My heart sank somewhat as I read the Prologue of Ruth Reichl's new book, My Kitchen Year, as I, too, once faced the situation of staring at an empty calendar after a life changing event.
Sure, I wasn't the editor-in-chief of a long running magazine that closed down, but I did write a popular newspaper column for close to a decade and had that opportunity taken away from me suddenly under new ownership of the organisation.
My Kitchen Year follows the change of seasons as Ruth Reichl heals through the simple pleasures of cooking after the abrupt closing of Gourmet magazine. The world was stunned at the news, but no one was more shocked than Ms Reichl, who found herself without a job for the first time in more than 30 years.
'I did what I always do when I'm confused, lonely or frightened,' she said. 'I disappeared into the kitchen. When you pay attention, cooking becomes a kind of meditation,' she writes.
'I take my time, admiring the colour that hidden until you peel a peach. I open the oven door, leaning in to savour the fine yeasty scent of bread as it begins its slow rise. Making pie crust, I cut the shortening in by hand, eager to feel it becoming one with the flour. And I never fail to listen for the sizzle of sliced onions as they hit hot butter in a pan.'
The narrative is engaging and each dish Ms Reichl prepares for herself - and for her family and friends - represents a life's passion for food. Part cookbook, part memoir, My Kitchen Year reveals Reichl's most treasured recipes, to be shared over and over again with those we love. A beautiful book to cook from, and a treasure to read.
My Kitchen Year by Ruth Reichl, Murdoch Books, $45.00. Thank you kindly to the publicity team at Murdoch Books, and Ms Reichl, for giving me the opportunity to review and showcase this book.
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