for wine. She always had it with her. Actually, it was diluted Gravy Master. Thanks Smithsonian exhibit of her Cambridge kitchen for that little tidbit!

A Homemade Life: Stories and recipes from my kitchen table

As promised, here is my review for Molly Wizenberg’s “mouthwatering memoir” A Homemade Life:


When I had first heard of this book, I didn’t remember it at all. I’m sure I had seen in on another foodie blog and passed it by, but then it appeared in a care package from home and I knew it was something I had to read right away. Sadly, I was still in school and had to focus on my studies and reading for class than what I actually wanted to be reading. So during that time I clicked on over to Orangette, Molly’s blog, and lo and behold what I found there. Nothing. Honestly, I barely read it because it didn’t interest me from a first glance. I enjoy the fun, bright blogs as can be seen by those on my list of blogs I’m addicted to, but Molly’s was very cut and dry with few embellishments, professional, but not so much fun. This worried me about the book and if it was going to be the same way, but with a huge sigh of relief I discovered I was wrong.

The book was quick, I was able to practically finish it on the flight from New York to Anchorage, so about 11 hours give or take. All I didn’t get to was the last fifteen or so pages, which were just the thing to lull me to sleep that night. Yet what I discovered within its pages was something much more than a person’s simply life story and a few recipes that I would never want to make, as I usually see in books that incorporate recipes.

Each chapter was filled with a new story or two tying food back to Molly’s life growing up at home, or in Paris, and the various memories connected to the dish. I particularly enjoyed reading about her childhood in Oklahoma and the holiday seasons and great events. I only wish I had tissues on me for the chapters concerning her father and his passing, especially because I’m sure the girl sitting next to me was getting really disturbed at the seemingly random tears dripping onto the tray table. And finally, for once in a recipe book (or one not classified as a cookbook) I have found things I want to make. I would love to try her version of french toast, the red cabbage salad that may even bring my stubborn Aunt to like cabbage, and even the classic Hoosier pie.

The book was a great success, both for my own knowledge of food and family, but also for Molly as being a published author, something that at is a large goal for many bloggers and creative writing majors, including myself. Her memoir has caused me to go back to Orangette and give it another go, while actually reading a few of the entries to see if they have the same conversational flow as the book. I am glad to report that the book is basically an extension of the blog that you can take anywhere that internet connection cannot reach. So get your own copy today, curl up on the couch with a nice cup of coffee, tea, whatever your fancy be, and spend some time absorbed in Molly’s homemade life, it is well worth it.

And I am proud to say that from now on Orangette will have its own place in my heart and on my blog, as you can access it from my Blogs I’m Addicted To list. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.