As much as I love a good foodie memoir, one of the things that never rings quite true with me is the sophistication of the food — memoirs about food seem, inevitably, to be about people with palates that are more refined than average. But food is memory and family and important even when the only spices used on a roast chicken are garlic powder and Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, as Alex Witchel elegantly and poignantly points out in her memoir All Gone: A Memoir of My Mother’s Dementia, With Refreshments.
Review: Shauna James Ahern grew up in a family where boxed and processed foods were the norm. After years of feeling perpetually under the weather, always slow to recover from illness and generally feeling worn out and torn down, Ahern was diagnosed with celiac disease, an intolerance to gluten. After her diagnosis, Ahern began to explore food in a new way,
Today’s the big day when BookClubSandwich will be chatting about Jael McHenry’s book The Kitchen Daughter. I managed to finally finish the book over the weekend while on a road trip from Madison to Morris and back to find a house for Boyfriend, Hannah, and I. Fourteen hours in the car leaves plenty of time for reading (and napping).
The wait is almost over! BookClubSandwich, the online book club I host with Andi (Estella’s Revenge) will be discussing The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry exactly one month from today.
I haven’t started the book yet, but that’s because it’s on my Nook and Crusoe (the name of my Nook) is currently en route to Qatar with my friend Erin, who is traveling to an international science journalism convention. When Erin and I hung out on Thursday, she told me she didn’t have any books packed for her extremely long flights, so I offered for her to take Crusoe, which is loaded with books (including this one!). By the time Crusoe gets back, he will be more of an international traveler than me! But maybe that’s appropriate, given his namesake.
Last week I asked for some suggestions for foodie fiction that could be options for the next edition of BookClubSandwich, the online foodie book club I co-host with Andi (Estella’s Revenge). We got a lot of great suggestions — both fiction and nonfiction — that I trimmed down to five choices. Below is the list, plus some info about each book, and a poll at the bottom to vote.
Others might disagree, but I don’t think a book that’s foodie fiction necessarily has to have recipes or even be about cooking. However, food does have to play an important role in the story — it needs to mean something to the characters or have a role in moving the plot along. For our next pick, I want a book with lush, delectable writing, stirring characters, and a story that’s made for sinking your teeth into.
Between Andi’s beginning of the semester madness and my week with a cold that makes me want to hide under my covers, we’ve been a little slow about getting some discussions up about David Kamp’s The United States of Arugula, our most recent pick for BookClubSandwich.
To whet your appetite for the discussion post which should go up tomorrow, I pulled some of my favorite thought-provoking quotes from the book, which looks at the evolution of American food through the chefs and foodies that helped make it possible.
I’m excited to tell you that BookClubSandwich, the online bookclub for foodies and wannabes, has picked our third book — The United States of Arugula: The Sun-Dried, Cold-Pressed, Dark-Roasted, Extra Virgin Story of the American Food Revolution by David Kamp.
For a little background, BookClubSandwich is an online book club I host with the lovely Andi at Estella’s Revenge. We’ve been around since last June, and so far have read Coop by Michael Perry and Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. The discussions all happen online, and it’s open to anyone who is interested in reading some great (we hope) books about food.
The thing I remember most clearly about Food Fray by molecular biologist Lisa H. Weasel is that it made me both curious about and angry with Monsanto, a “U.S.-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation” (thanks, Wikipedia), that seems to have it’s tentacles in everything I love to eat.
From previous food reading, I knew Monsanto was a bit shifty, but the company has really exceeded my expectations: patenting genetically modified foods then suing family farmers after those genetically modified seeds happened to pollinate their corn and pushing for a ban on labeling modified milk. Monsanto is messing with milk, and I love milk!