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Licking the Spoon: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Identity Paperback – November 13, 2012
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"In the spirit of Nora Ephron’s Heartburn and Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking, Candace Walsh uses the story of her passionate relationship to food to frame a powerful and honest account of her life." —Gretchen Rubin, author of the New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project
"Candace Walsh's luscious prose brings this memoir vividly to life. She weaves the comfort of food throughout her brave and ultimately uplifting quest to find her witty wonderful self. And we readers are nourished by coming along on Walsh's journey. Bon appetit." Cheryl Alters Jamison, four-time James Beard Award-winning author of Smoke & Spice, Tasting New Mexico, The Border Cookbook, and The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking & Entertaining
"Funny, moving, and as irresistible as chocolate cake, Candace Walsh's delicious memoir isn't just a coming-of-age of a remarkable woman by way of the kitchen pantry, but a smart, gorgeously written exploration of the foodsand the peoplewho really nourish us." Caroline Leavitt, author of the New York Times bestseller, Pictures of You
"Like Jane Eyre and Heartburn, Licking the Spoon is a book you won't be able to put down and a story you won't soon forget." Theo Pauline Nestor, author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Sized Bed
"Engaging in its narrative and as satisfying as the recipes for Ropa Vieja and Chicken Fricassee included, this is truly a memoir from the heart." Curve Magazine
"The book's brightest points serve as testaments to personal reinvention and healing...when Walsh writes with pride and joy of the day she brought her shiny, new KitchenAid home and recalls tenderly the comfort found in a simple chicken fricassee, those moments shimmer like oil in a hot pan." Kirkus Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with her matrilineal history, bringing the thread of spices and food from the past to the present. Ropa Vieja takes on a many-faceted meaning in this book- as do many dishes. Candace artfully uses food as a powerful metaphor throughout her story; never in a way that feels contrived. Rather, it feels entirely organic that her dishes and her life have such synchronicity.
I feel I watched her life take shape- and as the tale wound around, I found myself cheering and bemoaning the triumphs and trials alongside Candace. Even the recipes she incudes now feel like my own family recipes. It's been a while since I've found myself so emotionally invested in a book.
When the story finished, I was left wanting more- just as if I were licking the spoon- getting a taste of some delicious treat yet to come. I can't imagine anything but more delectable reads to come from this author! Looking very forward to them!
I knew going in that - as an open-minded (but non-liberal) Christian reading about the perspective of a woman leaving a heterosexual relationship for a homosexual one - I would be entering unchartered waters. I would be embracing life through someone else's eyes who lives a different reality than I do. And I wanted that. I don't limit my respect (or love) to people who only walk the way I do.
But in the preface, I stumbled a bit. She hinted at courting infidelity as a married woman when it seemed like her innocent and perfect husband was going to be a cuckold (she had said very little about her husband at that point so I just filled in the blanks in my own mind). I have such a strong reaction to infidelity that I paused, wondering how I could possibly like the book. But I don't like to make snap judgments, and so I read on. I'm so glad I did.
Walsh is as beautifully complex and multi-layered as the spanakopita she writes about. After the preface she jumps back - way back. She tells of the grandparents and great-grandparents, and the Greek, Italian, Cretan, Colombian (was it?) influences that all made their way into her life and her cooking. But it doesn't stop there. Her life was pounded and kneaded by the dysfunction that influences and forms many of us. She writes about it honestly and heart-wrenchingly, and I think fairly. There is no whining. And just as a dessert needs a bit of salt to give a base to the batter, her story was richer for having peeled back the layers. The more I read, the more I identified and found the author endearing. Really endearing.
My only regret with this book? That I didn't get a hard copy so I could easily flip through and find all the recipes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautiful memoir. While you don't have to be a foodie to appreciate the story, the author's use of food, cooking, flavors, and nourishment as metaphor make it a rich... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Book Lover
What a fun book....part cookbook, part love story, about families and relationships. It was especially fun to read since I also live in Santa Fe and recognized many of the places... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Diane Carpenter
A fabulous whirlwind journey through the emotional development of a person from girlhood to womanhood. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kristin Louise Duncombe
A book to savor and think about. This is the sort of book that stays with you after you've reached the last page. Ms. Read morePublished 14 months ago by LHG
Good read, a little harrowing at times as Candace, very frankly, explores her past and present relationships with those closest to her.Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Cooking Book club choice. Interesting life story but would have like more recipes and cooking information as suggested by the title.Published on May 27, 2014 by Shirley Briggs
I enjoy reading memoirs and I found this one interesting. Good writing and interesting narrative, I may even try some of the recipes.Published on February 5, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This book is less about food and more about the author's family history and the discovery of her own sexuality. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Rupert Baxter
When I was young my favorite holiday was Thanksgiving because I loved cranberries. Then one day my parents took me to a family get-together. Read morePublished on December 16, 2013 by Michael Chavez