By guest blogger Annie Spiegelman (a.k.a the Dirt Diva)
Currently sitting on my bedside nightstand is Spoon Fed, Kim Severson’s new and tasty book about food . . . well, it’s actually much more profound than that – but it’s centered around ‘food’ so that instantly made me happy!
In Spoon Fed: How Eight Cooks Saved My Life, author and New York Times journalist, Kim Severson writes about her personal journey to a healthier life and the cooks who helped her choose that path. Sorenson seamlessly weaves in lessons from legendary chefs in between personal stories about her childhood in the Midwest to her young adult days driving her ‘Barbie SUV’ around Anchorage, Alaska and later to her days working as the food writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and finally, to her present day job at the New York Times in Manhattan. “The women in this book shined the light on what was ahead for me when I couldn’t find my way. They showed me that food is the best antidote for anything life throws at you,” writes Severson. “They became my tour guides, helping me figure out what I really believed in, how to remake my life and re-create a family, and, finally how to face death.”
Marion Cunningham, Ruth Reichl, Alice Waters, Leah Chase, Edna Lewis, Marcella Hazan, Rachael Ray and Severson’s mom (the Rutabaga Princess) are the chefs gratefully acknowledged on these pages. Each chapter ends with a recipe from one of them; Meyer Lemon Meringue Pie, Matzo Brei (or Popular Girl Breakfast), No Fear Pie Crust and her mom’s spaghetti and meatball recipe, to name a few.
This book rang true to my heart for many reasons but especially because it covered restaurants in New York City, where I grew up and San Francisco, where I now reside. Both cities are foodie-epicenters and I blame them both for turning me into a downright food (and coffee) snob. Comforting, poignant and laugh-out-loud moments fill each chapter. The story about having Alice Waters to her apartment for lunch and finding her pregnant partner, Katia, sizzling a half-dozen nuggets and frozen French fries, is not to be missed! “Alice Waters was in my house and chicken nuggets were cooking in my toaster oven . . . It was like the married lesbian version of Lucy and Ethel having lunch, and Alice Waters was our Bill Holden.”
Spoon Fed is genuine, witty and just tart enough to keep you rooting for Kim Severson, “the girl predisposed to riding a snowmobile to the Dairy Queen.”