Tender at the Bone: Growing up at the Table by Ruth Reichl

A memoir of her gastronomic coming of age and culinary capers, Ruth Reichl's Tender at the Bone is full of humor, adventure, substance, and of course, food. This is the story of a woman who would defeat her arch-nemesis, "The Queen of Mold" (aka: her mother) who was known for her strange concoctions and for accidentally poisoning guests, and go on to become a respected restaurant critic, and finally, the editor-in-chief for Gourmet magazine. Artfully mingling her life stories and search for self with the taste of her first souffle, lessons in frying oysters, and cooking with friends, it becomes apparent early on in this book that Reichl interprets herself, her life, and other people, through food and her experiences with both. From the alcoholic maid, Mrs. Peavey, who taught her how to make her father's favorite wiener schnitzel and the importance of following one's own path, to the ever important Alice from Barbados who could make anything and taught her how to use only the best ingredients, to Henry, the man who would teach her everything she would need to know to become the fearsome restaurant critic of her future-- Reichl's life is shaped simultaneously by a vibrant cast of characters and the gastronomic adventures of a life well lived.

If Tender at the Bone sometimes falls into the trap of sounding a little distant like your mother's old stories of the turbulent 60s and revolutionary 70s, it redeems itself through it's likeable characters, it's globe-spanning adventures, and it's sensual treatment of the culinary world and one woman's life in it.

{images}: Barnes & Noble

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