Culinary Artober continues with my other favorite chef/writer, Ruth Reichl.
Here are two fun facts about me:
1) I love Ruth Reichl.
2) I hate meeting famous people.
These two events may seem incongruous until I explain that Ruth Reichl came to NPL’s Salon @ 615 last year. Thanks to fact #1, I was so excited when I found out that she was coming. Due to the wonders of Nashville traffic, I don’t stay downtown for many events after work, but it was Ruth Reichl! Hello – didn’t I mention that I love her? She was so worth the hassle. However, thanks to Fact #2, I was also nervous. I NEVER know what to say to famous people. I always feel like Chris Farley in that sketch with Patrick Swazye – “…you remember that one time, when you had to, uh, you know, dance, uh dirty? You remember…” Gah! So dorky.
But for Ruth Reichl, I at least wanted to be in the audience to hear her speak. So I chanced it and enjoyed every minute. I even got to ask her a question – what was the worst thing she ever ate. And she answered it. How cool am I? I did geek out when I had her sign my book, but that’s ok. I’m counting the evening as a win.
So the book Reichl was promoting was her latest book, My Kitchen Year. When Gourmet magazine closed, editor-in-chief Reichl was left bereft and without anything to do for the first time in decades. In order to combat her depression, she spent the next year in her kitchen working her way through recipes and feelings to come to terms with the traumatic events. Her book is as much a memoir of this trying time as it is a cookbook.
During this time she also connected with the Twitterverse, and her book also features memorable tweets from this period in her life. With the exception of Reichl’s other books (Comfort Me with Apples or my favorite, Garlic and Sapphires) which are also biographical-esque cookbooks, I don’t think I’ve ever read a cookbook cookbook straight through. This one is different though. You get to see her process in how she worked through her angst with the help of favorite – new and old – recipes. I don’t love all her recipes because sometimes her ingredients get away from what I can realistically find and afford here in Middle Tennessee, but there are definitely several that I want to try.
Dear Ruth Reichl – I’m sorry it took me a year to get through your cookbook, but I guess it took you a year to write it so maybe I’m right on schedule. Thank you for sharing your food and your life with us. As always, this was a great read. Please keep writing. – One of your biggest, not creepy, fans.