Thursday, March 12, 2009

The School of Essential Ingredients

by Erica Bauermeister
Read March 2009

I don't remember if I picked this up after seeing a review or if I just ran across it at the library.

It reminded me very much of a Maeve Binchy book, with each chapter focusing on a different character. The characters are brought together by a common activity or interest. In this case, it's a cooking course called "The School of Essential Ingredients." The chef/teacher Lillian learned to cook as a child when she cooked for her alcoholic mother. She learned from a Latino woman who cooked by instinct.

This is how Lillian teaches her students to cook. The classes seemed a little unreal. If I Lillian's class, I'd feel exactly the way I felt the first day of algebra class when the teacher wrote a bunch of equations on the board and all of the other students seemed to know what he was talking about. I felt lost and I'd feel that way in Lillian's class. She give instructions like (not literally) "be the tomato." I exaggerate. But as a non-cook, it seemed to me an impossible way to cook.

But all of that is beside the point. This book is for readers who like many interesting characters and lots of food.

A good chick book.

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