Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Child, Kamp, and Jones

On Borders' new-paperback book table are two of my favorites: Julia Child's posthumous memoir (amazing what good cooking can do), My Life in France, and David Kamp's social commentary, The United States of Arugula.

Child, especially, is not to be missed, and if you like her memoir, you will probably also enjoy Judith Jones's The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food. Here are a few lines from my review in Books and Culture:
The Tenth Muse would be a fascinating read if it were only about the bestsellers Jones has midwifed or the famous people she has known. Names such as Marcella Hazan, Madhur Jaffrey, M.F.K. Fisher, and Marion Cunningham leap off the pages. But this memoir is much more than gossip and nostalgia: it is a story about passion and pleasure in the goodness of the earth. . .

[In Jones's own words,] "Other creatures receive food simply as fodder. But we take the raw materials of the earth and work with them—touch them, manipulate them, taste them, glory in their heady smells and colors, and then, through a bit of alchemy, transform them into delicious creations. Cooking demands attention, patience, and, above all, respect. It is a way of worship, a way of giving thanks."

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