Deb (Kahakai Kitchen) opens the series with Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers edited by Natalie Eve Garrett (published October 2019) for the December 2020 / January 2021 edition
This collection of intimate, illustrated essays by some of America’s most well-regarded literary writers explores how comfort food can help us cope with dark times—be it the loss of a parent, the loneliness of a move, or the pain of heartache.
Lev Grossman explains how he survived on “sweet, sour, spicy, salty, unabashedly gluey” General Tso’s tofu after his divorce. Carmen Maria Machado describes her growing pains as she learned to feed and care for herself during her twenties. Claire Messud tries to understand how her mother gave up dreams of being a lawyer to make “a dressed salad of tiny shrimp and avocado, followed by prune-stuffed pork tenderloin.” What makes each tale so moving is not only the deeply personal revelations from celebrated writers, but also the compassion and healing behind the story: the taste of hope.
There are recipes included with the essays or maybe it will inspire us to make the food that most comforts us!
America's most prominent Latino chef shares the story behind his food, his family, and his professional journey. Before Chef Aaron Sanchez rose to fame on shows like MasterChef and Chopped, he was a restless Mexican-American son, raised by a fiercely determined and talented woman who was a successful chef and restaurateur in her own right--she is credited with bringing Mexican cuisine to the New York City dining scene. In many ways, Sanchez, who lost his father at a young age, was destined to follow in his mother Zarela's footsteps...In this memoir, Sanchez delves into his formative years with remarkable candor... revealing how he fell in love with cooking and started a career in the fast-paced culinary world. Sanchez shares the invaluable lessons he learned from his upbringing and his training... and offers an intimate look into the chaotic and untraditional life of a professional chef and television personality.
In addition, the book contains several delicious recipes, including one for seafood étouffée. VERDICT Highly recommended for foodies and memoir aficionados.
- Sadie, a moonshiner's wild child, is trying to help make ends meet while her older brothers are away fighting WWII.
- Olivia, a new bride, has escaped London and the Blitz by marrying a rich American doctor, one of the "landed gentry."
- Libby, a wedding photographer, returns to her hometown to escape a failed marriage and three failed pregnancies.
- Elaine, the current curator of the estate, is working hard to restore the once massive and elaborate gardens and greenhouse.
Deadline for contributing your post is Monday, May 31, 2021
Among the proposals on our blog's Suggested Reading page, I found this title quite appealing [Thank you, Lynda!] and decided to add to our club's selections providing a historical perspective on the foods we bring on our table.
Ziegelman puts a historical spin to the notion that you are what you eat by looking at five immigrant families from what she calls the "elemental perspective of the foods they ate." They are German, Italian, Irish, and Jewish (both Orthodox and Reform) from Russia and Germany—they are new Americans, and each family, sometime between 1863 and 1935, lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Each represents the predicaments faced in adapting the food traditions it knew to the country it adopted. From census data, newspaper accounts, sociological studies, and cookbooks of the time, Ziegelman vividly renders a proud, diverse community learning to be American. She describes the funk of fermenting sauerkraut, the bounty of a pushcart market, the culinary versatility of a potato, as well as such treats as hamburger, spaghetti, and lager beer. Beyond the foodstuffs and recipes of the time, however, are the mores, histories, and identities that food evokes. Through food, the author records the immigrants’ struggle to reinterpret themselves in an American context and their reciprocal impact on American culture at large.