Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Our December/January Cook the Books Selection: "Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home" by Jessica Fechtor

I am always fascinated by the power of food and the way the aroma, the flavors, the recipes, and the memories they conjure up can bring us back--and as in the title of this book, even bring us home. In our December/January Cook the Books selection: Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals That Brought Me Home, Jessica Fechtor shares her experiences when a aneurysm burst in her brain while running a treadmill at a hotel gym at a conference. That aneurysm burst apart the life and career path she was planning and had her enduring numerous surgeries, losing her sense of smell and the eyesight in her left eye. It was food, cooking, and her memories of favorite recipes and food experiences, that along with her friends and family, pulled her through the dark times. 


From the book jacket: Jessica’s journey to recovery began in the kitchen as soon as she was able to stand at the stovetop and stir. There, she drew strength from the restorative power of cooking and baking. Written with intelligence, humor, and warmth, Stir is a heartfelt examination of what it means to nourish and be nourished. 


I first came across the audio of this book after reading a review of it on a favorite book blog (Beth Fish Reads) and checking it out from the library. Listening to Jessica's story and her wit and warmth in telling it made me a fan and I wanted to share it with my Cook the Books friends. Although the subject matter is serious and Jessica's story often heart-wrenching and moving, there is enough humor and inspiration to lift it up, rather than bog it down in sadness. I bought the book so I could read the words this time and see the twenty-seven recipes woven in throughout the book. (Note: If you want to listen to the audiobook, they provide a link to the recipes and many of them can be found on her blog, Sweet Amandine.)

I hope you enjoy this memoir as much as I did and I can't wait to see the dishes it inspires--whether you pick one of Jessica's recipes or make a favorite dish that always brings you back home.
 
Submissions for this round of Cook The Books are due by end-of-the day Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Anyone can join by reading the current selection, preparing a dish inspired by its contents and writing about it. Let me know when your entry post is up by commenting on this post and/or sending me an email at: debinhawaii@gmail.com. 
 
New to Cook the Books? Check out our About and Guidelines pages or leave a question in the comments on this post. 
 
Aloha and Happy Holidays! 
 
Deb

14 comments:

Simona Carini said...

Thank you, Deb! For once I am giving myself ample time: I am already reading the book :)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thanks Simona. I am looking forward to seeing what you make!

Debra Eliotseats said...

It is going to be my Christmas vacation read!

Wendy Klik said...

I ordered it up on my nook. Looking forward to some down time so I can pour a glass of wine and relax with it.

Amy CookingAdventures said...

What an amazing story! Here is my post! http://www.amyscookingadventures.com/2016/12/sweet-clear-chicken-noodle-soup.html

Tina said...

I just picked it up and I can say, it's extraordinary. What a wonderful writer.

Stacey said...

I recently found this page and although I'm not a blogger, I'm a lover of books and cooking so I went ahead and read the book. I went through a brain injury a couple of years ago and found the book really interesting and also that it rang true. I tried to bake some bread after reading the book, and it came out okay, but if I use her test I still have a ways to go in my recovery!

Simona Carini said...

Dear Stacey, thank you so much for stopping by and for your comment. We are always glad to hear that our reading selection is of inspiration, to both bloggers and people who cook but don't blog. If you feel like writing more about your experience cooking from the book, please do so, and we will include your write-up in the roundup. In the meantime, best wishes for the new year!

Terri Steffes said...

I am participating! I just got the book but I am between books so this should work beautifully.

Deb in Hawaii said...

Hi Stacey,
Definitely let me know if you would like your thoughts and bread to be part of our round up as Simona said. I am happy you enjoyed the book and wish you the best in your recovery. Aloha, Deb

Simona Carini said...

Here's my contribution: cabbage, roasted salmon and persimmon salad
Thank you so much Deb for your selection!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Thanks Simona!

Claudia said...

A terrific book, and my post is now up: http://honeyfromrock.blogspot.com/2017/01/crispy-rice-and-eggs-for-stir.html

Deb in Hawaii said...

Awesome! Thanks Claudia! ;-)