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The Tenth Muse: My Life in Food Paperback – October 14, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Sadly, Judith Jones did. And she also loved the foods of her youth that her mother's cook had lovingly produced:
I still feel nostalgic for the warm chocolate steamed pudding with foamy sauce, the bread pudding with its crusty top and raisins bursting inside, the apple brown Betty made with good tart country apples, the floating island with its peaks of egg white swimming in a sea of yellow custard. Then, when summer came, there were the summer puddings, a bread-lined mold steeped in just-cooked blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries as each came in season, pressed, chilled, and unmolded, with thick unpasteurized cream poured over each serving. Edie had some specialties of her own, such as individual warm nut-and-date cakes, and meringues (which we called kisses) topped with bananas and slathered in hand-beaten whipped cream.
When I was asked during my middle-school years what I would like for lunch on Fridays --- the day when we had to stay in school until only one o'clock --- I knew exactly what I wanted: a whole artichoke, spaghetti and cheese, and fresh fruit or applesauce for dessert. The spaghetti and cheese that Edie made was more sauce than pasta (a term we didn't even know then --- it was either spaghetti or macaroni), enriched with massive gratings of good Vermont Cheddar cheese, then baked in a casserole with buttered crumbs and more cheese on top. I made a ritual of slurping down those hot creamy strands of spaghetti and alternately picking off artichoke leaves, one by one, dipping them in lemony butter or hollandaise, and scraping off the flesh with my teeth. I did it slowly, often turning the pages of a book.Read more ›
I wanted her to open up, share something intimate. I wanted her to seem human and inperfect, especially since I couldn't relate to her privileged life at all, from her upbringing in a wealthy home with servants to the casual purchase of a large second home in Vermont. She always felt remote. I was surprised how she glossed over the fact that she lived with a married/separated man in the days that sort of thing wasn't done. I'd like to have seen more about her feelings about that, how her family felt, something. About halfway through, this falls into a pattern of "I worked with this writer, I made her book better this way," and "I worked with this writer, we edited her book in her kitchen."
I missed the story and narrative that you find in so many food memoirs, such as in Ruth Reichl's books, notably Tender to the Bone. I still have a lot of respect for Ms. Jones, even if I wasn't crazy about her book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome book. I learned a lot about different chefs, history, and other things.Published 16 days ago by dana
Judith Jones's memoir will disappoint those expecting the charm (or fireworks) of other well-known "food" memoirs, like those by Ruth Reichl or Gabrielle Hamilton. Read morePublished 5 months ago by M. Feldman
I had read it, loved it, and bought it for another "foodie" friend.Published 17 months ago by joanne scobie
I found the book most interesting, and difficult to put down. Very down to earth. There was nothing I disliked about the book.Published on April 26, 2014 by Russell Rivenburg
This is a charming book: part memoir and part cookbook. Judith Jones tells how she developed her love for good food and its preparation. Read morePublished on March 6, 2014 by Johanna Hurwitz
When I went over to my grandmother's house on the weekends, I would undoubtedly find myself making cookies or banana bread or some other such thing on one of the days we were... Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by Mirrani
I mainly bought the book to get the recipes, as I had bought her cookbook "Cooking for One." As it turned out, her memoir was much more interesting than I would have... Read morePublished on March 3, 2013 by Ursula Wilson
This book was completely charming. The Pleasure of Cooking for One is also one of my favorites. What full life!Published on January 2, 2013 by David