Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley is a wonderful graphic novel about her lifelong relationship with cooking. Lucy grew up in a household where food was always central. Her mother ran a catering business, grew her own food, and operated a farmer’s market stall. Due to this constant exposure, Lucy based many of her memories on food. Huevos rancheros reminds her of her adventures in Mexico with her best friend. Croissants remind her of the time she backpacked through Europe with a close college friend. Sushi takes her back to her travels in Japan. Hot chocolate, burgers, and fries remind her of traveling Italy with her father. Baking sweets became her way of working through stressful times in her life. Accompanied by these recorded memories are delicious recipes that are fun to make. After reading this graphic novel, you will gain a new appreciation for the importance different types of food can have on impacting people’s lives.

Genre: Non-fiction graphic novel

Setting: Modern-day Mexico, Italy, Japan, New York, and Chicago.

Number of pages: 173

Themes: Family, friendship, travel, growing up, and cooking.

Is this good for a book club? This would be good for book clubs that enjoy books about food.

Objectionable content? There are discussions of alcohol, periods, and pornographic magazines.

Can children read this? Teenagers would enjoy the stories.

Who would like this? Anyone who loves food.

Rating: Five stars

Cookbooks that Caught My Eye, But I Know I Will Never Try

Sometimes when we catalog or check in or out library materials a book catches our eye and requires some serious perusal. More often than not this means setting it aside to check out and bring home.

Cookbooks with insanely creative or intricate recipes and decorating ideas regularly catch me. I love to bake and cook but do not have the time or energy to necessarily get fancy. I tend to worry first about taste and if I can get my family to eat it.

However, looking at the wonderful ideas and execution in these books sometimes inspires me to get more creative, and cookingsometimes just makes me wonder how anyone can eat something that obviously took some serious time and effort to make look so good. Here are some of the more recent cookbooks that have made me stop and look at their deliciously beautiful covers.

Cake My Day by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson

The New England Soup Factory Cookbook by Marjorie Druker and Clara Silverstein

What’s New, Cupcake?: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion by Karen Tack

The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook: Artisanal Baking from Around the World by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and the Bakers of Hot Bread Kitchen with Julia Turshen

Cupcakes, Cookies, and Pie, Oh, My! by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson

Seriously Delish: 150 Recipes for People Who Totally Love Food by Jessica Merchant

Great Balls of Cheese by Michelle Buffardi

The Confetti Cakes Cookbook: Cookies, Cakes, and Cupcakes from New York City’s Famed Bakery by Elisa Strauss with Christie Matheson

For some of us more realistic, or pessimistic, chefs I offer:
The Can’t Cook Book : 100+ Recipes for the Absolutely Terrified! by Jessica Seinfeld