From Publishers Weekly
All the essays in this mixed collection serve to explode the myth that women are constant dieters, more worried about thinning their thighs than pleasing their palates, and several include recipes. Terez Rose's account of how fiercely she missed the most pedestrian American foods when doing a Peace Corps stint in Gabon offers both Mom's Egg Casserole and Terez's African Egg Casserole. The most successful pieces, like Cheryl Strayed's tale of learning to make the perfect pudding for a tapioca-loving man, hew closely to a single subject. Likewise, Lela Nargi's account of firing her therapist because she disapproved of the woman's insistence on seeing food as a problem is perfectly on point. Pooja Makhijani recalls how she traded the aloo tikis her mother packed for lunch (recipe included) for a newly arrived immigrant classmate's more acceptably American fare. Karen Eng writes about food in works of children's literature, such as Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books. Debra Meadow's exploration of her grandmother's mandelbrot-almond cookies that predated biscotti for most Jewish Americans-traces a love of cooking passed through generations. Hers is one of the few essays that focus on a family member (grandmothers, mothers and fathers feature heavily here) without losing its way. The impulse to reclaim food as a source of enjoyment is admirable, but the meandering tone of several of these pieces gives them the feel of a dish whipped up to satisfy hunger rather than to be savored.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"These essays explore the intimate side of food that comforts,transports, and takes us home. Entertaining and well written."--Library Journal -- Library Journal, October 4, 2003