Reichl traces the rise of American foodie culture in the 1970s 80s Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck through her time as a food critic for the Los Angeles Times, also weaving in personal history from a Berkeley co op with her first husband to a home in the California hills with her second after affairs and a sticky divorce Throughout she describes meals in mouth watering detail, like this Thai dish The hot pink soup was dotted with lacy green leaves of cilantro, like little bursts of breeze behind the heat I took another spoonful of soup and tasted citrus, as if lemons had once gone gliding through and left their ghosts behind. BONUS This Edition Contains A Comfort Me With Apples Discussion GuideIn This Delightful Sequel To Her Bestseller Tender At The Bone, Ruth Reichl Returns With Tales Of Love, Life, And Marvelous Meals Comfort Me With Apples Picks Up Reichl S Story In , When She Puts Down Her Chef S Toque And Embarks On A Career As A Restaurant Critic Her Pursuit Of Good Food And Good Company Leads Her To New York And China, France And Los Angeles, And Her Stories Of Cooking And Dining With World Famous Chefs Range From The Madcap To The Sublime Through It All, Reichl Makes Each And Every Course A Hilarious And Instructive Occasion For Novices And Experts Alike She Shares Some Of Her Favorite Recipes While Also Sharing The Intimacies Of Her Personal Life In A Style So Honest And Warm That Readers Will Feel They Are Enjoying A Conversation Over A Meal With A Friend By the time I was a quarter through this book I was freaking out bet that is a Berkley term I was telling myself, Don t judge Stop judging Take a deep cleansing breath, another It only helped so much I was definitely judging By the time Ruth and Doug have their honest conversation I was furious I had to keep telling myself, This is Ruth s life not yours, Doug is not your husband so you don t have to kill him I mean I was judging Ruth too, but man another Berkleyism I m sure Doug took the cake well actually Michael got the cake but never mind that I liked Michael and was glad when they finally got married She had better not reveal in the next book what a creep he actually was That was what happened with Doug, he was such a great guy in the first book, and then the second book, whammo, Doug is a creep She eats a lot of, in my opinion, gross food in this book Things like jellyfish, baby eels, frogs, brains, and something the Chinese told her was an armadillo, hahaha, they have no armadillos in China Probably dog I d guess Her China story is interesting though, I admired her chutzpah After she marries Michael they adopt a baby in unusual circumstances Birth mother comes back and claims the baby I think I know Ruth and Michael s pain They lost a child as did I Mine died and theirs was taken away, but the result was the same, bereavement I stopped judging Ruth finally The story ends on a very upbeat note, very happy She writes very well and her story is interesting, even if I did get upset for awhile there. Ruth Reichl, food critic and former editor of Gourmet magazine, is a fluid and engaging writer Her stories about the early days of California Cuisine were interesting, as were the anecdotes involving people like Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, and the Aidells sausage guy before they became household names But too much of the book is about her personal life, which at this phase involved living in a commune in Berkeley and pursuing several extra marital affairs Even if all her descriptions of meals had been for food I actually like, visions of unwashed, unshaven, unmarried people in flagrante would have killed my appetite For me, the problem with these memoirs, as with some of her recipes, is content, not style. I liked the real foodie parts of this book, but it pretty quickly devolved into the sort of memoir where I felt somewhat aghast for Ruth s friends, family, former and current spouses, and lovers Yikes TMI It would have comforted me if she had stuck an apple in her mouth rather than telling me quite so much about her infidelities SPOILERS I don t know why this is so she just seemed so stupidly self destructive at some points and yet constantly fell forward into better and better jobs I really was not happy to find out at the end of the book that she was going to achieve her goal of having a child I just could not get into this book I have very little patience for people who want sympathy while living obviously self indulgent and absorbed lives. This followup to Reichl s first memoir, Tender At the Bone, is as lush as its predecessor, if a little sickening as a comforting marriage splinters, a self is reinvented, and a longed for child is gained and lost.Though she s well known for writing about food, Ruth Reichl is just as adept at writing about the self, particularly when the self is caught in unfamiliar, transitional phases.In the beginning of Comfort Me With Apples, Reichl finds herself embroiled in one extramarital affair after the other The breakdown of her marriage is sketched for the reader, rather than drawn out in excruciating detail, but that sketch is evocative and, indeed, excruciating anyway It s very clear to the reader what Reichl is giving up, and how hard it is for her to make the decision to give it up.Also palpable, though never stated outright, is her bemusement at being swept into the L.A food world of celebrity chefs and movie stars Perhaps that feeling comes from having read Tender At the Bone.The part of Comfort Me With Apples that will stay with me the longest is the part about Reichl s adopted daughter, Gavi I can t imagine withstanding a loss like that Indeed, I had no idea there was any such thing in Reichl s life She tells the story of her daughter with the awe inspiring level of self knowledge that seems to be a characteristic of her memoirs.Ruth Reichl knows food, but Ruth Reichl also knows herself every strength and weakness, every grace and meanness and she s not afraid to show us each aspect of her personality. I would be embarrassed to read this in a public place, but it s a mindless read and I have a hard time resisting descriptions of food This is a good break up book so far all the romantic relationships Reichl describes crumble, and her writing is too cheesy for me to feel like she s a real person see Made From Scratch, the Sandra Lee memoirs , so it s pleasantly cathartic Plus recipes I shouldn t speak too soon, though Maybe she ll meet some amazing guy she s still with in an inspirational I needed to let myself be ready for myself sort of way, and I ll want to throw the book at the wall UPDATE Finished Blegh When it comes to stories of hardship, I have a hard time relating to people whose escapism manifests itself in trips to Bangkok, Barcelona, Paris, etc Given the chance, that would be my desired means of escapism, but in the mean time I m stuck with 1.99 movies and books like this P.S This book convinced me that I never, ever want to eat brains. When I picked up this book for book club having not read the first , I never expected it to be as engaging as it was nor to have such a profound impact.In the beginning, I was drawn in by the author s engaging writing and beautiful descriptions of the food she encounters I also found myself captivated like someone watching a train wreck as she view spoiler cheats on her husband time and time again and then just floats in limbo in two relationships at once hide spoiler A bit hard for me to sympathize with a protagonist who spends the entire book having extramarital affairs Garlic and Sapphires is a much enjoyable read.
Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, the editor in chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library.Born to parents Ernst and Miriam n e Brudno , she was raised in New York City and spent time at a boarding school in Montreal She attended the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, the artist Douglas Hollis She graduated in 1970 with a M.A in art history
- 320 pages
- Comfort Me with Apples: More Adventures at the Table
- Ruth Reichl
- 20 January 2018 Ruth Reichl