- Paperback: 186 pages
- Publisher: River Grove Books; 1 edition (October 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1632990660
- ISBN-13: 978-1632990662
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,184,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Artichokes & City Chicken: Reflections on Faith, Grief, and My Mother’s Italian Cooking Paperback – October 15, 2015
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"The Farmer's Son" by John Connell
"A fascinating portrait of a single sensibility, a born noticer, someone on whom nothing is lost, observing birth and death, the landscape, and his own heritage." ―Colm Tóibín, author of "Brooklyn" Learn more
About the Author
Jan Groft is the author of the award-winning book As We Grieve and a spiritual memoir, Riding the Dog. A Pittsburgh native, she lives and writes in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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I looked forward each evening to settling down with this book, it blanketed me with peace and faith during a tumultuous time in my own life. I walked away from this book feeling uplifted and attuned.
Her Italian mother had the gift of cooking and nourished those she loved. She felt emptiness which was translated into her compassion for others. Jan Groft’s mother didn't want her family to ever experience the sense of emptiness that she experienced; she fed them, sharing her talent and God-given gift. A standard meal served at a family dinner consisted of Artichokes and chicken, meatball, salads and bread. Although the family would be as stuffed as a holiday meals for the mother it was never enough. The author believed that the mother experienced a calling from God, and this led her mother to the kitchen. Jan Groft's mother shared love through cooking.The author explains the profound influence that the disability has had on her mother's life as well as on her own.I greatly enjoyed the author recounting the few stories of her mother cooking and preparing food for her loved ones. During that short time however, I did feel as if I was transported into their kitchen and I could smell the artichoke, chicken, meatball soup and bread that was prepared. I was excited to read the family recipes provided in the book, as I love cooking and preparing new foods. I was disappointed that they were very few and far between.
There was a large portion of the memoir devoted to the author’s faith. This rhetoric can be extremely comforting to her readers. Jane Groft does express her religious beliefs as a Christian, so there is a possibility that this could be off putting to readers who do not practice this religion. The majority of the novel was about her faith and how it sustained her dealing with grief and the subsequent loss of her mother. Individuals dealing with grief and loss of a loved one can relate to these feelings. There was less emphasis upon cooking due to the mother’s inherent disability and her loss of functioning as life went on. It was a bit dreary as the author muddled through her grief. The title was misleading as the book was very little about cooking and more so about dealing with a grief that morphs into depression.