Saturday, July 12, 2008
There are times when I think it would be fun to be a serious food person. I'd love to have the time to cook - really cook - learn good techniques and some technical skills. Unfortunately, my lifestyle and my schedule don't really fit that dream. So I make up for it by reading.
One of the last times I went to the bookstore, I picked up Garlic and Sapphires, but Ruth Reichl. (Image from Amazon.com, as is the link). It was on the bargain book table, something I have a hard time resisting. A hardcover book for $3.00 usually needs to come home with me if I think it might be at all good.
I had not read anything by Ruth Reichl before, so this was more or less a pleasant surprise. This is not an incredibly substantive book - it's light and fluffy, a memoir of working as restaurant critic for the New York Times. Reading the reviews on Amazon.com, I can see how people come to the criticisms they do. It does become a bit repetitive, and there is only so much reading I can do about how wonderful a food tastes. Personally, I'd rather be eating it than hearing how good it tastes, but I can get some vicarious enjoyment out of it. There are elements of this book that do become tiresome, but the book was also clearly written during a time that was very important to Reichl, and one she remembers fondly, and wanted to memorialize.
I wouldn't rush out to buy this book, but if you like reading about food and high end restaurants, pick it up at the library or at a used book store. I'll be keeping an eye out for her other books, which are supposed to be better than this one.
More to come this weekend. Things are a bit brighter than they were at my last posting, although I won't claim things have suddenly become sunshine and roses. My family is doing better, and I'm able to see some positive things again. (Thank you for the e-mails etc. They helped, even when I didn't feel like talking so much.) Somehow I have also forgotten that I need to be at work today, and now I need to run the vacuum to suck up at least the top layer of dirt in my house, shower, and run off for a few errands before I spend the rest of the day in the cave of the lab. I'm hoping to find enough time this weekend to cook something good for dinner, maybe try out a chocolate chip cookie recipe from the New York Times. Evidently, if you leave the cookie dough to sit for a day, the cookies are better. This is something I want to test, even if my waistline doesn't agree.
I am not my job. It's not my whole life. What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger. Lather, rinse, and repeat.