A Homemade Life: My Review

>> Friday, May 14, 2010

"I guess it's a product of our time, or a generational thing. Or maybe it's just a matter of pheromones. Whatever the reason, I keep falling in love with vegetarians."

Oh, Molly. I'm so there with you . . . it's not even funny. I have never dated a non-vegetarian. Every guy I ever considered myself to be "dating" was a vegetarian or vegan. And even though that's true of myself . . . it's never, ever been intentional! Now I'm married to a pescetarian, and -- to be entirely honest -- it took some getting used to. Stephen didn't always eat fish, he was vegan when we met. Vegetarian for years after that. And when he decided to join "the dark side" (I'm just kidding) and eat the fruits of the sea, I didn't argue with him.

Let's get this out of the way. I bet many of you didn't think I'd do my write-up for this month's Foodie Book Club posting! I know, I'm incredibly late. And if you'd like to check out the postings of the people who were actually ON time, just go here. Some beautiful write-ups . . . and one gal even got to MEET our author, Molly Wizenberg. Also: I didn't end up taking photos of my recipe either (Arugula with Pistachios and Chocolate! from page 296, but I assure you it was delicious and, well, different.) because my camera ran out of battery!!! I promise to do better with this month's selection: The United States of Arugula.

What I love so much about this particular section of A Homemade Life is that it's a 180 degree turn from what Anthony Bourdain would say about vegetarians (last month's book was Bourdain's The Nasty Bits -- here's my review). Rather than condemn vegetarians, Molly writes . . . "In the nearly three decades since his birth, Brandon has not once eaten meat, but his palate has ventured further than that of many omnivores, mine included."

In the foodie world, it does seem that there is some disdain for vegetarian and vegan foods. And, regarding the point that Molly made about a sophisticated palate, many food lovers I've talked to have actually looked down upon my love of food, saying things like: "Well, you wouldn't know..." Because I don't eat the "finer dishes" like foie gras. I don't think chomping on a piece of fatty liver is any less disgusting than many of these people think chewing on some tofu is. But I digress . . . You can love food no matter what diet you choose to follow. You can create masterpieces no matter what ingredients you choose to use.

So, I appreciate Molly's choice to include a chapter for the vegetarians and vegans. A point in the book where we aren't criticized . . . instead brought to light for loving interesting/exotic/good foods -- just in a different way. I don't think my choice to be vegetarian has limited my exposure to some amazing eats, nor has it limited my ability to hone my cooking/baking skills. And I can't wait to try the Chana Masala recipe at the end of this particular chapter. YUM!

After reading A Homemade Life, I truly feel like Molly is one of my friends. Her stories of her childhood and life, her palatable descriptions of her favorite foods, her recipes -- they're all so familiar. I certainly enjoyed the book and will continue to enjoy the recipes. I only wish I had purchased a hardcover version, mine's already well worn.

And, in the spirit of having an adventurous palate, here are some new foods I'm trying this weekend:

Now, here's the deal with the Foodie Book Club for the future. You don't need to be "officially" signed up. Simply choose to read the book in any particular month . . . and feel free to post about it when the call for posts goes out. That way, we're not exclusive. You need not read every book every month. I want to keep it loose. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker@gmail.com. Be sure to have a lovely weekend. I'm excited for not just one, but TWO brunch dates with friends.

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