In this engrossing memoir, Kristin Kimball whisks us along on her transformation from single journalist in New York City to married organic farmer in upstate country in The Dirty Life. She conveys vividly how moving from urban to rural landscapes changed the way she thought about food, health, commitment, and happiness. Since Kimball grew up in the suburbs, she describes her new life of rising with the roosters and making homegrown meals with a sense of wonder. The book will also put to shame any notion the reader has of the farming life as easy, or simple.
In the summer months in 1970, the great American chefs and food critics (among them M.F.K. Fisher, Julia and Paul Child, and James Beard) gathered in the south of France to reconnect with Provençal cuisine, and to learn to bring it to a hungry American audience. Luke Barr recreates a moment of changing culinary tastes in the American palate: one that would focus on fresh, local, quality ingredients. Yet it is much more than a story about cuisine: it is not just about what we eat, but how we eat it, creating a philosophy of the pleasure and the ephemerality of a good meal. Part nostalgic and part probing, Barr’s is a quiet, lovely book that grapples with the legacies of both Child and M.F.K. Fisher.
Was there ever a more jovial soul than that of Julia Child? I highly doubt it. My Life in France, written by Child with assistance from her nephew Alex Prud’homme, is an anthology of letters and remberences of Child’s life changing time in France. We follow her as she first adapts to life in Paris and finds her true calling in cooking (and eating!) French cuisine. From her time in crafting and publishing Mastering the Art of French Cooking to her brief time in Marsielle, and later, when Julia and Paul refurbished an old house in the French country side- most of the important events in her life transpired in France . This book is a poetic, smart but pretty and poetic love letter from Julia to France.