Saturday, June 25, 2011


I'm off to do the mom thing today. You know, one of those days when you get up super early, spend an hour organizing the cooler, packing lunches, etc., then wake up two sleepy, grumpy teenagers, fuss at them to help you lift the cooler into the car, drive ninety minutes, then sit for seven or eight or ten hours in the hot sun while they do something they love. Then, to top it off, someone will ask tonight why you are tired because you didn't do anything all day (and please don't send me any parenting suggestions-- I know there are lots of people that do it better and have teenagers who are much more pleasant and respectful).

Anyway, before I start the day's festivities, read a terrific book yesterday. I heard about THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS, by Erica Bauermeister, on Twitter, from Mimi (@mimreads), who is a friend of Patrick's (@coloreader). I couldn't put it down.

The main character in SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS is Lillian, who owns a restaurant. Once a month, she turns the restaurant into a cooking school. This book chronicles the life of that cooking class over the course of a year. Each month, as they cook, Bauermeister tells the story of a different character, there's Isabelle, an older woman who is in the early stages of what appears to be Alzheimer's, Claire- a new mom, Chloe- a teenager who has basically raised herself, Ian- a technogeek, Antonia- an Italian kitchen designer, Tom- a lawyer who has lost his wife to cancer, and Carl and Helen- a couple who have been married for fifty years. The stories are rich and wonderful and sensuous. And if you are someone who likes to cook, I think you will enjoy them even more…

I loved this book. I'm downloading Bauermeister's newest book, JOY FOR BEGINNERS, for today. But first, I gotta go load the cooler…

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I'm not going to offer any parenting advice. As a mom of 3 teenagers/young adults, I have no room to give anyone any advice. Like you, I spend most days just trying to survive (and somewhat enjoy) the madness. Though I have always enjoyed your blog for the content and information you share, I'm finding I'm really enjoying your life stories that thread through your posts. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one trying to stay afloat in the madness.

Thanks for sharing the "School of Essential Ingredients". I'm going to have to check it out.