Are you ready to be wrapped in a big ol' bear hug of awesome? One that smells like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and the unbeatable huevos rancheros you first ate on a trip to Mexico when you were a teen? Then turn to the first page of this graphic food memoir by comic artist Lucy Knisley and prepare to settle in for a happy afternoon of reading.
• Who wrote it: Lucy Knisley
• Who published it: First Second
• Number of recipes: 12
• Recipes for right now: Marinated Lamb, Shepherd (Fairey) Pie, Huevos Rancheros, Stovetop Mushrooms
• Other highlights: I have loved Lucy Knisley's art for years, ever since I stumbled across her first graphic novel French Milk. When she started posting visual recipes on her blog with dancing spices and cookies made with a bright pink spatula, my casual admiration turned into an outright crush. She had my foodie heart firmly in her grasp.
In the pages of this book, Lucy takes us through the people, places, and experiences that form the bedrock of her food love. There are oyster-shucking competitions with her uncle, dinners eaten straight from the pan with her mom, a trip to Japan where she discovered both ramen and sake, and falling in love with croissants in Venice. Each story gets its own recipe — a souvenir of that particular moment in Lucy's life.
This is the kind of memoir that speaks to each of us in its own way, I think. While the stories Lucy tells are deeply personal, they are also universal. Reading about her trip to Mexico, I remembered trying crêpes for the first time in Paris. Her pickle-making adventures made me think about my own quest to re-make my grandmother's famous apple butter.
This is a book that will put a smile on your face, guaranteed. It's happy and warm and satisfying to read in great gulps. I recommend it totally and whole-heartedly.
• Who would enjoy this book? Fellow food lovers, and folks who enjoy graphic novels. This would also make a great gift for food-loving friends or family members.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley
• Visit the author's website: Lucy Knisley
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)