Saturday, July 5, 2014

Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin

It took me about 20 pages to settle into her "voice"... the result of which was, unfortunately, about 20 pages until I decided I did, after all, like the narrator.  At first, I thought she was a kind of snarky know-it-all. But once I settled in, I realized she was a self-deprecating, well-experienced, down-to-earth cook from the mid-80s, with a very dry sense of humor. And I quite liked her sense of humor.

At the beginning, Colwin says that she reads cookbooks like novels.  This is perhaps why she's written this book the way she has... it reads like a sort of series of short stories, anecdotal short stories, but it's also a cookbook. She manages to pull off jumping around from subject to subject, from story to story, and from recipe to recipe, in a way that makes the reader want to read more, know more, eat more, and COOK more!

Some review I read said that this book is like having a telephone conversation with your best friend. I would agree with that. The way Colwin approaches not only her stories, but also the recipes, is familiar, close, intimate.

Overall, this was a lovely book that I intend to re-index (because there already IS a useful index at the end!) for my own purposes so I can use and re-use and hopefully impress dinner parties full of people...

Highly recommended for people who want to cook, who are good at cooking, who are bad at cooking, or who just like food. or who just like to eat. ;)

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