Tuesday, February 02, 2010

essential ingredients

When talking about essential ingredients what usually comes to mind?
Maybe it's the holy trinity of carrot, celery & onion-the base of so many delicious soups, stews and sauces?
or perhaps it's flour, sugar and water?
or maybe it's something completely different.
not food at all but emotions, energy or fate?
what am I rambling on you might be wondering?
well I just finished a fantastic book- The School Of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.
Or should I say- delicious book.
I devoured it as the back cover promised I would.
Reading it was like eating a decadent organic dark chocolate bar for me- I always try to savour it and eat it slowly so I can appreciate all the subtle yet rich flavours, but more often than not I end up finding myself covered in chocolate crumbs with an empty wrapper in front of me wondering why I ate it all in one go?
Which is exactly how I read this book- all in one sitting- in one day.
The book was recommended to me by my favorite person that works at my favourite book store.
She special ordered it for me and has been telling me to read it for months.
I'm so glad I did.
The past several months I have been stuck in a reading rut- reading book after book that didn't really resonate with me- that is until now.
On the contrary, I was sad when I finished this book because I wanted more.
Just like that decadent organic dark chocolate bar...

Anyhow, this book is the story of a chef who runs a cooking school.
It follows the lives of eight students who gather in Lillian’s Restaurant every Monday night for cooking class. It soon becomes clear, however, that each one seeks a recipe for something beyond the kitchen. Students include Claire, a young mother struggling with the demands of her family; ( boy could I relate to this character in particular) Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer learning to adapt to life in America; and Tom, a widower mourning the loss of his wife to breast cancer. Chef Lillian, a woman whose connection with food is both soulful and exacting, helps them to create dishes whose flavor and techniques expand beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of her students’ lives. One by one the students are transformed by the aromas, flavors, and textures of Lillian’s food, including a white-on-white cake that prompts wistful reflections on the sweet fragility of love and a peppery heirloom tomato sauce that seems to spark one romance but end another. Brought together by the power of food and companionship, the lives of the characters mingle and intertwine, united by the revealing nature of what can be created in the kitchen.

If you are looking for a light but delicious read- this one won't disappoint.
now where can I sign up for a monday night cooking class?


kurrabikid said...

OOOOOH! I have just done a quick online search of our library and they don't have it - yet! Am keen to read this one since your recommendation of The 13th Tale was so excellent (loved that book) that I completely trust your taste in books.

Betsy Mae said...

BTW, no mention of feeling under the weather that is a great sign! I'm sooooo over the winter and all the 'bugs' that seem to follow.

kgirl said...

Sounds awesome. I've put it on my list.

Jordy said...

my essential ingredients...

Gin & Tonic