Blood, Bones and Butter Book Review

That’s What I Think (TWIT) Review

Blood, Bones and Butter book review by Noshing With The Nolands (Small) (2)

I received this book as a present last Christmas and because of this blog mainly, I don’t have a lot of time for reading but I so enjoy it. I also love a good read, one that will take me on a journey from start to finish and this book did that.

I had never heard of Gabrielle Hamilton, Blood, Bones and Butter or her New York restaurant Prune but I am a foodie true and true and love memoirs or autobiographies of chefs and their lives.

This started 14 years ago with Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential, a gritty read that I lapped up! Anthony said of Blood, Bones and Butter, “Magnificent, Simply the best memoir by a chef. Ever.” Well that was good enough for me and I dove in while on holidays over Christmas.

The book starts off in an idyllic world with Gabrielle growing up in rural Pennsylvania. Her family threw a party every year, the same party, a spring lamb roast for almost 200 people, who would come from far and wide. Those were the good days that she remembered so well. Those parties and the happy family meals cooked by her “loving” mother, but it wasn’t to last as her world was shattered when her parents abruptly separated.

Ms. Hamilton’s memoirs continue on in rural 1970′s Pennsylvania where she had no parental guidance until she leaves for New York and finds the wild coke filled nights of the 80′s. All along with food as her guidance, provoking and shaping her way until she opens Prune and marries into an Italian family.

Gabrielle writes that the driving force behind her opening up a restaurant was to  “harness a hundred pivotal experiences relating to food — including hunger and worry — and translate those experiences into actual plates of food.” She succeeded with a critic’s choice restaurant.

I enjoyed the read and the travel through her life, not always liking what she was doing nor liking her at times, but that’s all right, it makes for good reading.



Heat-Book Review

That’s What I Think (TWIT) Review

I have been given quite a few culinary books to read and I thought as I finish them I will do a little review on each. I am not a huge reader but I do enjoy time spent reading. Of course my big passion is the culinary world so this is what I will be reading and sharing with you.

I picked up this book a few times to read it and couldn’t get into it but once I delved past the first few chapters I was hooked. The book is about a man journey from journalist to cook and it takes you from the kitchen of Mario Batali’s Babbo to deep into the butcher shops of Italy.

We take for granted the life of a chef hidden in a kitchen and what it takes in preparing dish after dish of wonderful food. The blood, sweat and tears, as you may. It is not an easy life but a fascinating one to read about.

I really enjoyed reading about Mario Batali and anything connected with him. The book lost interest for me when he would go back to Italy again and again and talk about butchering techniques and obscure investigations leading back to ancient times. That became some what boring even to a foodie. I liked the action and antics of Mario and those for me were  much more enjoyable parts.

All in all still a pretty good read.

April 2013 542 (Small)

That’s What I Think (TWIT)

I am starting a new segment for books, products and restaurant reviews and anything else that might fall into this category. I am starting off with a bang!!! First in this new series is Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz and what a remarkable life it was. If you know my blog I love Julia and and have for my whole life. A huge fan!! So when I was asked to do JC100 I was thrilled to start to celebrate what would have been her 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, 15 weeks in advance by cooking her recipes up to that date. Alfred A. Knopf was her publisher and they put together this wonderful celebration. As a thank you for participating I received this lovely book.

I savored every page of this book from her hi jinks as a child, through her school days to becoming a top secret wartime researcher, to her adult married life when she learned all of her culinary education in post war France and finally the Julia we all know and love in her cookbooks and TV shows. The book is an extensive look into a very fascinating life giving you unbelievable details and a well documented portrait.

Julia is brought to life in this book making you feel like you have met her as she is transformed in front of you with wit, charm, warmth and never say never incorrigible attitude. A real woman who sought out what she wanted and did it, an inspiration to us all.

Bob Spitz takes you chapter by chapter into her life and makes you want to read more as he has a knack for leaving you dangling. It is a well researched book that is an easy and enjoyable read. A book that I thoroughly enjoyed from start to finish and I am sad my ride is over.

Pick up Dearie and give it a read for cooks of all ages will enjoy it. There are also 30 wonderful nostalgic pictures to entice you along the way. ENJOY AND BON APPETIT!!