I think it was our Virtual Book Club member, Tegan, who came up with the idea of doing a cookbook one month. I wasn’t sure how it would go but I was excited because, did you know this about me? I love reading cookbooks. Just, like, any ordinary book. My favorites are the ones that Joy The Baker has written, but this one, Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach is so… oh it just hits me in my soul-place. We had a really fun discussion over in the book club, too. We always do–I love our book club! You can join in if you’re interested, you know!
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My favorite part of this book (aside from the writing which is, just, great) is the structure. Most cookbooks are organized by dish. Like, “breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert” or by main ingredient, “fish, beef, vegetarian”. Not so with this book. This book is organized in a way that my heart can feel it. It’s broken up into three main sections, essentially: what they ate when they were newly married, what they ate when they had little children, what they’re eating now that the kids are a little older.
It’s not so much a cookbook as it is a memoir of new familyhood and it hits me right in the feels. A memoir with a LOT of recipes and no cliches or empty promises.
Ryan and I ate two different recipes from this book. We had the Homemade Fettuccini with Leeks and Bacon (I did not make homemade fettuccini, btw, but I did spring for frozen instead of dry) and a BBQ Salmon dish. In my opinion, both of the dishes that we selected were a little on the bland side. Like, I really enjoyed the fettuccini with leeks and bacon but I’d love to make it and take the pasta out and instead pile it up on top of a grilled chicken breast. The salmon was delicious but I just thought it needed a little extra oomph–I still haven’t decided what that is, though.
I should say, though, that everyone else in our Virtual Book Club discussion said that they LOVED the meals that they’d made. So it’s possible that I just so happened to select the two bland dishes in the whole book. Who knows? I’d really like to make her chicken cutlets and a homemade pizza with ricotta and lemon–so I’m definitely not finished with this cookbook just yet.
Next month we’re switching gears, again, and finally reading Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I love the way that we read anything and everything in this book club. When I was thinking about starting the club (over two years ago!), all I wanted was a way to bust me out of my literary rut–and that’s definitely happening! I’m so excited.
Have you read either of these books? Tell me what you thought!