Wednesday, September 23, 2015

My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl

When Gourmet magazine folded, Ruth Reichl had been editor in chief for ten years. She was lost. She felt as if the magazine had survived for almost seventy years, and folded on her watch. After she finished her book tour duties for the company, she and her husband retreated to their home in the country. And, that's where she rediscovered the joy that resulted in My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life.

Reichl spent years working in restaurants, reviewing restaurants, writing about food. Now, she had nothing to do during her days except cook. Her days may have started out slowly as she dealt with the grief and sorrow of leaving a job she loved. And, she turned to her new discovery, Twitter, to share her days and feelings and food she prepared, sharing them with friends she discovered online. By the end of the year, she knew it was food, and using food as conversation, that she truly loved.

My Kitchen Year is a glorious book. Reichl takes readers through her year of discovery, and the recipes that helped her survive and recover from her grief. The book is broken down by seasons, and the recipes help in telling Reichl's story of change. The 136 recipes are introduced easily, as part of her conversation with her readers. And, each day is introduced by a Tweet, lines to her online friends that summarize the day, its weather, and the food that accompanies that day and the atmosphere.

Because Reichl creates an atmosphere with every recipe, and the photos that accompany them. The pictures are perfect, taking us into Reichl's home. The reader is present with her, observing her actions as she cooks or bakes, and learning her methods and hints as to cooking.

Ruth Reichl's My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life is exactly what it should be, a conversation about food and life with readers. It may be the perfect gift for someone who enjoys experimenting with everyday cooking, someone you love who loves food. Reichl has gifted readers with her gentle conversations about cooking with love.

Ruth Reichl's website is

My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl. Random House. 2015. ISBN 9781400069989 (hardcover), 352p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Love her writing and cannot wait to read this one! wheeeeeeeee!

Lesa said...

Beautiful writing, Kaye!

Bonnie K. said...

I was shocked and sad when Gourmet folded. I have ten years of their issues when Ruth was there. I love the books she has written and look forward to getting My Kitchen Year.

Lesa said...

I think you'll like My Kitchen Year, Bonnie. I think her voice will touch you since you have those ten years.

Clea Simon said...

Loved the piece in the NYT food section about this - maybe it was an excerpt? So glad to hear the rest of the book stands up.

Lesa said...

I didn't read it, Clea. But, yes. The rest of the book definitely stands up. I even copied two recipes. Me! And, I seldom cook.