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Saturday, January 31, 2009


food for thought :: talking with my mouth full

Talking With My Mouth Full - Crab Cakes, Bundt Cakes and Other Kitchen Stories by Bonnie Wolf is the second book that the Food For Thought book club has read. it was an easy, simple read. (although i admit to not being finished with it yet.)

the book is a collection of . . . essays, i guess. i have trouble describing the book because i can't get past how different it was from what i expected. the phrase "other kitchen stories" invoked more of an autobiography to me. i don't know why. and aside from book reading, i found this an interesting study in expectations. my expectation colored my experience of this book.

i thought i was getting stories from the author's life in the kitchen--in depth, character-filled ones. ones that would make me wish i had an aunt so-and-so who taught me to cook the perfect lasagne or whatever--more like the stories in Ruth Reichl's books. but that is not what this book is.

this book is a collection of very lightly penned essays on different foods and meals. wolf mentions her history with the foods. she then also mentions her pal megan or joe have said about the foods and how they have been affected by eating or how they eat it or what flavor, etc. it's all very nice. but not at all in depth. not real substantive. and again, not what i expected. this book is like a light butter cream frosting, but no really yummy, filling chocolate cake underneath.

that being said, i did enjoy the book. it was fun to chat with wolf about popovers, ice cream and state fair foods. i enjoyed her tone and her casual way. she doesn't take food or cooking too seriously. she's down-to-earth, i'd say. she has a really comfortable, come-in-for-a-cup-of-tea style. for me, i guess i just needed a little more to grab me. it was too easy to put the book down and not come back to it.

the one recipe that i could not stop thinking about was her mom's German Pancake. YUM! so i had to make it. and it was really good. really good. my son and i downed about half of it in one sitting.

given that i don't have permission to reprint the recpice so i shouldn't give it to you, but picture a giant popover wrapped around apples and cinnamon. it's really simple. the "cake" is eggy and moist. the book is loaded with recipes. that alone is a great reason to pick up a copy or borrow it from your library.

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Blogger Arika said...

Thanks for answering all of my questions! It seems you and i had a similar experience with the book. I didn't finish it either! Lets hope next month's read is more engaging.

That German Pancake looks delish. I just may have to thumb through and revisit that particular recipe myself. Husband started drooling when he viewed it over my shoulder =)

My Yummy

January 31, 2009 at 11:11 AM  
Blogger Jacque said...

I was also surprised at the format of the book... like a collection of essays rather than a food memoir. It took me a while to get used to that.

mmmm, yummy pancake!!

February 7, 2009 at 11:23 PM  

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