Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Sister Reads | Review: Alone in the kitchen with an Eggplant by Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Book: Alone in the kitchen with an Eggplant | Confessions of cooking for one and dining alone

Author: Jenni Ferrari-Adler

Pages: 260 

Summary: If, sooner or later, we all face the prospect of eating alone, then Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant provides the perfect set of instructions. In this unique collection, twenty-six writers and foodies invite readers into their kitchens to reflect on the secret meals they make for themselves when no one else is looking: the indulgent truffled egg sandwich, the comforting bowl of black beans, the bracing anchovy fillet on buttered toast. 

From Italy to New York to Cape Cod to Thailand, from M. F. K. Fisher to Steve Almond to Nora Ephron, the experiences collected in this book are as diverse, moving, hilarious, and uplifting as the meals they describe. Haruki Murakami finds solace in spaghetti. Ephron mends a broken heart with mashed potatoes in bed. Ann Patchett trades the gourmet food she cooks for others for endless snacks involving saltines. Marcella Hazan, responsible for bringing sophisticated Italian cuisine into American homes, craves a simple grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich. Courtney Eldridge, divorced from a fancy chef, reconnects with the salsa she learned to cook from her cash-strapped mother. Rosa Jurjevics reflects on the influence of her mother, Laurie Colwin, as she stocks her home with salty treats. Almost all of the essays include recipes, making this book the perfect companion for a happy, lonely-or just hungry-evening home alone. 

Part solace, part celebration, part handbook, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant offers a wealth of company, inspiration, and humor-and, finally, recipes that require no division or subtraction. 

My Thoughts: This book was given to be by a fellow-foodie friend and I am so glad she egged me on to read it. I read this book way back in January and I feel like calling myself all kinds of names because of the time it took me to review this here. 

This is a wonderful book. It is a collection of essays written by authors, filmmakers and other talented people. The essays themselves are so charming and well-written that this whole book reads like a cozy-evening-home-alone-with-nothing-but-yummy-treats. Seriously! This book has such a cozy vibe to it, which makes it perfect for reading this time of the year. 

I also loved the individual stories of meals made for one, the one here is, of course, referring to the authors themselves. It is a little peek into what happens when you have to cook for yourself and no one else... do you go all out and make something complicated or do you cook something which is your version of comfort food? These essays were like food confessions of these famous and talented people and it makes you connect with them at a more real person level. 

I love this book because it actually made me pause and think about what I do when I have to cook for myself. I am someone who hates cooking for one- it seems like too much effort. But when I am home alone and the hunger pangs come calling, I find myself gravitating towards food that makes me happy- eggs! So, when I have to cook for me, I typically make some version of breakfast- toast, scrambled eggs, sausages or some such. 

If you love reading about food and cooking, especially written with a lot of wit and charm by people like Murakami, Nora Ephron etc., then this is the book for you! 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :) 

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