Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Pretty cover, eh?
I chose this book because, from the inside cover flap, it seemed that it would fit both my Books on France challenge and my Foodies Read challenge (not to mention my Nerdy Non-Fiction challenge). Well, it didn't quite have enough about France for me to include it in Books on France, but it does meet the other challenges.

This book is a collection of essays, accompanied by recipes, about stories from Molly Wizenberg's life, mainly about how she learned to deal with her father's death.

I mentioned before that this book had all the warm-fuzziness of a foodie read that Julie & Julia just didn't have. And it's true. After my disappointment with Julie Powell, Molly Wizenberg was just the thing.

This book, to use a food analogy, isn't the meaty main course. It's a collection of dainty appetizers, salads, and desserts. It reads a lot like a blog, as though Wizenberg just pulled posts straight from her blog and slapped them into a book (and for all I know, she did). If I were going to read this book the way it ought to be read, I would maybe keep it on my bedside table and read an entry or two in an evening when I'm having trouble sleeping. (But it's a library book, and I'm too book-obsessive to do that sort of thing.) Wizenberg's writing is light and sweet. She doesn't bog you down with long descriptions or affected prose; she just tells it like it is, simply and thoughtfully.

My confession with this book is that I haven't made a single recipe from it, and now that I've finished reading it, it's unlikely I ever will. I enjoyed the essays a lot more than I enjoyed the recipes (although I did consider making some of them). Part of the reason for my non-recipe-making is that many of the recipes called for ingredients like goat cheese and expensive vinegar, which I don't exactly have just lying around. (And since I'm a newly-married college student, I don't have a lot of money for gourmet food just lying around, either.) But most of the recipes looked pretty tasty--and if they didn't, Wizenberg was very aware of the fact, and assured her readers that they actually really were tasty. (I'll probably never take the trouble to find out whether I agree with her.)

This was a lovely book. I've also enjoyed perusing Wizenberg's blog, Orangette, and especially her podcast, Spilled Milk ("the show where we make something delicious, eat it all, and you can't have any." Now how can you resist listening to a podcast that starts with a line like that?). I would recommend stepping into the land of Molly Wizenberg, whether through the book, blog, or podcast, at least for a few minutes. She's a refreshing voice in a world of snobby foodies (let's admit, there are far too many of those).

1 comment:

  1. Sounds interesting, especially the fact that it's like blog posts!