Thursday, January 19, 2012

Books and food - the perfect pairing

I've been known to take home cookbooks just to read recipes, even if I have no intention of making them.  I also have a long history of seeking out books about chefs, bakers, home cooks, and anyone else who likes food.  There's something particularly gratifying to an aspiring foodie like me in reading an engrossing story that also whets the appetite.  I've already raved about White Truffles in Winter, so I won't go on about that, but really...check it out. 
Angelina's Bachelors and Aftertaste: A Novel in Five Courses are both stories of women who cope with the loss of their husbands through food.  In the former, it's the unexpected death of her husband that leaves part-time office manager and amateur cook Angelina with a surplus of time and emotion, which she pours out into the food that she makes for her neighbors.   In Aftertaste, Mira struggles to make sense of her life when her husband, with whom she co-owns a trendy Manhattan restaurant, leaves her for the new restaurant hostess.  Mira's reaction lands her in court-ordered management classes and in doubt about her life's meaning outside a restaurant. 

I've also just started the classic My Life in France by Julia Child.  Unlike Julie and Julia, which left me feeling and impatient with the author, I've found that the further I got in this book, the more affection I felt toward Julia Child (which is saying something since I've long watched reruns of her show whenever I get the chance). 

I consider it a happy fate when I can find books that provide a good story, tempt my palate, and help me plan my meals for the week.  That's the kind of multi-tasking I can get behind.

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