Thursday, May 28, 2009
Quite Possibly the Best Book of the Year
I came to be a fan of Molly Wizenberg slowly, in fits and starts. I became aware of her blog Orangette, I think sometime in 2007. I read along, sometimes, not always, but when Molly became a monthly writer for Bon Appetit I became more familiar with her work and with her 'taste' in food. I knew she had a book coming out, I figured I'd read it at some point, heck - I could even wait for the paperback. But then I held it in my hands and paged through it. I put it back. Back to the bookstore another day I looked through it more closely - and knew it had to be mine. I waited for just the right moment to start it. I didn't want to be distracted by traveling and reading obligations - I wanted to focus.
It was worth the wait.
Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life is sublime. Delicious. Heartbreaking and life-affirming. Organized in short chapters, each essay is followed by a recipe or sometimes two pertaining to the content of the essay. I was nostalgic as Molly wrote about her childhood in Oklahoma, jealous of the opportunity she had to study in Paris, I became tearful when she wrote with great poignancy of her father's illness and death, and joyful when she finds herself madly in love.
Molly was born to write. In one section, she shares an essay she wrote in high school. It is shocking how well it is written. Molly is a woman who has figured out at a young age what her passion is and has been able to turn that into a life for herself. Hopefully that means we will have many more books by her.
I doled out little bits of this book to myself, chapter by chapter. This past Monday I sat outside and inhaled the last 100 or so pages in one gulp. I didn't want it to end, but I couldn't stop either. If you love food, if you love cooking, you will love this book. Even if you don't, I bet you'll love it anyway.
Here is Molly's lemon yogurt cake that I baked with the girl yesterday.
It was delicious and if you didn't have 'help' I bet you could get it into the oven in five minutes. Seriously.