2 February 2015

Review: Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this because it was recommended by Nigella Lawson, and when she says something is good I trust that. And rightly so - I've never had a bad recipe from her, and this book is a truly wonderful read. Lawson said of this book: "Laurie Colwin writes about food with love, lightness and an elegant intimacy reminding us that cooking is about life, not recipes". And this to me perfectly sums up this book. It may be about food, but food is life.

When reading you feel welcomed into the writer's world. It is not the food itself that is important but the life we lead around it and the memories we create. It is not the incredible dinners Colwin remembers but the people that were their and the things that happened. The food, in this case, is a side dish to a wonderfully full (if short) life. I particularly enjoyed her recollections of her first forays into cooking in her minuscule one-room apartment (intriguingly titled 'Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant') and her appraisal of potato salad - which she beloveds, and I agree, can never be truly awful. These are honest, everyday food experience to which every reader can relate. This is not a pretentious food snob telling you with gusto about the time the perfected their signature dish, it is your friend telling you about that hilarious time they ruined a perfectly good red snapper trying to seduce their future husband.

There are recipes in this book, but I doubt I will cook any of them for this book has touched me in a way that goes far beyond mere recipes and delves into the real reasons we cook, speaking to the heart rather than our stomachs.

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