I’m reading…

I haven’t been writing much but I’ve read lots.  Food and travel are ideal for a non-fiction lover like myself, and these books combine both.

Last year, I read “The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry” by Kathleen Flinn. I loved her tale of emptying her savings account to attend Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in France when she lost her job. How brave!

The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry

When I discovered Kathleen had written another book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, it pushed past the usual backlog of reading I have sitting at my bedside. I dove into it; I found it an inspiring and easy read, one that tolerated interruptions well.

Kathleen is writing about food again but not the cordon bleu sort. Once she returned the States, she is struck by American eating habits. She found herself gawking at fellow shoppers grocery carts. After living overseas, her habits had changed to suit the tiny kitchens, refrigerators and freezers she had in England and France. Kathleen is stunned to find  that people who have such a huge variety to choose from and few limitations on space would choose so many highly processed foods. A quick chat with a grocery cart offender, leads Kathleen to suspect that many people simply do not have basic cooking skills. She goes on to develop a project where she finds volunteers to submit to an evaluation of their kitchen cupboards and cooking skills in exchange for cooking lessons. The book is divided into lessons and the students become the books characters. I didn’t particularly warm up to all the characters but the emotional ties these people had with food and family and how that affected their daily meals/health/relationships was compelling. There is something for everyone in this book, beginners and accomplished cooks.  My family is probably wishing I would read this again as it inspired some good meals and definitely gave me a kick in the butt to waste less food. There is no excuse not to read it, I found it in the library 🙂