Friday, 6 June 2008

Tender at the Bone

I just finished reading Tender at the Bone, Growing Up at the Table. It is a light but emotional book based on the youth of Ruth Reichl, now Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine. The book is from 1998 and was a New York Times bestseller at the time. I had to order it as a second hand book from Amazon's associates as it is not current at the moment, but for $3.95, I didn't mind paying the shipping.
I thought the book was lovely, and I appreciated how candid Ms. Reichl is about any changes she might have made to the events, "for the sake of the story".

She chronicles growing up with a mother who was trapped by her generation and her own mood swings, the influences in her life, and her search for self and love in the changing times. As well Ms. Reichl maps out her introduction and education as a foodie and peppers the text with recipes.

I look forward to the next two books in her personal series, Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures at the Table (2001) and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise (2005).

I first became acquainted with Ruth Reichl when I caught a scene from the 1980 documentary, Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers. First of all, this is the best title for anything, ever. All I can remember is this lovely hippie-ish type woman with wild long hair interviewing a man who gave everything up to dedicate himself to making sausages. I don't know if my memory is correct, it was over 25 years ago, but that is how I remembered it.

I had an instant like for her, as if I already knew her. Kind of like when I first saw Leonard Cohen - but that's another story. There are some people who get your attention and feel like old friends and Ruth Reichl is like that for me. If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it.