Tuesday, February 26, 2013

cooking people and places to us

We turn to things to cheer us up, tried and tested talismans against our cases of the mean reds. For sadness we might listen to country music and bake, to remember a past boy/girlfriend we may listen to our soundtracks; for Luisa Weiss she turns to food. Weiss' book was sitting on my bedside table, next in line to be read, when my best friend K came for a visit. She picked it up and was about 2 chapters into it by the time I was showered and ready to head out for my (our) first party in Sticks. By the time K was heading back to Michigan at the end of the weekend, she'd bought the book for her Kindle, and checked in with me every so often to see where I was at in the story. K made Luisa's meatballs for her birthday party a couple weekends ago; it just felt right to be discussing Luisa's book as we took turns stirring her recipe into existence...as though we were conjuring her to us for the party...

Weiss' My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with Recipes) is (as the title suggests) rife with recipes, each chapter looking at a different time and place in Weiss' life; the child of a Bostonian and an Italian, born in Berlin,Weiss begins her cooking education observing both her parents and her mother's best friend, who babysits for her and absorbs her into their daily household. When her parents split, she too splits into that all too familiar, a home-in-two-places lifestyle, moving on to eventually navigate Paris, NYC, and Germany again. As she ages she finds a solution for the tug--this missing one place while in the other--Weiss cooks her longed for people and places into her apartment(s), replicating and reenacting meals and foods that remind her of who and what she is longing for; all in all a sweet modern travel and love story.

I really enjoyed the book, and really enjoyed that there was someone else out there who does what I do--cooking people and places to me. I loved that K called me to tell me that Luisa reminded her of me, in that Luisa missed one "home," while visiting the other, the way I feel about the Farm and Michigan. I'm bummed the story is over, but I'm am looking forward to following Weiss' blog, The Wednesday Chef.

Sorry I've been spotty blogging lately, will explain soon. Things are so busy at work right now. More soon...

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