So it begins with the Author’s Note, first sentence: For Imelda Marcos, it was shoes; for me, it’s food.
Being an Asian-american Fiipina, was I supposed to be impressed by such renowned knowledge? With what happened upon the declaration of Martial Law, it’s an embarrassment of riches.
Okay, had to get that out.
The author recounts her memories related to the food that ignites the letters of the alphabet. It is a cute layout and her tales are witty and engaging. At times you have to chuckle at her storytelling.
She matches her culinary memory to each of the 26 letters of the alphabet via food, techniques, and events. She instills her life lessons and “firsts”. It also serves as a travelogue of dos and don’ts and the diatribe: never travel without doing your research. Yes, she sprinkles verbose words.
Her tales of writing for M.F.K. Fischer & Josefina Howard are eye-openers indeed. What was meant to be a dream job, she obviously doesn’t hide the fact that being a biographer was painstakingly challenging bent on anxiety.
She makes mention of her two failed marriages; this made for confusion at times when she references her “husband”, her “former husband”; was she mentioning husband #1 or husband #2? And what was that all about with the “houseguest” & Jeremy?
On another note, I was kind of put off with some of her naming conventions for some of the alphabets: J is for jordan almonds; W is for white truffles; I is for Indian breakfast. However, I did enjoy D is for Dinner Party. I felt like a witness, transported to her Brooklyn apartment, and when she vacationed in Vermont. You’ll get the picture.
She does share a few recipes, including one of which she memorializes “Serves: you right if you eat this.”
On a somber note, she relays Isak Dinesen’s quote:
The Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road ~
A delightful read, and one that you can’t help but read through in one sitting. This is not heavy on the culinary, but more of a memoir if you will about her life’s experiences and the role food plays shaping her own biography. Enjoyable just the same to add to your food writing shelf.
~ date read 12.23.2018~ 3 stars ~
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.