Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

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9780091875053: Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

At an early age, Ruth Reichl discovered that "food could be a way of making sense of the world. . . . If you watched people as they ate, you could find out who they were." Her deliciously crafted memoir, Tender at the Bone, is the story of a life determined, enhanced, and defined in equal measure by a passion for food, unforgettable people, and the love of tales well told.  Beginning with Reichl's mother, the notorious food-poisoner known as the Queen of Mold, Reichl introduces us to the fascinating characters who shaped her world and her tastes, from the gourmand Monsieur du Croix, who served Reichl her first soufflé, to those at her politically correct table in Berkeley who championed the organic food revolution in the 1970s.  Spiced with Reichl's infectious humor and sprinkled with her favorite recipes, Tender at the Bone is a witty and compelling chronicle of a culinary sensualist's coming-of-age.

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Review:

New York Times restaurant critic Ruth Reichl reads her (only very slightly abridged) memoir with the same humor, care, and intimacy that she put into its writing. The voices of the chefs, waiters, and gourmands who taught her to love food and its preparation come to life in this audiobook. Particularly compelling is her wonderful tale of "Life on Mars"--boarding school in Montreal might well have been on another planet. We listen as her halting French becomes fluent, as she shares weekend forays for forbidden smoked meat and cream puffs (the cure for all homesickness) with her new friend, Beatrice, and as her encounter with Beatrice's father, Monsieur du Croix, introduces her to a new level of joy in food. Audiobook listeners are also treated to a handy booklet of recipes included with the tapes that represent a dish from each of the main characters we meet in Ruth's life.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The restaurant critic of the New York Times whips up a savory memoir of her apprentice years. Growing up in New York City and Connecticut during the 1950s, Reichl learned early ``that food could be dangerous.'' Her manic-depressive mother favored weird mlanges crafted from culinary bargains of dubious freshness; throwing an engagement party for Reichl's half-brother, Mom served spoiled leftovers from Horn and Hardart that sent 26 people to the hospital. Reichl enjoyed safer food elsewhere: at her Aunt Birdie's, the apple dumplings of an African-American cook; at the home of a wealthy classmate from her Montreal boarding school, classic French cuisine. The descriptions of each sublime taste are mouthwateringly precise, and the recipes scattered throughout nicely reflect the author's personal odyssey. After a disorderly adolescence, she attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. The education of her taste buds continued during trips to North Africa and Europe, a waitressing stint at a doomed French restaurant in Michigan, and impoverished early married life on New York's Lower East Side. In Berkeley, Calif., she worked at a collectively owned restaurant whose entire staff cooked, cleaned, and served such vintage '70s dishes as quiche and Indonesian fishball soup. Reichl describes these experiences with infectious humor, then achieves a deeper level of emotion and maturity when her story reaches the year 1977. That summer, she returned to New York and for the first time successfully rescued one of her mother's manic party efforts. In the fall, she became restaurant critic for a San Francisco magazine and found the voices of various people who had taught her about food echoing in her ears as she discovered the work her editor told her ``you were born to do.'' The book closes with a moving scene in which Reichl eats a sumptuous lunch with two women as forceful and resilient as she has finally become. A perfectly balanced stew of memories: not too sweet, not too tart. (First printing of 40,000; author tour) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Ruth Reichl
Published by Ebury Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 0091875056 ISBN 13: 9780091875053
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0091875056

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