This last week, it has been all about the food memoir. First I read Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper, by Fuchsia Dunlop and now I am on to A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg. Despite being united by being memoirs about food, the two books are vastly different.

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper is about the author’s travels and studies in China, including at the Sichuan Institute of Higher Cuisine. It had me craving green tea and scouring the stores for sichuan pepper, but I didn’t want to make many of the recipes. I did, however, want to jump on a plane – to anywhere!- with only a backpack, ready for adventure. Despite the fact that I probably wont cook any of the food, Dunlop is a very entertaining writer -even her introduction to the stereotype that “the Chinese will eat anything” had me in stitches.

On a completely different note, A Homemade Life is full of recipes that I will most likely try at one some point. Banana-chocolate-ginger cake or blueberry-raspberry pound cake? Count me in (although I may leave the chocolate out of the banana cake…) Each recipe is surrounded by the sort of memories you would expect to hear from a friend if you were eating it with them. Also, Camille Engman did illustrations for the book, and Wizenberg herself takes beautiful photographs which you can see at her blog, Orangette.

 

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