Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Foodie and Book Club Pick: My Berlin Kitchen


My Berlin Kitchen
By Luisa Weiss
Viking
2012
302 pages with recipes

Fans of Luisa Weiss’s blog, The Wednesday Chef, are in for a real treat—her own true story of cooking, living and loving. Weiss was a young child when her parents divorced, her father relocating to America and her Italian mother living in Berlin. She traveled between the two continents throughout her childhood and teens, never feeling truly at home or belonging to any country. She remembers the long flights and the Christmases away from either her father or her mother, but never Christmas with both of them.

The only place young Luisa felt safe was in the kitchen, the aromas and colors of familiar food welcoming her into its open arms. Luisa soon associated certain foods with certain family members or places. Her father gave her a recipe for the family’s Tomato Sauce—great comfort food handed down from her Italian grandmother (maternal). Whenever Luisa prepares it, she remembers her father and her grandmother, and she hopes to pass it along to her children someday. She points out that everyone needs a great tomato sauce.

From her uncle Pietro, Luisa includes a delicious recipe for Pizza Siciliana, a Sicilian treasure topped with escarole, anchovies, provolone and grape tomatoes. Serious foodies will love recipes for Erbsensuppe (German Pea Soup), Braised Leeks and Meatballs in Tomato-Chipotle Sauce.

Luisa’s story is shared by countless numbers of career women on the fast track. Through their 20’s and 30’s, they are building a career and not thinking about marriage or children, and suddenly, they hear that biological clock ticking faster. They nearly panic. It’s time! Their clock keeps reminding them. Find a husband. Settle down. Start a family. And like Luisa, they may fight the clock; they may walk away from love. Only to discover it has always been there.

My Berlin Kitchen is a charming and winsome read with wide appeal. It’s a love story, a coming of age story, a food story, a family story, a life story. Like Eat, Pray, Love, this novel will captivate and capture hordes of hungry new fans (pun intended).

Highly, highly recommended for foodies, romantics, and book club members everywhere. Mature content. Wide appeal for high school libraries. Teens will be enthralled by Luisa’s “jet-set” lifestyle.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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