Comfort Me with Apples
by Ruth Reichl
I couldn’t wait any longer. Seriously. We moved and about a week later, my husband treated me to a night alone at the library (yes, this was a treat and a stress reliever and a breath of fresh air)! I came away with a handful of books and Reichl’s second memoir was at the top of the stack. I loved it just as much as the two other books I’ve read of hers (Tender at the Bone, which I reviewed previously, and Delicious). She writes her story like a novel and you just can’t put it down. I came away once again with a deeper desire to cook and try new foods. Reichl quotes Wolfgang: “With good ingredients you can cook it more simply.” This is lovely! I really enjoy cooking and baking and honestly, I don’t like it when recipes are crazy complicated. I keep hearing that when you cook with “clean, whole” foods that aren’t processed the results are delightful, and I am finding that out. It’s incredibly enjoyable to cook simply and to know that you’re cooking with food that will not only be delicious, but it will be good for you and an enjoyable experience to eat. Reichl talks about her idol, M. F. K. Fisher, saying, “She can make you taste things just by writing about them, but that’s not the point. She actually makes you pay attention to your next meal, feel more alive because you’re doing that. When you read her you understand that you need to respect yourself enough to focus on the little things of life.” This is Reichl to me and how I feel reading her books. Afterwards, I really think about what I cook and how I’m cooking and it’s exhilarating! It becomes more of an experience instead of a chore . . . and I just love that. I was also touched by Reichl’s honesty in this book as she talks about the difficult things she’s been through – affairs, divorce, and an unfulfilled adoption. It was moving, heartbreaking, and also inspiring. One quote at the end of the book has stayed with me: “I didn’t really know why I was coming [to Barcelona]. But I do now. I needed to find out that sometimes even your best is not good enough. And that in those times you have to give it everything you’ve got. And then move on.” Sometimes I think that you really do try your best, but it doesn’t work out and that fact is extremely difficult to deal with. It was helpful and encouraging to read Reichl’s story and how she learned to cope with her loss. I know I’ll remember this and come back to it. I actually think that I will come back to Reichl’s books again and again . . . I will likely add them to my library. And I’ve decided that I’m going to work through the rest of her books and then reread “Delicious,” and then blog about it. So, you’ll have to wait for my thoughts and in the meantime read her novel for yourself! 😉 Anyone else feel this way about Ruth Reichl’s books? I’d love to hear about it!
Summing it up: Hands down, any of Reichl’s books are well worth the read!
All the best, Abbey