A few months back, our book club read the story of Ruth Reichl as the food critic of NY Times. In what's certainly one of the most influential food writing jobs in the world, Ruth set a benchmark for reviews that were insightful yet hugely entertaining. Even when reviewing that 100th burger joint, Ruth's personality would clearly shine through.
This month, the book club is reading another book by Ruth Reichl. And this one tells you how Ruth got to be what she is. Tender at the Bone starts from Ruth's school years. She comes from a family of story tellers. And everyone at her home from her manic-depressive mother to her three grandmothers (yes, three - you go figure!) seems to love food. Even though her over enthusiastic mother could have killed you with her moldy food.
Tender at the Bone then goes on to chronicle Ruth's school years, her time in Europe, her first job in a restaurant, and her writing assignments. Family, friends and lovers - everyone in Ruth's life comes with a distinct personality; every event seems to propel herself a bit more towards her love of good food and good writing.
While the book is enjoyable in itself, the recipes Ruth scatters all through it makes it extra special. I did try one of them, I promise! The recipe I chose was her fail proof brownies. But like all my past attempt at brownies, I ended up with a not-perfect batch. Delicious, but super extra fudgy. I think the brownies don't like me. But never mind, this book is compensation enough. Read it even if you are not a foodie. Ruth's eccentric life will charm you into becoming one.